Summer is upon us and Disc Golf is in full Swing in Vermont! Local course leagues are firing up and the GMPS is starting to matter for those competing across all the divisions. This blog is dedicated to reporting on the happenings around the disc golf scene in Vermont over the past month. Soon, we’ll take a look ahead at the upcoming events and good times to be had for the rest of the summer!
SIGN UP FOR THE GNOME’S CHALLENGE!!!
Quickly becoming one of the most beloved and FUN events on the Vermont circuit, the Gnomes Challenge is scheduled for Sunday June 29th! Our Prez, Chris Young is TDing the seventh edition of this Randolph-based event and it’s time to register! Already about half-full, there is a chance that you won’t get in unless you pre-register HERE.
LEARN TO PLAY Recap (5/17):
The first ever ‘Learn To Play Day‘ drew in over 50 players to the 3 courses advertising; Brewster, Wrightsville, and BCO. An event that allowed players to have access to discs, instruction, and great beginner disc golf holes, new players gave positive feedback about the set-up. Look for more Learn To Play events throughout the summer!
We are now 4 events into the 11 event season and quickly approaching the halfway mark of our point series! Things are starting to take shape…but the shape is odd. In MPO, we have a conglomerate of player’s at the top led by Frothy himself! However, there is certainly no clear sense of domination by one player. With a second place finish at Blackfalls, Sean Bleything seems poised to rise in the rankings, however, the question is can he continue his consistency? Can the Prez, Chris Young make a run at his second title? Will the 2-time defending champ Jeff Spring rebound from a slow, injury-ridden start to get in the mix? What about Mike Habets who has missed the last two events, but has 2 solid scores? This division is ripe with questions.
Pro Masters is another intriguing division with 5 competitors making at least half the events so far. Uncle Thirsty (Ian Thurston) is the early leader, but Chris Sherwin seems poised to make more events and a run at the title. Anne Lewis could also make a run and try to keep the Title in VT, especially after being denied last year by the defending champ Josh Rappeport, who seems to have declined the attempt of defending his title with 4 no-shows to start the season.
A newcomer has staked a LARGE claim to the AM1 lead early in the season. Jim Bailey is off and running, with a win, a second, and 2 third place finishes already under his belt. The early noise, however, has dissipated enough that if you listen closely, you might just hear Jon Moorer coming. With a win a Blackfalls, Jon has overtaken a crowd of people to jump into second place. Travis Connolly also has his stock rising with a second place at Betts’ Palace and will look to be a factor going forward. Will it be this triumvirate of competitors or will early season studs Dan Walsh and newcomer Jon Woodcock stay in the game? Only time will tell in this crowded division.
Advanced Women only have one competitor. Jen Frantz! She’s holding it down, but where is Dana?
Advanced Masters has also had a strong group of players to start 2014. Tim Tadlock, fresh off his AM2 championship of ’13 is looking for the rare back-to-back series wins in different divisions. Tadlock is trailed by four golfers who have the potential to catch him, specifically Gary Stansfield. Stansfield has already stared down Tadlock to open the season at Pinnacle and could be hungry for more action at the Gnome’s. Make sure to watch this division closely next Sunday.
The last division with enough competitors to report on is AM2. The field in AM2 is not very big for a division that can have over 20. Hmm. We have a clear cut leader in Ryan Metivier, who has played some great golf so far, but I have to wonder if we will see more golfers throw their hats into the proverbial GMPS intermediate ring before it’s too late. As it stands, my money is on Metivier to cruise to the title, but anything can happen in AM2, especially with newcomer Ryan Clements starting to make some noise.
MT. SUNAPEE OPEN (5/10) – A Good Day on the Mountain
A great day for Mountain Disc Golf had a great turnout. 66 competitors took to the hill for a day of lift served golf. Many divisions were well represented with AM2 drawing 21 competitors and AM1 pulling in 18. The base lodge facilities were opened up for the event and the TDs ran it well with no complaints from any of the happy golfers. New Hampshire disc golfers represented winning Overall, Sunapee improved the event from last year and it would be no surprise to see a sellout in 2015. Here are the results.
