The Man From PAW PAW is the Top West Virginian at the 2017 Grand American

Not since The Undertaker's visit to the Grand American in 2010 has West Virgnia had a winner like this year. Cameron Bailey is from Paw Paw, WV located in the eastern panhandle population 508. The town is named for the pawpaw, a wild fruit which grows in abundance throughout the region. The town is known for the Paw Paw Tunnel, there is not much else to do.

   Cameron dreamed of the big city of Sparta, with a staggering population of 4,302, where the ATA World Trapshooting Championships are held in August. He arrived in Sparta to the "Big Show" the Sunday before Grand Week.  Cameron shot Monday's 200 Singles and left Bob a garbled message something about being at the Grand and sounded like there's not even a tunnel here and he was bored.  Nicholas and I took Cameron to the best steak house in town (the only one) and visited with him for the evening. The next day Cameron, broke a lack luster 91 in handicap and got rested up from his "Big Trip West". That afternoon he turned in a 96 in the doubles event and the next day broke a 96 in the handicap and a 95 in the doubles event.   A 96 in doubles is a great score, most of the time, it's only 1 point above Cameron's average and he was classified as Class AAA. 

   On Clay Target Championship Day Cameron blasted a career high, shooting a perfect 200 straight. It was a good time to pull that one out, never having put together two 100s in his short ATA shooting history of five years, Cameron was thrilled with his performance stating that he was really "never nervous"... "I just stuck to my routine...everything just fell into place". We went to watch the shoot off, Cameron admitted to being a little anxious saying "in a singles shoot off you better take your lunch". Cameron is no stranger to being around shoot offs, in fact he has shot off with and beaten several All Americans like Harlan, Ohye and others, he wasn't intimidated at all.  Cameron ended up the 2017 AA Champion after dropping one in the second round. The next day, Cameron broke a 98 in the World Doubles Championship again, a good score, but the AAA Class was dominated by 100's. After another 95 in the preliminary handicap Cameron rested that night. 

     On Saturday morning, the Grand American Handicap awaited and Cameron was ready.  In the first sub event, he carded a 24 the next dropping 2 for a 23, then another 24 and finally a 25 to post a 96 along with seventeen others. Eleven shooters tied for 3rd thru 13th place. After the shoot off, Cameron who admitted to maybe being a little nervous, claimed 5th Place, quite the feat.  His evening was capped off by winning the Class AA High All Around and the Class AA Runner up in the High Over All. Later that night, a congratulatory call from Darrel Murray advising Cameron to look at the HAA again, he in fact, was the Event Runner Up with a 394 only 3 targets less that the Champion Patrick Lamont. Cameron was one target ahead of everyone else, including all Class AAA participants. Cameron asked the officials who the Event Runner up was, and he was told Harlan Campbell with a 393. Cameron advised he had a 394 which was higher than a 393 (even in Paw Paw). When the mistake was corrected, Harlan dropped to third place, which dropped everybody in AAA one spot. Cameron took his rightful place as Event Runner up HAA winner. 

Cameron's trophies Singles Class AA Champion top left, HOA Class AA Runner up top center, HAA Event runner up top left 5th place Handicap front enter

      Cameron explained that he is confident in his ability said "when I was driving out to Sparta I wasn't thinking I would win a trophy, no, I was thinking what trophy I was going to win". We can only wait to see what happens next year!