-- It came down to the final shot in the championship round for Colin Boothe to post his second consecutive win at the 2007 Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Qualifier in Birmingham, Ala., July 20-22.
Photo: The top six place finishers in the 2007 Birmingham qualifier in the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor archery competition were: Larry Goza (fifth place); Jesse Lane (fourth place); Allen Conner (second place); Buckmasters founder and CEO Jackie Bushman; Colin Boothe (first place); Joseph Goza (third place); and Justin Martin (sixth place).
After beating Chatham, Va.'s, Jesse Lane 202 to 118 out of a possible 221 in the semi-finals, Boothe sealed the deal against Allen Conner, of Attalla, Ala., 226 to 207 and walked away with a new Yamaha Big Bear 350 ATV, $1,800 and the Dan C. Bussey High Score Award good for an additional $400.
"There is some great competition in this field," Boothe, of Harrisonburg, La., said following the win. "With these guys, you really have to turn up the intensity to get it done.
"I knew Allen was shooting good in the final round, because I could hear the audience cheering him on. I knew I had to come out and shoot the course really well."
Although relatively new to the Buckmasters Top Bow Shooting Series, Boothe has shot professionally since 1994. In 2004, Boothe had qualified for the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship and was prepared to compete, but he broke his back in an automobile accident and was forced to withdraw. In 2005, he was shooting again and managed to slip into the Round of 8 at the Birmingham qualifier. Then in 2006, he took the title at the Birmingham qualifier.
Conner made it through the semi-final round by knocking off perennial powerhouse Joseph Goza of Henagar, Ala., 176 to 139.
The Birmingham event is the second of two qualifying tournaments prior to the World Championship, held annually in conjunction with the Buckmasters Expo. The other qualifier for 2007 was held in Columbia, S.C., in March. A total of 49 competitors will try for the World Championship title and the $25,000 first-place prize July 27-29 at the Buckmasters Expo in Greensboro, N.C.
In its 17th year, the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship is an indoor archery tournament designed to simulate hunting. 3-D targets pop up throughout the course, and the archers must make a vitals hit (in the form of a small metal pad) to knock the target down.
Some of the targets move, and the shooter must always be on guard to shoot only bucks; does will subtract points from the shooter's score. Shots range anywhere from 20 to 60 yards, and the course changes between each round.
Add in the crowd and pressure -- the Top Bow tournament is the highest-paying tournament anywhere -- and this is one archery shoot that causes more butterflies than a 200-inch trophy in the woods.
The archers advancing to World Championship from Birmingham are:
Colin Boothe, Harrisonburg, La.
Allen Conner, Attalla, Ala.
Joseph Goza, Henagar, Ala.
Jesse Lane, Chatham, Va.
Larry Goza, Crossville, Ala.
Justin Martin, Daleville, Ala.
Jamie Patterson, Tallassee, Ala.
Skipper Booth, Northport, Ala.
Lynn Morrison, Northport, Ala.
Sonny Hawthorne, Fosters, Ala.
Stephen Dockery, Coker, Ala.
Darren Collins, Galena, Kan.
Allen Perley, Munford, Ala.
Bobby Hubbard, Talladega, Ala.
Patrick Phillips, Gordo, Ala.
Robert Morrow, Hartselle, Ala.
Heath Martin, Sandy Hook, Va.
Michael Ard, Northport, Ala.
Christopher Hall, Fortson, Ga.
Crayton Taylor, Verbena, Ala.
Brad Wheeler, Buford, Ga.
Tommy Taylor, Verbena, Ala.
Bobby Hill, Boaz, Ala.
Ricky Joe Pearson, Berry, Ala.
Pat Prebula, Verbena, Ala.
By Daniel Dye