Olivia Remains Queen of the US Masters
13 Oct 2022 at 13:53 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 16480 | News search
Olivia getting awarded the green jacket by USPMGA President Bob Detweiler (Photo by The Putting Penguin)
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - It had been almost 10 years since someone won back-to-back USPMGA Master’s tournaments, with that someone being Olivia Prokopova in 2012 and 2013. Not to be outdone by herself, Olivia, now Sahmel and a mom, became the next person to win back-to-back Master’s after sealing her 4th green jacket this year. This year’s tournament featured several days of near picture-perfect weather with blue skies, minimal win and a favorable temperature just days after Hurricane Ian rolled through the Myrtle Beach area. » Interview with the champ
For those unfamiliar with the Master’s, it has had several formats over the years with the most recent versions consisting of 12 rounds played over three courses in Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach- 3 at the Pineapple course at Aloha 4205, 4 at the Island course at Aloha and 5 at the Hawaiian Rumble course. The first 9 rounds are played in a round-robin format with 3 round sets played over the first day and a half beginning Thursday morning. The entire field then comes together for 1 round on Friday afternoon, followed by 2 rounds on Saturday to finish the tournament. This creates a lot of scoreboard watching after round 9 once everyone has completed their cycle through the three courses which generally have scores that range from 25 to 36 for the lead pack, depending on the course.
This year, however, there wasn’t much doubt about who was going to be leading the pack after the day 1 scores. Olivia started her round-robin at the Pineapple course, which tends to be the toughest of the three courses over the tournament. With new carpet and some other adjustments in 2022, the course has played easier than in recent years and it was shown with Olivia’s 3-round score of 95 to start the tournament. She would continue strong sets of 3, scoring 96 on Rumble and then a staggering 81 over on the easier Aloha course. This would leave her 8 shots clear of multiple U.S. Open winner Matt McCaslin and past Master’s champion Joey Graybeal when the field came together for round 10.
Things would tighten up slightly during the 10th round as Matt put in a 28 compared to Olivia’s 31, which cut the lead to just 5. During round 11, Matt started to cut into the lead but Olivia came back and opened the lead back up to 8 with a staggering 30 on the Rumble course. In her own words she would play the final round “easy” knowing she had the lead and this would result in a round of 29, which would tie for the tournament low on the Rumble course and end her tournament 10 clear of the nearest competitor. Rick Baird would play the final two rounds at 29 and 31 to move up the leaderboard and tie Matt for 2nd place and complete the podium for the tournament.
Olivia would finish the tournament with a 30.2 stroke average, which was almost a stroke better than her win in 2021 where she only won by one stroke. Her 4th green jacket ties her for the most USPMGA Master’s wins with Danny McCaslin.
» USPMGA website