Port Clinton, Ohio
Brian Zins centers his thoughts before firing the next shot.
- As the final day of NRA's National Pistol Championships begins at Camp Perry, one can draw a distinction to the sport of golf. An arena up until very recently was dominated by Tiger Woods. If he entered the final day within reach of the championship, odds are he'd walk off the 18th green with the cup. The same could be said for Brian Zins.
Tiger's decade of dominance came by way of winning 14 major titles in those ten years. That translates into a winning percentage of 35%. Zins, on the other hand, won 10 NRA National Pistol titles in 18 years ... translating into a winning percentage of 55.6%. And again like Tiger, he appears to be returning to form.
"I took off about eighteen months with an ... elbow issue," Zins told NRA Competitive Shooting. "(Now I have to) try to eliminate my stupid mistakes (to win)."
If history plays any part, then the odds are against sitting top seed James Henderson. Henderson currently holds a one point lead going into the final match. That calls for proficiency with the .45.
In 2011, Henderson shot an 879 with 48 Xs (shots inside the 10 ring) during the .45 competition. In 2010, he managed an 868-32x. During that same year, his last NRA National Pistol Championship, Zins scored an 872-44x. The year before that it was an 882-50x. Average those out and Zins stands 3.5 points ahead — more then enough to take home the win.
But that's just history. More then that will come into play. First on everyone's mind will be the conditions. Is the wind blowing? Is the sun shining bright? Will the rain fall? Next is the squading — from where on the firing line a competitor shoots. Is there a hole? Is there a mound? Is there solid footing or is it unstable? Finally the nerves.
When Tiger Woods stepped on those fairways on the final day, competitors would shake in the boots. Donning the traditional Tiger red shirt, the mere fact that he was within reach was enough to disrupt the other golfer's play. It was said that he won with the first swing of the club. Will the same hold true for Zins?
Will his overwhelming winning percentage play havoc on Henderson's concentration? Will Zins' celebrity status (thanks to a second place finish on History Channel's Top Shot) and ten NRA titles turn the rest of the field into jelly? Or can someone muster up the desire and skill to topple the mighty Zins?
We'll know the answer to that in a few hours. Now the only question is ... will Zins be draped in Tiger Red?