- PRO OPEN – After staking himself to a 2 shot lead with a hot round of 51, Johnny Meadows (which may or may not be a real name) rolled into the second round looking to fend off a trio of players including Kyle Junion, Mike Habets, and Edwin Bedell. In the end, Habets matched the round Meadows threw in round 1, pulling ahead for a 2 stroke victory.
- 1. Mike Habets – 105
- 2. Johnny Meadows -107
- PRO MASTERS – In a tight battle, the sherwinator pulled out the victory over Uncle Thirsty throwing an early wrench in Ian’s plan on total domination of the Pro Masters Division. Anne Lewis kept herself in the mix but was unable to join the playoff.
- 1. Chris Sherwin – 119 (Won in Playoff)
- 2. Ian Thurston – 119
- AM1 – Ol’ Dan Walsh held off newcomer Jim Bailey in a tight battle. These two could very well be playing deep into the season in search of an AM1 title.
- 1. Dan Walsh – 112
- 2. Jim Bailey – 113
- AM2 – Rob Emmet came out of nowhere to stake himself to a 6 stroke lead after Round 1. Although he came back to earth in the second round, carding a 67, he was still able to hang on for a 3 stroke lead. Is this a one & done tourney for Rob or will we see him make some noice in the point series this season?
- ADVANCED MASTERS -A good sized field battled throughout the day with Gary Stansfield in the mix after round 1. However, Tim Tadlock’s consistency won out and he went on to grab a 2 stroke victory over a charging Michael Melkers keeping the MM1 title in VT.
- Tim Tadlock -127
- Michael Melkers – 129
- ADVANCED GRANDMASTERS – John Rodenhizer – 123
- INTERMEDIATE WOMEN – Mandy Sirois – 164
BREWSTER RIDGE OPEN II – A Full Tourney & Full Day of Disc Golf!
The second B.R.O. drew golfers from across New England and oversold, with 77 starting play in the morning. After an eventful first round of 27 holes, that included a thunder-hold, the final 18 was finished by 72 players. Most likely the longest tourney of the GMDGC season, things wrapped up at the Brewster River Pub & Brewery at around 8:00pm with good food, drinks, and awards.
As an MHO qualifier, 4 spots to the July 4th national Tour Event were handed out! Those spots went to Tim Walsh, Jeff Spring, Noah Trask, and mark Stegelmann! nice Shooting and good luck in Leicester! The last interesting fact about this event is that a Guiness Book of World Records record was set for the longest Ring of Fire in the history of the sport as it took over 7 attempts to narrow it down to one winner. Shocking! Here are the rest of the results:
- PRO OPEN – Daniel Marcus did it again, coming into VT and taking a title over a deep field of 22 players. It was close down the stretch with Andy Tabs, another out of stater, charging into second and Timmy Walsh (yet another MASSman) taking 3rd. The top finished in VT was Jeff Spring, rounding out the top card with his first potentially meaningful finish of the season.
- Maniel Darkus – 141
- Andy Tabs – 143
- PRO MASTERS – Another out-of-stater in a runaway. Mark Lyons took advantage of what Uncle Thirsty called “Mass Golf” on the new Fox Run 9 to stretch his lead and win by 20! Anne Lewis battled and took down Thirsty and Nick Jennings to make the point series a little more interesting!
- MPG – Steve Hartwell traveled to make this tourney and we are glad he did. A great guy who added some class to this tournament, Steve played well despite being his only competition. nice work Steve, you are the Pro Grandmaster Champ!
- FPG – Joy Hartwell deserves the accolades that Steve received and more. She was a delight to have at the tourney and played well! Nice shooting Joy!
- AM1 – In the biggest individual field of the year (27) Travis Connolly shot a Pro-like 85 in his first 27-hole round to give himself a healthy 4-shot lead. Though he let that lead slip, he was able to hang on for a one-shot victory over Tucker Davis. Don’t forget about a strong performance from Jon Moorer, who still beat 24 player’s on his way to 3rd for the event edging out Ira Divoll.
