CANTON, Sept. 17, 2022 – On the seventh hole of the final round of Saturday’s Matterhorn International Pro-Am miniature golf tournament, second round leader Matt Liles of Glastonbury found himself in trouble and took a six.
That’s a huge hit in professional miniature golf circuit there are few shots separating the professionals at the top of the leaderboard. Liles trailed by two shots at one point in the final round.
But he remained calm and poised. “It was a matter of waiting for an opening,” he said.
Liles got a hole in one on the 16th hole and rallied for a two-shot victory over Farmington’s Caleb Smith to win the sixth annual Matterhorn International Pro-Am for the first time. Liles finished with a three-round total of 115 (20 under par) with Smith finishing second with 117.
Last year’s International Pro-Am champion Patrick Sheridan of Berlin finished third , just four shots off the pace.
“(The key) was just doing what I can do and not worrying about what others are doing,” Liles said. “I was consistent with my tee shots, stayed focused and didn’t take any easy putts for granted.”
It was his second professional victory, taking home $250. He won the Bozrah Open earlier this year and was second at the 41st annual Pat Guglielmo Memorial tournament in August at Farmington Miniature Golf and Ice Cream on Route 4, finishing two strokes behind Sheridan.
Liles tied the tournament record with round of 36 in the second round. He had eight aces or hole in ones in the tournament.
Smith was looking for a unique achievement. A year ago, he won the Matterhorn International Pro-Am as an amateur with a score of an amateur tournament-record score of 120. Smith led the tournament after his first-round 37 but Liles grabbed the second round lead with his record round of 36.
Sheridan finished third in a playoff with Bethel’s Mark Novicki. The playoff went to the sixth hole before Sheridan prevailed.
The professional division had a tournament-high 24 golfers on the course with competitors from Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
The tournament did include five of the top ranked players on the new American Mini-Golf Association, an organization trying to connect regional tournaments and develop a national point series.
Two-time tournament champion Justin Seymour of Manchester came into the tournament ranked No. 1 in the recent AMA rankings with Sheridan at No. 2 and Liles and David Biggly tied for the No. 3 ranking. New Jersey’s Aaron Kaminsky is ranked No. 5 in the most recent AMA rankings.
The AMA is not trying to replace other miniature golf tours such as the U.S. Pro Mini-Golf Association that hosts the U.S. Open each May and the Master’s tournament each October in South Carolina.
In the amateur competition at the Matterhorn International Pro-Am, Farmington’s Darren Smith – Caleb’s father – won with a 122 and a seven-stroke win over Plainville’s Josh Hayes. Canton’s Heather Garvin finished third with a 132, 10 strokes off the pace.
“It was great to have some fun with some gorgeous weather,” Darren Smith said. “It’s just fun to be out here with friends and family.”
Darren Smith and Canton’s David Hudon each had the low rounds of 40 in the amateur tournament, which included 12 golfers.
2022 Matterhorn International Pro-Am
|Matt Liles, Glastonbury, $250||39||36||40||115||38.33||–20|
|Caleb Smith, Farmington, $200||37||40||40||117||39||-18|
|y-Patrick Sheridan, Berlin, $150||38||42||39||119||39.6||-16|
|Mark Novicki, Bethel, $100||40||39||40||119||39.6||-16|
|Randy Yale, Cheshire, $50||49||41||42||123||41||-12|
|Justin Seymour, Manchester, $50||40||40||43||123||41||-12|
|Kyle Courcy, Boston, $50||42||42||39||123||41||-12|
|y-Aaron Kaminski, Lynwood NJ, $50||40||42||42||124||41.3||-11|
y-tie broken in a playoff
Tournament record low round: 36, Matt Liles (2022), Justin Seymour (2019) and Dylan Koerner (2020)
Tournament record (3 rounds):Matt Liles 115 (2022) and Patrick Sheridan 115 (2021)
|2022 AMATEUR DIVISION||R1||R2||R3||Total||Par|
|Darren Smith, Farmington||40||42||40||122||-13|
|Josh Hayes, Plainville||45||43||41||129||-6|
|Heather Garvin, Canton||43||44||45||132||-3|
|Joel Smith, Oxford||48||45||43||136||+1|
|Lisa Cimino, Ventor, NJ||47||44||45||136||+1|
|Matthew Weeks, Horsehead NY||48||42||48||138||+3|
|Brendan Hurley, Canton||43||48||49||140||+5|
|Evan Robidoux, Bristol||51||45||46||142||+7|
|David Hudon, Canton||54||48||40||142||+7|
Amateur record, low round: Caleb Smith 38 (2021)
Amateur record, tournament: Caleb Smith 120 (2021)
Previous Matterhorn International Pro-Am champions
2017: Mark Novicki, Danbury, 198
2018: Justin Seymour, East Hartford, 198
2019: Justin Seymour, East Hartford, 196
2020: Dylan Koerner, 201
2021: Pat Sheridan, Berlin, 115
2022: Matt Liles, Glastonbury 115
2017: Stephen Langlois, East Granby, 129
2018: Daniel Hurley, Canton, 125*
2019: Brian Hogan, Avon, 127
2020: Chris Mamrosh, 127**
2021: Caleb Smith, Farmington, 120
2022: Darren Smith, Farmington 122
*Won in 3-hole playoff
**Won in a 1-hole playoff