Powell will play host to some of the best golfers in the state this week, as the 2018 Wyoming State Match Play tees off Thursday at the Powell Golf Club.
The tournament, held at a different course each year, is one of the top events in the state, according to PGC golf pro Mike Propp.
“This event is all ages, so of course we’ll have some of our very best college players here, as well as seasoned veterans as well,” Propp said. “There’s a championship flight, with about 45 golfers that need to qualify Thursday morning to make it into the top 32 for the championship flight.”
Right around 80 players have registered for this year’s tournament.
Those who don’t qualify for the championship flight are automatically moved into another flight, of which there are four. The championship flight has no handicap, whereas the other flights do.
“The championship flight will be where the best players are at,” Propp said. “They’ll be playing our black tees, our farthest tees back. The qualifying round will be Thursday morning, and those that qualify will turn around and begin their first match Thursday afternoon. The other flights will tee off Friday.”
The Wyoming State Match Play tournament has become one of the most prestigious events of the year, and Propp said he’s excited to show off the course.
“The course is in excellent condition, and I think it’s a great course for match play,” he said. “With the two different nines, you get so many different looks, so I think the players will really enjoy it. We’re thrilled and honored to be hosting such a great event.”
In the match play format, golfers are playing against just one person, as opposed to the entire field. There are different strategies employed that you don’t find in stroke play.
“With match play, you can make a 10 on one hole and your opponent makes a 2, and you’re only down one hole,” Propp explained. “With stroke play, you do that and all of a sudden you’re eight shots back. With match play, you’re really just playing the person; stroke play, you’re playing the golf course itself.”
Spectators are welcome to come out and cheer on their favorite golfers. As the matches get whittled down, the final two will go head-to-head to see who becomes the 2018 Wyoming State Match Play champion.
“It’s an honor I know every player in the field would like to have,” Propp said of the title. “Being able to beat this field will mean a lot to whoever that player is.”
Thursday’s qualifying will feature a double-tee start at 8 a.m. on holes No. 1 and 10. Once the qualifying round is over — roughly around 2:30 p.m. — the championship flight will begin. The other flights will tee off at the same time on Friday and Saturday and go all day. The course will be closed to the public Thursday through Saturday, but will re-open Sunday with normal business hours.
“It’s going to be a great field,” Propp said.