(8/23/23 – CICERO, N.Y.) It was an afternoon filled with epic putts, intense moments and plenty of heartbreaking miscues as historic Big Don’s Wild River Outdoor Fun Center played host to the inaugural ABC Putt-Putt Invitational.
The rules were tough, but fair, as the agency’s finest mini-golfers would not be afforded the grace of mulligans nor the traditional maximum of six putts, which proved to be costly on the oft-challenging course. Two fivesomes and one foursome were dispatched to keep score of their individual performances using the honor system, but only four of the 14 competitors could make the cut for the Championship Round.
Senior Art Director Mike Haines, Senior Web Developer Jon Brockett, Director of Account Service Nick Zappia and Director of Video Production Jordan Harmon somehow ascended to the final four despite all being well over par. Regardless, the gallery would be treated to 18 more holes of close calls, near misses and the occasional glimpse of exceptional play.
Haines and Harmon emerged as leaders heading into the back nine, with each boasting rather pedestrian scores of seven and nine over par, respectively. Brockett and Zappia trailed the leader by only two and three strokes, so it seemed to be anyone’s game at the halfway point.
Under the duress of heat and maybe a few jitters, Zappia unraveled on the 13th green with a score of six, putting victory all but out of reach with only five holes to go. Things intensified, though, as Harmon and Haines tied things up around the same time. Brockett, meanwhile, quietly kept pace at just a stroke or two all the way through the 17th, where Haines stole the lead thanks in part to a muffed putt by Harmon.
It wasn’t until the 18th that Brockett would shock the gallery by earning three strokes off his score in what was supposed to be a showdown between Harmon and Haines, who was the heavy favorite to win it all after achieving best score during the first round.
But, it was Brockett who snagged the prized Teal Jacket and a Visa gift card to the deafening applause of the gallery. Haines, too, would collect a gift card and Zappia relished his last-place prize of a children’s golf set that he put to immediate use. For Harmon, it was “better luck next year.”
With the beverages flowing and snacks plentiful, all enjoyed a great time and offered great thanks to Owner and Creative Director Travis Bort for a new tradition unlike any other playing in this prestigious putt-putt tournament.