Aussie Open 2013 Wrap-up
Last Saturday morning 26 players headed to the Mundaring Golf Course to play in the Aussie Open Disc Golf Tournament. The 2013 Aussie Open (http://aussieopen.info/) was an inaugural event designed to reach the local player base, with plans for a much larger tournament in 2015 that will draw some of the best disc golfers in the world. This year’s tournament proved to be a vital step for the local development of this internationally popular sport, with nearly half of the participants playing in their first ever disc golf tournament.
Temporary tees, baskets and signage were erected on the Mundaring Golf Course to create a long and challenging Par 67, 2995 meter course. The course was open for practice rounds on Friday afternoon with the tournament to be played on Saturday and Sunday. Five divisions were contested in the tournament, including Men’s Open, Masters, Advanced, Recreational and Women’s Recreational.
Players in all divisions set out on a very hot Saturday morning to play their first 18 holes of disc golf. After the morning round, the players were all treated to an air-conditioned lunch break with an amazing spread put on by the Mundaring Golf Club.
Following the best lunch ever eaten at an Australian disc golf tournament, the players headed back out into the scorching afternoon sun to play a second round of 18 holes. As the temperatures soared into the upper 30s, the players were thankful for the eskies full of bottled water strategically placed around the course by event organisers Down Under Disc Evolution (DUDE).
When Saturday’s play was complete, Team DUDE’s Chris Finn had a comfortable 8 throw lead over David Bandy. In the Men’s Advanced Leigh Horton had a great second round of 66 and finished the day with a 7 throw lead on Peter Bray with the rest of the Advanced players far behind. The Men’s Recreational division was being hotly contested with just a 2 throw difference between newcomers James Moolenschot and Aaron Spitz after day one. Most of the players retired to the Sporting Club’s bar for a social drink to discuss the day’s birdies and bogeys.
Sunday morning saw the mercury quickly rising again, and the disc golfers set out for a third round of 18 holes. This round was the final for all divisions except Open and Advanced. In the Men’s Rec, James Moolenschot played consistently again and held on to win by 4 throws, while Kim Holmes took the Masters title by a comfortable margin. Ailsa Foster also played a solid first tournament to take home the Women’s Rec trophy.
After another sensational lunch, a number of players participated in a distance throwing competition where they had three chances to fling a frisbee as far as possible. Chris Finn even put $50 on the line if anyone was able to out throw him. A total of nine players were able to hurl their discs for over 100 meters in the air before touching down, but no one was able to throw farther than Chris’ incredible huck of 167 meters.
Once the fun of distance throwing was complete it was time to get onto the more serious business of the Open and Advanced Finals. Chris Finn, who still had an 8 throw lead, and Dave Bandy were the last two pros standing, while in Advanced Peter Bray went into the final with a one throw lead over Leigh Horton after Leigh had a difficult morning round. Pete played consistently well in the 9 hole final, and when Leigh was unable to sink a few long putts Pete took the Advanced title with a comfortable 4 throw win. In the Open division, Bandy threw a very solid par of 33, but it was not nearly enough to catch up to Finn, who threw 2 under par to take the title by a total of 10 throws. A gallery of tournament players and a few other spectators were able to watch some great disc golf played by these four players, yet everyone was smiling when all four finalists failed to land their disc in bounds on the last hole of the day, the dreaded island hole.
After the final was completed trophies were awarded to the winners of each division and the tournament was wrapped up with a big thanks to the Mundaring Golf Club and event sponsors DUDE, DiscGolfPark Australia, PSS Group, Innova, Discmania, and the Mundaring Community Bank. Overall it was a very successful weekend that got a lot of new players involved in the sport of disc golf, and gained a lot of momentum towards getting a permanent disc golf course installed in the Perth Hills. We had a great time and are already getting excited about the 2015 Aussie Open. Stay tuned for more information.
Final results (Top 3 in each division)Men's Open
1st: Chris Finn
2nd: David Bandy
3rd: Corey Bandy
1st: Peter Bray
2nd: Leigh Horton
3rd: (tie) Kris Kohout & Damian O’Brien
1st: James Moolenschot
2nd: Aaron Spitz
3rd: Jason Browne
1st: Kim Holmes
2nd: Jeff Brunstig
1st: Ailsa Foster