The annual disc golf pilgrimage to the Australian Disc Golf Championships, after what felt like an eternity of postponements, finally took place on the last weekend of February. 180+ competitors from across our vast country all converging in the beautiful township of Inverleigh.
Championship weekend kicked off on Thursday, as Queensland ‘young’ guns Luke Bayne and Abra Garfield narrowly took care of the Australian Doubles Nationals Title. Later that day, Melbourne Disc Golf Club’s own David Perry gave us a driving clinic at Barwon Valley, reports suggest that some coaching from the bleachers helped David crush it over 160m. More Stable! Ringing in his ears. Attention however, quickly turned to the main show.
A few (7) MDGC alumni were lucky enough to secure a spacious AirBnB in the heart of town, becoming a base for the weekend. Friday morning consisted of viewing opening round of DGPT over breakfast whilst watching some the local live scores trickle in between nervous pre-round trips to the rest room.
Tee times were the order of the day with some players were rolling into the course as the morning mist was rolling out. The course was bustling all day with MA4 players teeing off as early as 7:30 and the last MPO card not teeing off until around 2pm. With the course asking competitors to throw just over three km and an average of three hours, players mental and physical stamina were tested. Preparation was the key.
By the end of day 1 this championship level course had already established its reputation as the hardest course on tour. The numbers backed this as par (64), round came in at an astonishing 972 rating. 3 players across the field managed this feat with Geelong’s own Dylan Feldman shooting the day’s hot round of -7, 1026 rated. Chris Finn (WA) and Todd Nowack (ACT) were sitting in 2nd with a -3. In FPO Sarah Lee had also earned herself a 4-shot lead, with a 909 rated 72. Cassie Sweeten in pursuit shooting a 76. Phil Morgan also found his way to a tie for the lead in MA4 with a 73. With 3 or 4 strokes being the difference, all other divisions were tight.
Saturday saw improvements across the field. 7 players went under the card, including Ryan Hart in junior boys with a 979 rated -1. David Perry found his rhythm, shooting the hot round of the day, a -4 placing him in the hunt for a podium finish going into the final day.
Glenn Maisey also had an awesome Saturday shooting +2 and making the final round MA1 lead card. Cassie was in hot pursuit of Sarah as her FPO lead was shortened to 3. Incredibly, after 2 rounds MP40 top 4 was only separated by 2 strokes. MA40 was also tied up after the first 2 rounds, Rueben Berg and Nick Mason duking it out. Many divisions were too close to call. However, local sand-sandbagger Matt Hill had built a commanding 11 shot lead in MA1 division.
Championship Sunday saw many players both in and out of contention glued to their phones throughout the day as birdies and quadruple bogies had players jostling for position. MDGC’s pres’ Jeffery Brunsting in MA50 managed to equal the hot round for his division shooting him from 7th to 4th . Raf Freire also managed 70 in his final round to take the win by 1 stroke over Paul Comninos of NSW. Other notable performances:
Janet Ford-Adams finished with 2 sub 100 rounds to take the win FA40.
Ryan Hart won by 19 strokes in MJ15.
Phil Morgan doesn’t know what chocolates are, but took down the title in MA4.
Rueben Berg won in a quick playoff against Nick Mason in MA40.
Clare Hussey won by 12 strokes in FA1.
Matt Hill got the W in MA1.
Matt Adams played an extra 13 holes with Kevin Costa, and finally broke the deadlock on the 14th.
playoff hole to take a well earned win.
Cassie Sweeten stormed home with a 956 rated +2 and snatched victory from Sarah Lee.
Finally, Victorian up and coming super star of Australian disc golf went wire-to-wire with a commanding 6 stroke victory in MPO. Undoubtedly first of many significant wins for the young man, as he continues to raise the bar for the top disc golfers in the country. Congratulations Dylan Feldman on an awesome performance!
Thanks to Geelong Disc Golf Club and all volunteers for putting on an awesome event. Well done to all other competitors and winners.
Special thanks to Chris Ronalds for writing the recap, and to Carol Heath and Gail Lynch for photo contributions.