With one GMPS event to go, Storrs Pond set to Debut.
There was a lot riding on the results of the Wrightsville Beach Open last Saturday (8/23). 5 division races were up in the air with only one other event before Finals, and we saw arguably the best play of the year (next to some NC action) as a few golfers laid down some astounding performances including a playoff in AM2. Before getting to the full recap and the impact of the results on the Point series, lets turn towards the 1st Storrs Pond Open.
Storrs Pond Disc Golf course was designed by James B. A designer that the GMDGC knows as well as any, James has already given us both the Pinnacle and Mt. Sunapee courses. It seems that Storrs could rival some of his finest work on those we already know. From the buzz we are hearing in GMDGC central, the course plays long, is improving every day we get closer to the event, and is fully ready to handle 72 golfers on Saturday. Seeing the pictures recently posted by an excellent photographer and GMDGC member, Dan Walsh, one has to get excited. Open lanes, elevation, and well cleared fairways tend to whet the disc golf appetite, and it seems like Storrs has all this and more.
However, James would be the first to tell you that he only designed the darn thing. There has been a strong crew of local GMDGC members leading the charge, notably Spencer Weatherholt, Jeremy Mattsson, and Dan Walsh himself, among many others I’m sure. Make sure to pay attention during the ‘thank yous’ to find out who else pitched in. Being the weekend after Labor Day, this event is already filling up. Make sure to register before day-of to help your TD!
Ah, yes, but what was all this about drama at Wrightsville you ask! Well here is a quick and dirty recap from our Director of Wrightsville Operations, Collin:
“Wow, what a fun day. Thanks so much to all of you who played and made it such a fun event. Great job by Dave (Frothy), Anne Lewis and the others who helped with organization, player totals, course maintenance, and Dana for the food service. Thanks to their great work everything went smoother than I imagined possible. I’m already looking forward to playing with all of you again next year, hopefully sooner. Lastly, amazing rounds played by Mike Habbets and Dave Frothingham, 47 from Gold, that’s super good and the Gold course record!”
Not enough drama, too much gratitude for your liking? I get it. Here’s a little more:
The day started off with the tension of many hopes and dreams riding on a wire, and ended with a mix of the joy of victory and the dutiful acceptance of failure. More than anything, though, players enjoyed the course. You need a full arsenal to really score and we saw two player’s flash greatness with the pair of 47s that Collin mentioned. However, Frothy had fallen out of contention after a tough first round while Mike Habets grabbed the win by the horns, and the GMPS by the throat. After a Round one 49, Habets had a 2 stroke lead on Jspring who was in search of a badly needed ‘W’. Not far behind sat Kyle Junion, Chris Young, and current rival Sean Bleything who were 2, 2, and 3 strokes off of Habets’ pace, respectively. After stumbling out of the gates in round 2, Spring battled back to draw withing 2 strokes in a three way tie with Junion and Bleything for second, but the back Nine saw Spring filter to fourth as Junion and Bleything tried to keep pace with the leader. As the back nine drew to a close, it was a pure drive on 14 that cemented the victory for Habets. He had run through 10, 11, 12, and 13 with birdies to push his lead to three, and after a deuce on 14, it was clear people were playing for second. With that victory, there is not much even Bleything can do to catch him, especially considering Mike’s form of late. After throwing record rounds at BOTH of the last two events, he again is the favorite heading into Storrs, a course he is one of few that have scouted. Don’t let me lull you into too much of a sense of certainty though. A win at finals would put Bleything in the lead, and October 11th is a long way out, so pending a Storrs result, there is still plenty of drama to be had!
Pro Masters had its dose of drama as well. Dan Desch. What can you say about the guy? He’s registered back-to-back wins and would be in a strong position if he was a member (he was last year….). Wrightsville also marked his second come from behind victory! After starting second round 3 behind Ian Thurston and 2 behind Anne Lewis, Dan closed with a strong 55 and a 2-stroke victory. Ian managed to stay in front of Anne to nip her by 1, propelling him back to the top of the GMPS standings as he leapfrogged Chris Sherwin. With Sherwin and Lewis still yet to register for Salt Hill, we might have just seen Ian reach the top to stay. Oh wait, finals is double points!? Yep. He’s in a strong position, but will have to put a stamp on the season if he want the ‘chip’. Looking forward to seeing his performance on Saturday, and thinking that we will see Sherwin there to battle him.
The advanced division lacked a little of it’s normal punch, or should I say Jim Bailey’s bruising presence. Jim decided to step it up to MPO finishing with a very respectable total that would have netted him a 3rd place finish in the Advanced division. That’s right, a man by the name of Bill Bertera took home the ‘W’ with a well-played 104. Yeah but how did Brad Harris and Ira do? (asks those who have been following GMDGC blog predictions). Well, Harris was there for second place, a painful 1 stroke off of Bertera’s pace, 6 strokes clear of a distant third. Harris will have to settle for 90.91 and movement up to third place with a point series total of 431.54. For those of you counting at home, Brad is one GMPS finals victory of substantially jumping Bailey. On top of that, Harris is IN at Storrs Pond with another chance to do damage against Bailey’s title hopes as Jim again challenges the MPO field. Wow. Oh, and Ira had a wedding or something.
That brings up to the intermediate division. Not only were both of our leaders, Ryan Metivier and Jeff Wasieleski in the field, but two rounds wasn’t enough! That’s right, there was a playoff…between Billy Haddock and Will Gilbert. Yep! Two locals stole the show and ended up in a two-hole showdown! After a tough start to Hole 6 for Will, Billy was near the basket in two with a putt to win. After sizing it up, he put it right in the hear for victory. Nice work Billy! This was a BIG division, with 26 competitors. John Carter snuck in for a third place finish in front of a 3 way tie for 4th that included Jeff Wasielewski. Ryan Metivier finished only one stroke behind that but with a big tie in front, it was for 7th place points. Looking at the standings, it is going to be a fantastic finish for this division. With both players already registered for Storrs Pond, there are a number of possibilities. Jeff is about 70 points behind Ryan, but has only competed in 5 events to Ryan’s 6. That means he will get full points this weekend. A third place finish or better should put him into the lead. However, that leave Ryan to improve on his scores. He will look to drop the 76.92 from Wrightsville and bump up his point total. No matter what happens this weekend though, this thing is going to the finals!
Wrightsville also gave us participation from many newcomers to the series and some great races that fell outside of the Point Series impact. In Men’s Pro Grandmasters, we had a healthy field of 5. Daniel Marcus once again won a Vermont event as he ousted Rick WIlliams and some familiar Vermont faces. In the Advanced Women’s division we had an awesome field of three that saw Dana Dwinell-Yardley best Jen Frantz and Keri Hess. The advanced masters division had a great turnout of seven! While our GMPS leader struggled, he is in no danger of losing his firm grip on the point series. However, the course designer Collin excelled to win with a course record 46 from the blues! We had a solid Advanced Grandmasters field as well and Marcos Miller coasted to victory!
One of the more surprising turnouts was in the FA2 division! We had an influx of six female competitors. A great turnout and a field that was bested by Gabby Pozanni. I’m pretty sure that, as Gretchen would say, this division had the most fun. In our Rec division, Norman Peterson beat himself up to win over the only competition he faced, himself. And lastly, we had a junior division represented by three fine young men who all played well. Jayce took home the title but Mason, Colin, and Cameron all had goo showings. We here at the GMDGC thoroughly hope to see all the juniors, ladies, and grandmaster players back for more participation in our GMPS! While we normally get good turnouts in other divisions, you presence infused more excitement and life into this event. Nice work!
On to Storrs Pond! Go REGISTER!