Photo Courtesy of Haukur – players meeting
A record of 51 Disc Golfers took to the field on Sunday 19th March and were met by warm but windy conditions with gusts over 20 mph causing havoc throughout the competition. This was the largest turnout at any PDGA one day event held in the UK and is testament to the rapid growth in the popularity of the sport. We welcomed one of our farthest travelling competitors in Haukur Arnason who flew in all the way from Iceland bringing with him a much coveted Spot Prize.
There was the largest Open field to date comprising 13 players ranging from the young gun 15 year olds Declan Bransby and Timmy Murphy to the mid 50’s Godfather of British Disc Golf Derek “The Wind” Robins. Also in attendance finally remembering to turn up was Disc Golf UK’s Sam Thomas whose presence seemed to deter “The Self Proclaimed Champ” James Luton, who suddenly remember a mysterious event he had to attend two days prior!
After the success of the filmed afternoon card at MODS #1 Calcot, Nick Blakehill was planning a full days filming with his new company Anhyzer Productions. The lead card of 5 in the morning was put to a public vote and after some canny social media manipulations the 5 to appear were, from the Open division Sam Thomas, Timmy Murphy and Declan Bransby and stepping up to show how the AMs play better at MODS, Manchesters Dave Fairwaeather and Quarry Parks own Ben Bicknell.
The afternoon lead card at Calcot had found the camera added a certain level of pressure to each shot and it would be interesting to see who handled that and which player would thrive under the watching lens.
Bicknell and Thomas who had been fierce rivals for last years amateur division title got off to great starts along with Fairweather all birdieing the tricky par 4 hole one, with Bicknell lacing a drive on hole 2 to within 1 meter for back to back birds, taking par on the tricky 3rd and then parking the 4th for another bird, he was in the mood to once again show the Ams could outplay the Open. Bransby and Murphy struggled early, leaking unnecessary strokes despite a fine birdiethree from Murphy on the high scoring hole 5. Fairweather the least experienced player there, handled the windy conditions well almost canning a long 15 meter putt for the scrambled par on 3. Thomas was struggling to find his groove fightingfor pars and missing out on his customary birdie train.
By hole 5 Bicknell was three under par and was horribly unfortunate to spit out from the strong side, albeit high, on the 6th with his 8 meter putt to miss out on going 4 under. Seemingly affected he limped through to the end of the back nine on even par in second with Thomas still managing to stay consistent and steady at one under.
From there it all started to go downhill with Thomas and Bransby both carding 7’s on the easier of the two woods holes the group started to implode with Bicknell the only one keeping his head ending up on a solid 62, Thomas lost 10 shots in 9 holes and he was the best of the rest in that period. The three Open players made sure that they wouldn’t be featuring on the afternoons lead card!
On the other cards Disc Golf UK’s Jon Tweed, Derek Robins and Angus Green were making their moves carding 61 and 62’s respectively in the tricky conditions. Pat Greenand Neal Clifton crept onto the lead card with a 66 and 65. This correspondent had his most miserable time in front of the basket to date with 5 center chain spit outs on the round and finishing on holes 15 and 16 with parked drives to somehow miss the putts for two long roll aways taking 4’s, a masterclass in turning a high 50’s score into a high 60’s score.
The afternoon would be a test of who would handle both the camera and the wind the best. It was a day for a steady player to win, making sure of the threes and not risking the higher numbers. With the master of such play on the card there could be only one winner. Robins destroyed the field with a superb 56 carding three 4’s and one 2 on his way and incredible performance once again on his home course. He is nearly unbeatable out there when the winds are high. Tweed and Green went head to head throughout the round both finishing 9 over to share 2nd place with Nick George making a charge from the 2nd card to overhaul the others to take 4th at 14 over.
Derek Robins MPO winner – Photo courtesy of Derek
In the Masters Division – another MODS record size – Ivan Bromage veteran of Quarry Park competitions and another incredible player in the wind tore away from the competition with a 61 in the morning, consolidating it with a 68 in the afternoon to win by 7 shots from Icelands Haukur Arnason who overcame a torrid start of 5,5,7 in the morning to take 2nd.
In the Womens division it was another experienced Quarry Park local that took the competition apart, Sue Underwood with a storming afternoons 64 to win by 39 strokes from Disc Golf UK’s Sian Lee.
In the Advanced Amateur division Bicknell had put himself healthly in the lead with that great mornings performance, another Quarry Park local Phil Blount had shot an equally solid 63 with yet another Qp’er Andrew Douse, using just two discs, grabbing a 65 after a tough start to the round. These three would fight it out alongside Croydon’s Caleb Damanhuri with Bicknell turning the screw, shooting a superb second best round of the day 60 to take the win. Blount with one of his best tournament performances was 3 strokes back in second pipping Douse by another three strokes. Creekseas Scott Rickard shot well to take joint 4th with Damanhuri.
Ben Bicknell – Advanced Amateur Winner – Photo courtesy of Derek Robins
The Intermediate Division saw the legend of “Bagger” Vance with Chris Phillips, last years Int Amateur overall champ, electing to play in the division again. He was to be humbledhowever by Calcot winner Amazingstokes Shaun Lewis who shot well again to win by one stroke. Quarry Parks Graham Proctor grabbed third by one stroke from Nial Al Zanki with Matt Grodoski another stroke back.
There was another strong Recreational division with Quarry Parks Carl Chapman at his first tournament taking the win by 5 strokes from Mendips Adam Cooper in his first MODS. Bedworths Chris Fisher took third another 3 strokes back.
The CTP prize on hole 6 was the beautfully dyed and much coveted Star Boss. An early marker was laid down by Jon Tweed, lacing his Jokeri to within a foot on one of his first shots of the day. This was to stand all day despite a late effort from Bicknell who landed just outside.
The longest Putt for the Open/Ams and Masters divisions was quite frankly not worthy of the title being won in the end with about a 7 meter putt by Croydons Neal Clifton. The Other divisions however was taken twice by new boy Mark Simpkins at his first MODS event, taking it not once but twice beating his own first round effort with a monster 20 meter up hill putt on the very tricky open 18th green!
The lunchtime game arranged by Andrew Douse was a variation on a putting game. Players once again showed they need more practice on the fundamentals of the game with the overall being taken by Sam Thomas on a socre of 48 with Chesterfields Mat Morris at his first MODS and Phil Blount taking the other prizes.
DGUK’s Jon Tweed getting a lucky escape from the river – photo courtesy of Derek Robins
Our next event is at Tilney Sports this side of Kings Lynn on April ninth. There is a good chance of a full 18 course being extended on to the main golf course with a successful showing at the MODS so we would love to see as many of you there as possible. Sign up is below:Tilney Sign Up we will be playing two rounds of 9 on the permanent course in the morning and tehn one round of 18 in a golf start on the main course in the afternoon – the main course is pretty spectacular, long poplar lined fairways, lots of water and a great course all round. It will be set up ready to play from Monday 27th March for anyone that fancies getting some early practice in, green fees will apply.
Please can everyone brush up on their rules, the MODS are played under the PDGA and BDGA banner and hold to all the standards of a C tier event, that’s all of them, including rules on “substances” – in the words of former BDGA National Director and current PDGA rules committee member Neil Webber:
“If you don’t know, check. If you think you know, check. And my golden rule: even if you know, check (hell I’m on the PDGA rules committee & I still do). Don’t contribute to the general lack of knowledge by spreading misinformation…”
A massive thank you as always to all the team and to Derek for use of his course and to Nick Blakehill and Anhyzer Productions, give them a like on Facebook!
We hope to have some exciting news by then about some new courses!
See you at Tilney for MODS #3!