Browns Summit archer wins Buckmasters event

Keith Barley (left) is joined by Buckmasters president Jackie Bushman after the Browns Summit archer won the Top Bow Shootout grand prize at Greensboro.

It wasn’t exactly home turf, home field or homecourt, but the concrete floor inside the Greensboro Coliseum’s Special Events Center was home ground July 30 for Keith Barley, and he defended it superbly, winning the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship.Barley, a 35-year-old native of the Guilford County town of Browns Summit, topped a field of 49 archers to win the $25,000 first prize.

He knocked out three shooters who own seven championships between them after qualifying 11th through three competition rounds during the first two days.

In the quarterfinals, he defeated 2003 champ Justin Martin of Enterprise, Ala; in the semifinals, he bounced practice partner Keith Brown of Greensboro – a two-time top bow indoor world champ – and in the finals, he swamped four-time champion Joseph Goza of Henagar, Ala.

Against Goza,  Barley missed one of 12 life-sized deer targets that popped up randomly at ranges between 15 and 60 yards – including three targets that were moved along rails on the floor.

“I started off pretty good, then I had one bad round, and I knew if I didn’t come in and shoot well (the last day), I’d be out of here,” said Barley, a building and drywall contractor. “When you’re shooting against Justin, Keith and Joseph Goza, the pressure is pretty good.”

Barley blamed the one target he missed in the finals on using the wrong sight pin.

“I had hit that target all week; I knew what I did, and I just forgot about it and went on ahead,” he said. “You have to shoot good against any of those guys, because anybody that makes the top 16 is capable of winning.”

A crowd of relatives cheered Barley and was particularly enthralled when he made an extremely difficult shot at a distant, moving target that rolled along behind a screen of artificial bushes. Barley waited until the last possible second, then rattled his arrow through the bushes into the target’s vitals. Five minutes later, Goza missed the same shot, almost guaranteeing Barley would win.

“When he missed that first running target, I knew I had it,” Barley said. “I was sitting in the stands, and I just threw my hands up in the air.”

Goza won an all-terrain vehicle for finishing second – breaking his two-year streak of wins in the event. Brown took third, followed by Robert Morrow of Hartselle, Ala.  Seven shooters from North Carolina competed in the championship. Two were eliminated after the first two rounds, and five more fell short when the field was cut to the top 16 after three rounds.

About Dan Kibler 887 Articles
Dan Kibler is the former managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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