- 1. Travis Connolly – 144
- 2. Tucker Davis – 145
- 3. Jon Moorer – 152
- MM1 – Tadlocked. Tim Tadlock took it down, beating himself really badly. Nice shooting Tim!
- FA1 – Jen Frantz! She shot well and hung in there, narrowly beating herself to edge out the vicotry! In all honesty, Jen shot two solid rounds and deserved the win!
- AM2 – So it looks like there is a new player on the scene! Ryan Clements swept into his first tournament and laid down an impressive 10 stroke victory! I knew this guy had some skill when I threw discs with him at a prospective course in St. Albans and he was launching 400 ft. laser beams past my feeble attempts at driving. Ryan Metivier hung in there, tying Clements second round, but could not gain any ground. Could a battle actually be brewing in AM2???
- RECREATIONAL – In a surprisingly good competition, Brian Kinney held off Chad Southers for the win. Nice shooting Brian, your 3 stroke victory was well deserved.
The longest Ring of Fire in DG History!
BLACKFALLS VIII (6/7) – Half the Turnout, Double the Fun
Another Blackfalls tournament is in the books, and an eight straight at that! On a day that had competitors raving about the BEST weather a GMPS had plausibly ever seen, the action on the course was relaxed yet exciting with a crew that revelled in the perfect day.The smaller field size made for a handful of divisions with MPO (13), MPG (1), AM1(15), MM1(2), and AM2 (5) representing.
Before getting to the results, the Blackfalls course must be recognized. It’s a great course and some of the progress a course sees over 10-years of operation is really starting to become evident with lush, grassy fairways in the midst of wooded terrain. The one-man team of Johnny Betts keeps up with a lot of acreage and word on the street is that a new incarnation of Cherry Hill will be ready for play before the end of the 2014 season. If you were unable to make this event, it is very much worth getting up to play Blackfalls in the near future.
- MPO – For the second year in a row, Johnny Betts won his own tournament. Surprise. Oh, what’s that? No one is surprised? Well at least he didn’t call it after the first round this year! After carving out a small lead after the first round, Jeff Spring was not able to keep up with Johnny’s ridiculous birdie pace as the top card watched Johnny card 13 of 18 birdies to shoot a 41 and tie a course record. Wow.
- 1. Johnny Betts – 98
- 2. Sean Bleything – 104
- MPG – One competitor, one champion. Congrats to Todd Sternbach on his solid rounds, despite a lack of competition – 119
- MA1 – A good three-man battle, Jon Moorer‘s hot first round of 56 stood up as he held off a charging Travis Connolly and Jim Bailey. These three are now atop the GMPS standings and this may be a pre-cursor of top cards to follow.
- 1. Jon Moorer – 102
- 2. Trav Connolly – 104
- 3. Jim Bailey – 105
- MM1 – Brian Bernard cruised to an easy victory to jump within 20 points of the lead in the Advanced Masters division! Without Tim Tadlock here to put up a fight, the season series just got a lot closer. Brian threw a solid 53 in his second round!
- MA2 – A big win and a power move for Ryan Metivier as he grabs a hold of the season points standings with a big 5-shot victory. Ryan also threw a solid 53 second round and sits well atop the Am2 leader board.
Had to use this shot from last fall!
TRILOGY CHALLENGE – 6/14
Travis Connolly Hosted and won the first Trilogy challenge at Brewster! The plastic from Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64, and Westside Discs was well received by the players and Brewster Ridge is excited to start stocking these new manufacturer’s products starting June 24th! Come one out to buy some new plastic!
So, that’s a wrap for the longest GMDGC blog post since ’98. I hope you enjoyed this mid-June Update. You can expect another for mid-July, but that doesn’t mean there will be one. No, but seriously, check back in to hear about the results of GNOME VII and for dates and info on upcoming leagues, events, and happenings in the Vermont disc golf world!