Vegas the “toughest tournament to win”, says 2-time champ Schloesser

Andrea Vasquez

Schloesser became the first non-Americas archer to win The Vegas Shoot back in 2015.

Dutchman Mike Schloesser won his second Vegas Shoot crown after beating out 14 perfect-900 shooters and the Lucky Dog in the shootdown of the 2017 edition of this huge tournament.

Arriving in Vegas as defending Champion, World Archery’s number-three-ranked shooter in the globe was humble.

“I’m shooting good and I have a lot of faith in it, but is the toughest tournament to win,” said Mike.

“There’s so many people and every compound archer will try to go for it. Some have more chances than others but if you make the shootdown, it’s all or nothing for everyone.”

Previously known as the freestyle men’s division, The Vegas Shoot’s main championship was open to both male and female archers for the first time in 2017. World number two Sara Lopez was the only women to enter and finished in 79th place with 898 points.

In 2018, 265 (only men entered) will compete for the tournament’s biggest prize money: $52,000 in cash – but to win it a third time, Mike knows it will take nerve control.

“Those 90 arrows are the toughest arrows that you will ever shoot. Normally, when I have to shoot qualification at other tournaments, I don’t get nervous because if I make it through to the top 32 or top 8 it’s good,” he said. “Here, you really have to shoot each 90 arrows perfectly because if you miss, you are out.”

“In Vegas every arrow is nerve-wracking.”

By collecting his second title, Mike became part of an exclusive eight-man list that have won The Vegas Shoot men’s or open championship title more than once.

“I have seen that video from last year quite a few times and every time I do, I still get nervous from seeing it,” he said.

Mike, also known as Mister Perfect, for being the first archer in history to ever shoot a perfect-600 for the 18-metre ranking round, shoots more than 10 international tournaments a year, but Vegas is always on his ‘do not miss’ list.

“Vegas is one of the best and biggest shoots in the world. It’s such an organized tournament and I really like that you have both the professional and amateur shooters. Normally, at World Cup events, you only get to see only professionals but here it’s a big mix of archers,” he explained.

It’s 90 perfect arrows for the first goal, then comes the shootdown.

But if he doesn’t make it?

“If it’s not me, I think it will be Chance Beaubouf or Kris Schaff.”

Follow live results from The Vegas Shoot 2018 at info.worldarchery.org. Full coverage on NFAA website, The Vegas Shoot Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.