March and April Have Been Busy…


The past two months have been busy around here in SoCal website-land, what with several tournaments, work, local leagues, tournament planning, disc testing, taxes…etc.  So here’s a run-down of what’s been going on since we last reported to you.

The “White” Green Valley Amateur Challenge

The guys from Oak Valley were able to put together a very nice 2-day event for Ams on the permanent Yucaipa layout.  Of course, they forgot to check with Mother Nature first.  Or maybe they did?  Either way, players battled through a very rainy Saturday (the afternoon rain was delivered bucket-style) and contended with an Ice-Bowl-like snowy round on Sunday.  Very cool (pun intended)!!  Nick Newton and A.J. Risley in MA1 traded 1019-rated rounds on Saturday and coasted on Sunday to be the only two players under par for the weekend.  Nick’s other Saturday round was better than A.J.’s, however, good enough to give him a 2-shot victory and his first SoCal Series event win.  Noah Politzer, John Ryan and Steve Valencia rounded out the top 5 in MA1.

In Advanced Masters, Roger Snider took an early lead on Saturday, show his amphibious skills Saturday afternoon with a 991-rated round (55) and cruised to victory with a 3-over total.  That was eight shots ahead of second-place local Bill Maury-Holmes, two more better than third-place Jon Ventress.  Dave Coffey (15-over) held off Kevin Beath (+18) for the win in Grandmasters, and Jeffrey Brown was the lone Senior Grand, and hence, the winner.

Dallas “Rain and” Snow-Ramirez (+9) took advantage of his namesake weather, winning MA2 by 3 throws over Scott Miller (+12) and one more over Aaron Hagner and Chris Armacost (+13).  Darrin Stewart needed the hot divisional round on Sunday morning to beat Suzette Simons for the Rec division trophy (didn’t she come from the land of snow and ice?), and Eben Coenen won a playoff with Alexander Kaklamanos for the title in Novice.  Helen Wilson (Adv. Women), Cristina Scantlin (Int. Women) and Julia Hillman (Rec Women) all beat the most difficult opponent of all (themselves) to win their respective divisions.

Sylmar Open Belongs to Rico

Steve Rico is hard to beat out on tour.  Put him in his own backyard, he’s near unstoppable.  The April Fool’s Day Sylmar Open was another opportunity for Stevie to strut his stuff, and starting out with a 1050-rated 54 in the crazy windy conditions should have been a signal for the rest of the Open division that Stevie was playing for keeps.  His 3-round total of 159 (21-under) gave him a comfortable seven throw win over Wally Moore and Bryan Vagi (166/14-under), who played well but not well enough to keep up with #4666.  Rowan O’Neil was one more shot back at 13-under, while Philo Braithwaite and Paul McBeth came in at 10-under.  Todd Mitchell and Jerry Goff tied for 1st in Pro Masters (9-under), four shots ahead of Mike Roberts, Steve Valencia and Dan Duron.  Todd Banks (is he old enough?) was able to eke out a one shot win over Marcus Cisneros for the Grandmaster title.

Sylmar had a relatively small Advanced field (8 players), but that should not detract from John Ryan’s fine win where he stayed under par for the tournament (1-under/179).  John Jumped out to an early lead with the hot divisional rounds in rounds 1 and 2 and coasted in the final round for the win. A.J. Risley took his second consecutive second place at 4-over, followed by Jose Espinoza at 8-over.  Roger Snider made Sylmar his fourth win in a row in Advanced Masters (oh, to be 40 again…) with a 5-over 185, three shots ahead of 2nd place Jon Ventress and three more ahead of Mark Hauser. 

Matt Hutchings has a PDGA# over 50,000 (50509 to be exact) and most assuredly heard calls of “Bagger!” from the other players in Intermediate as he threw three 970+ rounds and finished at 2-under 178 (psssst…he would have won MA1…).  Aaron Hagner was in second at 13-over, one throw better than Sal Brambila and Josh Fisher.  Karie Fisher (not of Star Wars fame, I’m told) took the Intermediate Women win over Brooke Bianchi, Michael Olivarez won Rec with a +11 and John Mascarenas won the Novice Division.

