This year was the 33rd year we’ve held the Team Tourney here in San Diego. Always run the first weekend of December to let the end of season traveling pros and other visiting players from colder climates enjoy a little respite from the ravages of winter. This is both a highly competitive match play team event yet also a big party weekend for the visiting teams. Many of the participants have been here 20 or more times over the years. For the first time in 33 years Anni Kreml, the queen of disc golf on the west coast, was unable to attend leaving possibly only Peter Sontag as the last remaining player to have played in all 33 tourneys.
This year San Diego and Arizona faced off in the finals. San Diego’s home course advantage was put to good use as the locals handed the team from the desert a 7.5-4.5 defeat. For their efforts the locals won $250 each while the Arizonians took home $120 each. Final team results:
San Diego 7-1
Redwood Empire 5-2
Santa Cruz 2-5
Huntington Beach 2-5
Oak Grove 0-7
The pre tourney started off Friday afternoon with an “Around 9” putting contest at our practice basket. There was $300 in prize monies divided between the top 5 finishers. To add a little spice to the event, obstacles were placed in front of stations 3 and 4. There was a chair on top of 2 tables between the basket and where you putted at position 4. If a contestant putted through the chair legs successfully, they skipped right to station 7. Station 7 is the money station. If you sink the 50 foot putt at station 7 you’re assured of making the finals. All 5 people in the finals make money. Ranging from $100 for first to $35 for 5th.
No surprise to anyone, traveling pro Greg Barsby of Santa Cruz completed all 9 stations in the prelims and won the $100 1st prize. Ohn Scroggins from Team Sylmar completed 8 stations in the prelims firing laser beam putts from 60 ft. She finished 3rd in the finals.
Saturday morning dawned clear and bright, thankfully. Knowing we must play 60 competitive holes before sunset it is always a testament to organization and punctuality that we start and finish on time. Much of the staff for this event have been in place for years. Jim McDowell after having played in the first few team tourneys has now staffed with me for the last 25 years. Father and son Eric and EJ Simmons have been on staff since 2008. Human dynamo Greg Olsen has been with us about 5 of those years. Jesse Meyers again manned the website and Jeff Nichols provided his custom team tourney software again this year. Daniel Vega and Dougie Fresh also gave up their weekend to help out on staff this year.
My son’s restaurant, Amplified (formerly known as California Kebab and beer gardens) catered again this year. They provided the famished masses with fresh salads, chicken and lamb kebab meats, pita bread, humus, dressings and sauces. Falafels and rice filled out the plates.
Each team is comprised of 12 players; 6 open, 3 masters, 1 grandmaster, 1 sr. grandmaster and 1 woman. They play the corresponding player from each other team in a one on one 12 hole match play format. A win is a point and a tie is a half point. It is not uncommon for two teams to tie at 6-6. The scorekeeper then goes to the individual points scored in each of the 12 players matches and tallies them to break the tie. Often the margin of error for a match loss or win is just one missed putt.
Each year, players beat opponents they’ve never beaten and lose to opponents they’ve never lost to. I’m told last year Ricky Wysoki went 7-1 and Avery Jenkins went 1-7. Guess who beat who head to head. That’s the thrill and the agony of match play. Each match is only 12 holes and you never know…
This year was San Diego’s 23rd victory in the 33 year history of this event. There were a record 4 rookies on the team this year as well. Individual player stats and full team stats will soon be posted by Jeff Nichols on the Morleyfield.com website.
Innova Disc Golf, Discraft, Legacy, MVP and Dynamic Distribution all donated discs and goodies for the free drawing and first and second place teams. Santa Cruz again won the “Spirit of the Event” award and took home 4 discs for each team member. The best thing about the Team Tourney is not just one but 12 people have bigger than usual smiles on their faces this week.
Till next year…