From Interservice Champion to NRA National Champion in under a month
Port Clinton, Ohio - Just as the shooting community was getting use to the idea of this year's Bianchi Cup upset we have another.
This afternoon, Patrick Franks of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit walked off the Rodriguez range as NRA's National Pistol Champion. It's the first time in 14 years that someone besides Zins or Hemphill was allowed to hoist the trophy to the sky. With a final score of 2649-147x, his victory was by the slimmest of margins.
"He won by 16x's," said NRA Pistol Match Director Tom Hughes. "I can't remember one ever being this close."
It's a feat that some may have been expecting.
"This year was my first first place win at Interservice (the 55th Interservice Pistol Championships at Fort Benning)," said Franks. "A lot of our team matches at Interservice and at Canton were milestone performances and looking back at those I just kept going with it while I'm here. "
Coming in second was James Henderson followed by Greg Markowski. Markowski also shot a 2649 but came up short in the X count.
13-time NRA Pistol Champion Brian Zins, a few weeks out of hip surgery, finished 10th.
"I thought I was shooting pretty well," Franks continued. "Good for my average, good for being up here. Just tried concentrating on the team matches and ended up coming out better than I expected. Just enough."
For more on NRA's Competitive Shooting Programs, visit their website at compete.nra.org