Dan Shorkey Loves San Diego (and it loves him back)

The next stop on the schedule took SoCal players down to San Diego County, for the bi-polarish Ams on Saturday at Morley,  Pros on Sunday at Kit Carson Spring Fling, part of the Steady Ed Series.  This is the second year that Morley Course Pro Snapper Pierson and DGA-sponsored Mark Verrochi have teamed up to provide a weekend-long San Diego disc golf event in the Spring, and with very great success.

Crazy weather was once again part of the story for a 2012 SoCal event, as a blustery morning round on Saturday at Morley saw a 5-way tie at 57 in the Advanced division between Michael Homan, Shane “VooDoo” Dehner, Mike Tyberg, Tracey Crowder and Justin Martinez.  But on this Saturday, it was all about the second round.  Morley uber-local Josh Damron and SLO youngster Peter McBride smoked the course with a pair of 1020-rated 53′s on the way to a 1-2 finish.  Big Josh was the only player under par at Morley on Saturday (1-under) and took the MA1 win and a shiny new basket.  Peter took second at 1-over, while Homan slipped to 3rd at 2-over.  LA Steve Valencia, A.J. Risley and Misters Dehner and Tyberg tied for fourth, and were last seen sorting out their prize bags.  Kim Cottrell took the win in Advanced Women on the wings of a 912-rated 66 in the first round, holding off a late-charging Shonda Garcia.

Did we mention that Dan Shorkey had a good weekend?  It started on Saturday with a seven-throw win over second-place Steve Fawcett in Advanced Masters.  Dan put together 992 and 984-rated rounds and had the second-best score of the day for all divisions at even par.  Dan also took home a nice new basket courtesy of Snapper Pierson.  Local thespian Paul Morgavo finished in 3rd at 11-over, Anthony Bassett and Tom Millard tied for 4th at 13-over and Roger Snider finished 6th (14-over), ending his string of MM1 victories.  Mark Hauser had the best score both rounds amongst the Grandmasters to finish in 1st at 9-over, followed by local Christian Cullen in 2nd at 13-over.

Ben Neely also had the best scores both rounds in his division (61/957 and 59/965) , which therefore led to his win in Intermediate at 6-over par.  Daniel Vega was two shots back to take second place.  Chris Armacost, Taylor Mate, Paul DesMarais and Brian Vallance tied for 3rd.   Chad “Tomahawk” Nichter played way above his rating (883) in winning the Rec division, with consistent rounds of 62 (948-rated) and 61 (947).  He beat Chris Goodrich (13-over) by 4 and the 3rd-place pair of William Cooper and James Barnes by nine.  Shannon Wylot braved the elements to take Saturday’s Junior division title.

For some strange reason, pro disc golf events have a hard time filling up in San Diego.  Maybe it’s because Micah Dorius lives down here?  No matter - TD Mark Verrochi had a plan for filling the field: add a trophy-only option!  The result was an Open field of 59 players and a tidy payout of $600 to winner (who else?) Micah Dorius.  Micah had identical rounds of 49 (and was the only player to shoot under 50 both rounds) on the way to a 12-under total of 98, one shot better than up-and-comer Max Nichols in 2nd place.  Steve Rico came down south from Sylmar to capture 3rd (9-under) and Mike Lust had an impressive showing with two 1000+-rated rounds on his way to 4th (8-under).  There was some grumbling out on the course from pros who were frustrated with the heavy pedestrian traffic and the inexperience shown by some trophy-only players, but it provided a great payout for the winners and a great experience for these newer players.

Kim Cottrell made it two wins in two days by taking the Open Women title over Cristina Scantlin, and Allison Wylot walked away with the Masters Women title.

And don’t forget about Dan!  Dan Shorkey also made it two-for-two for the weekend, running away with the Masters division title by eight strokes (7-under) over Paul Morgavo (1-over).  These two guys were playing trophy-only, so the cash payout fell to 3rd-place Todd Mitchell (4-over) and 4th-place Mike Westerman (also 4-over).  Shorkey also had the best score for the day amongst all trophy-only players, which earned him another little golden basket trophy (and I think a new full-size basket?).  The Grandmasters division was hotly-contested, with Marcus Cisneros and Greg Olsen tying for first at 2-over.  Greg conceded the win to Marcus, who got both the trophy and $195.  Tied for third two strokes back were Randy Wylot, Steve Killian and Allen Risley.  Perennial San Diego Pro Glenn Triemstra jumped out to a big lead in the first round and held on to win the Senior Grandmasters division with a 2-over total, besting upside-down guru Tom Clickner (9-over).  Phil Ganshert, who had the lowest PDGA# of the day (777) took last cash in an oldest dude division that was larger (8 players) than the older dude division (7 Grandmasters) and old dude division (7 Masters).  Let’s hear it for the Senior Grands!

We have a few more weeks before our next SoCal event, the Pro/Am Fling XVI at Chavez Ridge, but don’t wait to long to sign up – events have been filling this year!  In the meantime, there are some interesting non-SoCal things coming up (Cinco de Mayo at La Quinta May 5th, Verdugo ball/disc golf doubles on May 6th and the Women’s Worldwide event at various courses on May 12th) along with the usual collection of local monthlies and weeklies.  Check out the “Courses” page on the SoCal website for info on these local events and keep your eyes on the SoCal Disc Golf Association Facebook page for other random stuff that comes up.  And June will be hoppin’, with the Cannonball Run, Evergreen Open and Challenge @ Goat Hill on the horizon.

Rico Master’s Night Golf at Verdugo Hills


If the second round of the tournament ends after midnight, does that make it a 2-day tournament?  That was the question filtering through the crowd of players congregating outside the Verdugo Hills Golf Course Pro Shop a little after midnight this past Saturday night.  Play had just ended for the second round of the One Night Stand @ Verdugo Hills and the wear and tear of a long day was showing on many faces.  So Much so that a planned 6-hole final for the top four Open players  was nixed because of the late hour.

One Night Stand, played under the lights. - Photo courtesy of Arroyo Disc Sports

It probably was also deleted because the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place players knew it would be pretty tough to catch 1st-place Stevie Rico.  Rico’s 3-shot margin of victory opened with a blistering 1063-rated 41 in the first round, followed by an average (for him) 1031-rated 48 in the second round on a somewhat longer and darker layout.  Bobby Musick finished comfortably in 2nd with a 2-round total of 92.  Chris Traven, hot off a close 2nd in the Am Wintertime Open and cashing at the Pro Wintertime came in third with a 14-under 94, while Bert McIntee finished in 4th at 12-under.

In Masters, Dan Duron and Jerry Goff both started out hot with 44′s, but Dan’s second-round 51 (95 total) bettered Jerry’s 54 (98 total) to give him the win.  Dennis Bohanon was 3rd at 9-under 99 and Dave Owens was 4th at 6-under 102.

Rahim Dhalla and Steve Valencia battled for 1st in Advanced, with Rahim’s 4-under 104 taking the title over Steve’s 3-under 103.  Advanced Masters was also a close race, with Roger Snider (2-under 106)making up ground in the second round to take a one strike victory over Robert Arzate (1-under 107).  John Babin’s 2-over 110 was good enough to take the victory in Advanced Grandmasters.

Almost half of the field was made up of players in the Intermediate (13), Recreational (13) and Novice (6) divisions – a great turnout of local players.  Ben Neely and Brian Newmark both finished under par for the tournament, with Ben’s 4-under 104 besting Brian’s 1-under 107 to take the win in Intermediate.  The Recreational division was won by Bryson Williams, whose 1-over 109 beat 2nd place Mario Martinez (113) by 4 throws.  Steven Reinhard probably heard a few calls of “bagger”, as his score of even par gave him an eleven-shot victory in the Novice division.

This was the third ball golf course to host a SoCal Series tournament in recent years, and the players definitely enjoyed the combination of tightly-mown fairways, gentle hill and precarious pin positions that characterized the Verdugo Hills layout.  While some of the tees on the 2nd-round “long” layout required players to tee off from the dark, the course was well-lit around the greens and regular fairways.  Many of the holes sported alternate pin positions for the second round, which added to the variety.  A between-rounds CTP contest for Ams kept the crowd busy and if you were hungry there were fantastic-smelling (didn’t get to taste one) burgers available in the 19th hole bar in the clubhouse.  I also heard that they sold beer.

TD Gary Sandoval is to be congratulated for the great disc golf layout and Verdugo Hills GM John Mascarenas should be thanked for the hospitality shown to the disc golfers.  It looks like John has been bitten by the disc golf bug, as this new PDGA and SoCal member joined the field in the Novice division.  John is possibly the only SoCal member to be both a PDGA member and a card-carrying PGA pro.  He is hoping to combine these two loves in a disc golf/ball golf combo event sometime in the near future.

