2012 Southwestern Team Disc Golf Invitational This year’s team tourney was won by a patchwork but talented San Diego team. Rebounding back from an inglorious 6th place finish last year this year’s locals rallied from second seed going into the finals the slip past (6.5-5.5) a veteran Santa Cruz team featuring 3 past world champions. San Diego finished the prelims with a 6-1 record. Santa Cruz won the round robin prelims with a 6-1 record having beaten San Diego 7-5. Last year’s second place finisher Huntington Beach fell to 3rd and last year’s winner Arizona fell to 4th. The weatherman’s threat of an impending storm proved false as only the Friday night putting contest saw any perceptible mist at all thankfully.
The event itself is a seven round (12 holes each) match play event. 5 holes are added to our 19 hole layout to make 24 total holes. It pits each team member against a corresponding team member from each different team . So the number one team player plays each number one player from every other team one at a time in a 12 hole “mano e mano” duel. In match play total score doesn’t matter winning the hole is all that counts. If you score a 4 it’s OK as long as your opponent scores a 5. You win the hole and a point. 12 holes equal 12 possible points to be won. A tied hole is a push and points are not carried forward as they are in skins. So when you see a score such as 10-0 that player actually lost 10 out of 12 holes to their competitor. Unless you’ve experienced it, it’s hard to imagine the humiliation or the exhileration of a severe beat down.
In the finals, as the players were awaiting the final few matches to be reported the San Diego players were suffering a lot of angst as it was rumored that Jeff Nichols and Marty Hapner were tied with just a hole or two left and that his playing partner Greg Olsen had already lost his match. That would have put the teams at a 6-6 tie and Santa Cruz was already ahead on tie breaker individual points. When it was discovered that Jeff had actually pulled out a 1 point win a loud cheer went up throughout the hometown crowd in attendance.
Team Arizona won the “Spirit of the Event” award this year. Team captain Dan Ginnelly’s wife Sue passed away this year. She was a much beloved and respected member of the Frisbee Family. In her memory all the members of Team Arizona wore a memorial T-shirt in her favorite sky blue color. For their extraordinary team spirit they received 3 discs each donated from our generous sponsors Innova Champion discs, Discraft, Disc Golf Association, and Legacy Discs.
Lunch this year was provided by California Kebab and Beer Gardens located in the promenade in PB. Marinated chicken and lamb, hummus, pita bread and several delicious salads greeted the famished horde. This is known as a party tournament to that end we provided the players a free keg of Karl Strauss “Red Trolley” at the tourney hotel in the “family reunion” party room 129. Daniel Lichtman hooked us up and Ian Funston hosted to event.
The putting contest on Friday afternoon was won by Kyle Eckmann #1 player for Huntington Beach. Kyle breezed through all 9 stations hitting the last three on his first of 3 allowed putts. For his magnificent putting display he earned $100. Senior grandmaster Hunt Hyde of Santa Cruz took 2nd and $75, Legacy Disc owner Steve Rico took 3rd and $50. Robert McIntee of HB took 4th and $40 while Master Doug Werner also from Santa Cruz round out the top 5 and received $35.
This was the first year Santa Cruz took home money. Each 2nd place finisher received $120 and 3 discs per player. All the San Diego players in addition to their custom plaques received $250 each and 3 discs per player. This years player package included a dry fit t-shirt and an embroidered and screened jacket plus 2 mini’s , lunch, all weekend play and free drawing where we gave out over $500 worth of Disc Golf swag to the lucky contestants who’s names were drawn and present.
As always there were a number of last minute changes requiring San Diego fillins. Of special note were Chris Rogers filling in at #6 for San Diego who had a winning record (4-3-1) and big Fred Aguero a last minute addition to the SD Aces team who had the second best record of any senior grand master at 5-1-1.
Once again I’d like to thank our marvelous staff: Jim McDowell, Eric Simmons, his son EJ, Hans Degner, Habib, Oscar Garcia and Ian Funston and Daniel Lichtman. Plus all the guys in the shop who did all the pre tourney prep work;Tyler, Mitch, Dan, Angel, Jon, Jesse, and Chet. Special thanks to Jeff Nichols for loaning us 3 baskets and providing spreadsheet results of the event for the web page.
Till next year Z ya.