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Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Prodigy: Day Two Recap

By Baker Helton

It was a somber final round in Waco on Friday, as players competed without galleries amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Spectators still did everything they could to watch; some watched from the cliffs of Cameron Park on the other side of the Brazos River, while others looked on through the fences separating the course from the road. Those spectators caught glimpses of some of the most exciting golf all season long, as Colten Montgomery made up a 4-shot deficit on Paul McBeth to win the 2020 Waco Annual Charity Open.

Montgomery, from the chase card, started off hot and never cooled down, birdieing 5 of the first 6 holes. It wasn’t until the back 9, however, that Montgomery took off.  He put his drive on the attackable 13th inside of circle 2 and knocked down the 50 footer. He followed that up with a smashed drive on hole 15 and made the circle’s edge putt to card yet another birdie.

“I didn’t even know I was 9 under.  I knew I was playing pretty well. I was just trying to keep my composure,” said Montgomery.  

Montgomery went into the 18th needing to run the green – but he didn’t realize that.  “I told myself before the round I’m going for it no matter what. I didn’t even know what the scores were, to be honest.  My phone had been in airplane mode.”  

It’s the first big win of Montgomery’s career. He’s also the lowest rated player to ever win a DGPT event, coming into the event with a 1012 rating.  

Paul McBeth seemed to be running away with the event early, but Montgomery’s late push suddenly put pressure on the defending W.A.C.O champion to make moves. McBeth has a long birdie putt on 17 to tie Montgomery in the clubhouse, but he left the putt short into the headwind.  His drive turned over well short of the pin on 18, and after a failed attempt at a throw-in, Montgomery was crowned 2020 W.A.C.O Champion.  

Post-produced coverage of Colten’s round will be available on Par Save Productions YouTube channel and Jomez Pro will have coverage of the lead card final round. 

A Finnish Finish

Meanwhile, Eveliina Salonen took things down in FPO, beating her friend and touring partner Henna Blomroos. Salonen was the only player in the field to shoot under for the event.  

The two Finns were neck and neck throughout the round, with strokes flying back and forth.  The biggest momentum shift happened on hole 13. Salonen had already made birdie, with Blomroos putting from 20 feet. The young Finnish phenom’s putt hit center chain and bounced out, quickly turning a 1-shot deficit into a 2-shot deficit.  

Salonen then put her foot on the gas, making birdie on 16 and following it up with a birdie on 17, putting an aggressive shot over the water to circle’s edge. She made the putt, effectively sealing the deal.  

The win is Salonen’s 2nd on the Pro Tour. Both Finns will be traveling back to Europe with PDGA suspending play at all larger events, and plan to return for Worlds and US Womens.  

Salonen has a bold prediction as to who would win those tournaments: “Either me or Henna.”  

With a performance like this out of the young superstars, it’s hard to see why not. You can catch post-produced coverage of the final round of FPO from the Waco Annual Charity Open on GK Pro.