Columbia, Missouri -
In 2011, Doug Koenig took home his thirteenth Bianchi Cup, besting some of the world's top shooters. Today, those top Open Division shooters met on the Practical Event, the first in four events that will determine this year's champion. Koenig, Bruce Piatt, Mike Voight and Tony Holmes shot side by side in today's relay on the Practical Range as a crowd gather to watch the men face off.
Piatt, a five-time Bianchi Cup Champion, was very pleased with his shooting despite experiencing some nerves.
"I felt as nervous as I've ever been because it's the first stage of the match and just knowing that it's time to shoot well. Looking through the sights, I didn't think I shot that well, but I was pleasantly surprised when the targets came back. The group was much better than I expected," said Piatt.
While the official scores for today aren't in yet, there are still three events left that can change the game. Adding to this year's excitement is the news that Piatt is also competing in Metallic Division. That means that three-time Metallic Champion Rob Vadasz will have to step up his game in order to defend his title.
The range has quieted down for the day and everyone is headed back to the match hotel for the Competitors' Social. Tonight the shooters catch up with old friends, make some new ones and enjoy the camaraderie that Bianchi Cup is famous for. Shooting will begin bright and early tomorrow morning, so stay tuned for more from the 2012 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup.