Snapper's Wrap Up - 2017 Southwestern Disc Golf Invitational

This tournament always begins on the Friday afternoon preceding the start of Saturday’s match play at the putting contest. $300 is up for grabs with $100 going to the winner. The rest is split up between the top 5 in the finals. Over the year’s the wily veterans have learned to hold back from entering the prelims until just before the cut off time of 4 p.m. when the finals are set to begin. They accomplish two things by doing this. One the wind usually calms down later in the day and two it becomes obvious how far you’ll need to go on the prelim stations to get into the top five who make the finals. Greg Barsby waited till the last minute then entered knowing no one had hit the putt from all nine stations. He then preceded to run the table and claim the $100 first prize without even having to putt in the finals. San Diego’s own AJ Risley took second, Nate Sexton third, Randy Saab our perennial fourth place finisher took his usual spot and Steve Rico finished 5th having left before the final shoot out.

This year’s Team tourney was a bitter sweet event. Bitter because Team San Diego just missed the finals. The locals started          

off well beating the number one and two seeds in the first two matches. They finished day one tied for the lead with a four and one record. Day two saw Team SD lose their first match of the day to their co leaders Redwood Empire then beat Huntington Beach to go 5-2 for the tourney. Team Oregon won both their matches on Sunday to go 5-2 . Also finishing 5-2 was Redwood Empire. Head to head each co-leader team beat one of the other two teams making it go to the second tie breaker of points differential. Oregon had more points in the three matches between the co-leaders giving them first place. Second place is then determined by head to head play whereby Team RE got second having beaten SD in the prelims. Team Oregon went on to win in the finals for the second year in a row. They also won the Spirit of the Event award for the second year in a row by a unanimous decision of the staff. These guys did everything together (although I never checked on their sleeping arrangements:). They all entered the putting contest together. They practiced before the tourney as a team they even came to the tourney party as a team. Their unwavering support for each other was their ultimate source of strength and a big reason why they win. Of course having Nate Sexton, Nate Doss and Valerie Jenkins on your team is a pretty good start as well.

The sweet part was all the great memories over the 36 years this event’s been held here. Jim Tobish did the math. We’ve played over 300,000 competitive holes here and thrown close to a million throws in this tournament. This is a one of a kind match play team event. It’s like having 7 little tournaments in one. Each 12 hole match is against another player at your same position on a different team. Many of the players who attend this event have been coming back year after year. At least two players from out of town have been here at least 32 times. Nearly 50% of this year’s players have been here at least 15 times. This has been a major west coast Frisbee family reunion since it’s 1982 beginning.

Weather for the tourney this year was absolutely perfect both days. After predictions the week before that it would be raining all weekend this was a very pleasant surprise. Lunch was provided again this year by Amplified Ale Works and was delicious as always. Some of this year’s sponsors went way over board with their free drawing donations knowing this was the last one. Sam Ferrans from Innova gave us Discatcher baskets, Super hero bags, and zippered hoodies as well as the usual great plastic. MVP also gave us a Black Hole practice basket. We ran a couple of mondo’s to give away the baskets. Thankfully Matt Jankowski won a basket by hitting two 60 ft. putts in a row. This was a reasonable consolation for his spectacular match play performance. Matt finished with the top record 6-1 for San Diego. His only loss to the much more experienced Team HB captain Chris Brophy in their final match of the tourney. Also of note our woman, Rianne Hamilton went 5-2 losing only to 4 time World Champion Val Jenkins and Lesli Todd this year’s runner up in the Women’s Masters World Championships. Also an awesome performance. 

I’d like to thank all the great sponsors this year Innova Disc Golf, MVP, Discraft, Dynamic Distribution, Legacy and Gateway.  This year’s staff was the usual crew and they did their usual great job behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly   and on time: Mac, Eric, EJ, Jesse, Oscar and spotter Dougie Fresh. My shop staff put in untold hours on the course prep and finally my son and wife also were a big help in making this one of the very best Team Tourney’s ever. I’ll miss this event and all the wonderful people I’ve played with here over the year’s. Hopefully Jeff Spohr who’s committed to carrying on this tradition next year will have as much fun over the year’s to come. Hope to see you all on the Friz trail…

Z ya…