Fourth Annual Runaway Open 2019 Wrap-Up

Article Contributed by | Published on Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Fourth Annual Runaway Open was held Saturday, August 31st, at Willis Case Golf Course in Denver, Colorado. From 84 registered players, we had 5 last-day cancellations and 3 no-shows - but 6 called-in from a waiting list and 1 walk-up, for a balance of 83 players on the course. Everyone had a great time raising thousands of dollars for music education, and we're finally reporting back on the tournament results.

All players received a gift bag with an event golf shirt plus items donated by fourteen sponsors, including Phish, LivePhish/, PhanArt, PunkYourFace, Surrender to the Flow, Tropicana Atlantic City, Roboworm, and 4imprint. Through systematic random drawings for player numbers and prize numbers, we also gave away 13 prizes donated by J2G Live, Stranahan's Whiskey, LivePhish, Vincent Romeo Rodriguez, and a Tennessee engraver whose grandfather was a music educator. In total, gifts and prizes averaged nearly $170 per player, not including on-course prizes - for an entry donation of only $150!

The top foursome* was Team Mimi, named in honor of a Fishman-signed drumstick donated by the Mimi Fishman Foundation. Each of players on Team Mimi - Michael Pryzbylski, Michael Shinkan, Charlie Whemhoff, and Kyle Desmarais - earned $80 in pro shop credit plus $170 in Merrell Money.

Matt Zabka won the Closest to Pin Contest (on hole #17), just edging out Keegan Giannoni and Ash Patel, and getting $80 in pro shop credit plus a commemorative golfbag-shaped cooler from the previous year's event.

Colin Hall also got $80 in credit and a cooler, for winning the Longest Drive Contest (on hole #8) - which he's now done two years in a row. Colin is the only person to have played in all four Runaway Open events - and he placed first individually this year (the first year we've had prizes for individual placement). Brad Strode was second, and Aaron Pettine was third. Those three players pocketed pro shop credits of $100, $60, and $40, respectively.

Dozens of players took advantage of the offerings of mulligans, which raised an additional $280. On-course contests sponsored by Aurelius and Dixon (on holes #5 and 10, respectivey) had participation from 19 of 21 teams, raising an additional $536. And two silent auction items (donated by Tropicana Atlantic City, and Danny Clinch) raised an additional $235. Thanks again to all the players for helping boost the event's charitable proceeds, and congratulations to Aaron Pettine for winning the Dixon Challenge raffle, and to dozen or so players who won on-course contests for other prizes.

We're already planning for a Fifth Annual event. We may have to increase the entry fee a bit - and that mountain of returns justifies it, as do the charitable goals of the event. We hope to have perhaps 120 players, and hope to have you among them. Bribes to be on Colin's team may be donated to [email protected] - and will help benefit grants being announced around New Year's Eve, from among full proposals we just invited.

Hit 'em long and straight...

* Runaway Open events are a modified shamble: Everyone plays the best (one) first ball, then plays their own ball to the hole (rather than playing the best ball on two or even all holes, which speeds things up but seems less inclusive and more lop-sided.) Then, each team totals the best two scores per hole for their course total (though individual scores are tracked as well, for those who want to.)