Those of us who played in the One Night Stand had a great time.  It did make for a long night though – this writer didn’t put head to pillow until nearly 7am, after getting some chow and then the 2-hour drive back to San Diego County.  But don’t take that as a complaint – I’ll be back for the next one.

Full results available here.

McBeth sets new Oak Grove course record…Oh, and he wins the Wintertime Open too!


In disc golf, when you see “10th Annual” or “20th Annual” as part of a tournament’s name you know it’s an event that has passed the test of time.  But 34th Annual?  In disc golf? Yes, that’s the Wintertime Open, the grandaddy of disc golf tournaments on the west coast, and the pros took their turn over the weekend to tour the venerable Oak Grove Disc Golf Course.  Mark, Susie and Chris Horn were great hosts for the event as was Mother Nature, who hasn’t cooperated in years past.  Sixty-nine players enjoyed clear skies and mild temperatures as well as great golf.

It’s often difficult to know how a tournament is unfolding when you’re playing in it, unless you’re living on the lead card.  You can look at the leaderboard between rounds and hear the stories, but there’s nothing like seeing how the top players are throwing to show you who is the star on a given weekend.  That’s why they play the final 9 – so we can all see who the star is that week.  Well, based on the final nine at Oak Grove on Sunday, the star of the tournament was Paul McBeth‘s pink Destroyer.  Paul and that disc put on a show for the gallery Sunday afternoon, especially on the stretched out holes of the Oak Grove tournament layout.  But we’re getting ahead of the story…

There were thirty other players in the Open division at Oak Grove, and Philo Braithwaite displayed his skill and local knowledge of Hahamonga Saturday morning by posting a 1052-rated opening round score of 52, taking the first round lead over McBeth (54) and Legacy Discs’s Steve Rico (55).  Brian Vagi, John Tompkins and Shelby Klein were one more stroke back at 56, but this was destined to be a 3-man contest.  Philo maintained his mastery as the wind came up in the afternoon with a 54 for a 106 total, two shots ahead of Paul (55/108)  and five ahead of Steve (56/111). 

But the tables turned on Sunday, as McBeth tore up the course in the morning with an 11-under 50, setting a new course record and taking the lead at 158.  Braithwaite stumbled a bit Sunday morning with a 58, which kept him in second place, but six throws back at 164.  Rico’s morning was solid, with a 7-under 54 that pulled him within one shot of Philo.  Fourth place was ten more shots back, but notable because it was held by Chris Travern, whose heroics during the final nine of the previous weekend helped him make up 6 shots to almost pull off the Wintertime Open Am title.  Chris showed that that was no fluke, and took home a check for $185 to celebrate his joining the ranks of PDGA pros.

Which set the stage for what might possibly be a perfunctory final 9.  With six and seven shot leads over his rivals, McBeth could seemingly put it on cruise control, play safe and walk home with 1st place cash.  However, on hole #1, whether because of adrenaline, the uphill teepad or the ghost of Wild Bill, Paul juiced his tee shot too far past the corner created by the mando tree and into the road, O.B.  The resulting bogey tightened the race a little, and after watching a near-collapse final 9, the gallery was wondering if drama was on the horizon.  Well…yes and no.  Drama was coming, but not because of a collapsing lead.

On three of the next four holes, Paul gave the gallery a glimpse of why he would drive away with the Wintertime Open title.  On the 506ft hole #3 (regular tee #3 to basket #4) McBeth blasted a drive to a spot nearly pin high, giving him a run at an eagle 2.  Then on the next hole, the 625ft hole #6 (regular tee #6 to basket #8) he launched the pink Destroyer up and over the oak trees with a monster flex shot.  The crowd at the tee had no idea where it went.  The crowd in the soccer field saw it pop over the tree line headed towards the basket but behind more trees.  Only those who were still hanging out near the parking lot saw the pink disc come out of its right turn, fade left, and land gently in the open grass, 80 feet from the basket.  Paul made a run at eagle with his R-Pro Roc that had the crowd holding it’s breath until it dropped under the basket for an “easy” three.  At the same time, Steve and Philo were making what would normally be recognized as great 3′s any other afternoon.  Two holes later on 498ft #8 (regular tee #10 to basket #11) the pink Destroyer soared again, up and over the canopy of trees, around the mando pole and a long putt away from possible eagle.  While Paul didn’t cash in on these eagle opportunities, it was clear that this relentless pressure was the difference this weekend.  To their credit, Steve and Philo continued to battle, with Rico’s error-free 27 allowing him to leapfrog into second place.

And yes, there were other divisions playing this weekend.  Suzette Simons displayed rock-solid consistency in winning Open Women, firing 71-71-72 to finish at 214, four shots ahead of first-round leader Indigo BrudeDan Duron shot an opening round 56 in the Masters division, one throw ahead of Dagoberto Bribiesca and two better than Chris Brophy, and held on through the weekend for the win.  Brophy pulled within one shot after the second round, but fell victim to his third-shift work schedule and didn’t make it back for Sunday’s round.  Jerry Goff did though.  He tied for the best score in the second and third rounds for the Masters, pulling in to 2nd place as the only master other than Duron to break parr for the weekend.  In the Grandmasters division, Steve Killian got off to a hot start along with Marcus Cisneros with 59′s, and held off a charge from 2nd-place finisher Randy Wylot to take the win.  Tournament co-hostess Susie Horn cruised to the Women’s Grandmaster title.

The winner of the Senior Grandmasters division was a player who had not played in the Wintertime Open in twenty-five years.  Mark Horn.  As he explained at the post-tournament awards ceremony: “the tournament runs so smoothly now with all of the knowledgeable players around, I figured I might as well play.”  PDGA #67 recorded the best score in his division two out of the three rounds and cruised to a 9-throw win over Glenn Triemstra in 2nd, who was two shots ahead of another Hall-of-Famer, Snapper Pierson.  In the biggest cliffhanger of the weekend, Legends division players Bill Richards and Ray Carr finished tied for 1st place at 233 after three rounds.  Bill had watched his large lead splash away on hole #12 of the final round, but was able to prevail after three sudden-life rounds of rock-paper-scissors to take home the trophy.

SoCal vs. NorCal 2012: Close, but not quite…


Seventy-two of the best disc golfers from around California met over the weekend at Waller Pines Park to contest the 2012 Tim Selinske SoCal/NorCal Challenge.  Each day had the players playing two matches back-to-back: an 18-hole singles match followed by and 18-hole doubles match.  Players were chosen to represent most of the divisions found at typical PDGA events, with matches being contested by players from similar divisions.  At the end of the weekend, Team NorCal, led by Open World Champion Nate Doss and former Women’s World Champion Valerie Jenkins were able to secure the victory, after a strong Sunday showing.

Team SoCal started off solidly, leading the competition after Saturday’s play by a score of 37.5 points to NorCal’s 34.5 (teams receive one point for a singles victory, 2 points for a doubles win and a half point for a singles tie).  No one is quite sure what happened Saturday night to swing the momentum, but NorCal came back with a vengeance on Sunday, scoring 44 points to SoCal’s 28.  That gave NorCal 78.5 points for the weekend and SoCal 65.5 – a NorCal victory. 

SoCal Team Captain Mike Byrne put the following optimistic spin on the outcome: “To put it into perspective how close that was; had we won 3 more doubles matches and tied one more singles match, we would have won the tourney!”  Team SoCal will now have twelve months to strategize on how to reverse this outcome.  If you’re interested in competing for the team next year, get out and compete in as many SoCal Series events as you can.  Team Captains recruit from the players at the top of the SoCal Series points lists, so that’s your best bet to get in.
 
2012 Team SoCal:

Am Women: Karie Fisher, Michelle Chambless
Open Women: Indigo Brude, Vicky Wisecup
Mixed GM/SGM: Suzette Simons,Dave Dunipace
Adv. Master: Mark Hauser, Steve Civitak
Intermediate: Dale Chambless, Steve Valencia, Giochino Ragosta, Aaron Hagner, Andrew Choate, Roger Rector
Advanced: Kyle Hughes, Roger Snider, A.J. Risley, Jeff Russell, Logan Turner, Juan Lopez
Grandmaster: Dave Devine, Steve Killian, Tom Clickner, Mark Horn
Master: Gary Sandoval, Jerry Goff, Dan Duron, Mike Roberts, Mike Byrne, Lawrence Halili
Open: Justin Bruner, Gabe Cota, Philo Brathwaite, Steve Wisecup, Peter McBride, Chris Horn

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