Disc-wood disc golf tournament at Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Physical fitness became a key factor in the $9,926 Disc-wood disc golf tournament Saturday and Sunday at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
Besides competing a mile and a half above sea level, the 73 entrants of the second annual tournament dealt with warmer-than-normal temperatures and shot-altering winds.
“It’s a very physical test to disc golfers,” said tournament director Tim Parsons. “People averaged 10 shots more than they did on Saturday.
“The hiking was well worth it. The chairlifts aren’t running so when you get to the top of the mountain, you might appreciate the view even more.”
Gail Vineyard-Wanzer had one of the best views – at the top. The South Lake Tahoe woman rebounded from dehydration and a one-shot deficit after two rounds to win the women’s amateur division by three strokes. Her 227 total over 54 holes was three shots better than Truckee’s Judith Dwyer.
Area players produced three other top-3 performances.
Mike Frey of Stateline placed runner-up in men’s advanced masters (40 and over); former South Lake Tahoe resident Brian Jonas came in second in the open pro division and Kevin Ellis of Gardnerville took third in men’s intermediate.
Frey finished seven shots off Ken Strauch’s winning advanced masters pace. Camino, Calif.’s Strauch, a former pro who was returning to competition after a 10-year absence, finished at 25-over-par 193 for the three rounds. Fifty-six is par for 18 holes.
Jonas, a longtime Tahoe resident who now dwells in Orangevale, Calif., was embroiled in one of the most competitive final rounds of the tournament. Jonas pulled even with Ron “Skull” Brown on the next-to-last hole but bogeyed the 18th to finish one shot behind Brown. Brown secured par by zinging his 65-foot birdie attempt at the base of the basket. Jonas struggled with an approach that left him with a blind third shot from a ditch. He missed the 45-foot par putt and settled for bogey.
“My better sense told me to lay up, but knowing gambling I went for it and wound up with a longer putt that I couldn’t make,” Jonas said.
Ellis was one of three local players to finish seventh or better in the intermediate division. Only four shots separated the division’s top three players, including winner Michael Hanson of Milpitas, Calif., 179; Shane Prater of Diamond Springs, Calif., 181; and Ellis at 183.
Jason Gilbert of South Lake Tahoe was fourth at 186 and Kirkwood’s Dave Waddle came in seventh at 190.
The advanced amateur class attracted the largest field – 29 players. Grass Valley’s Jason Herm, following a 12th-place at the world championships, won the division with a tournament-best 5-under-par 163 total. Herm received $221 in merchandise for his four-shot victory over Bill Kohler of Sacramento. Kohler’s consolation was the distinction of having the hot round Sunday, a 5-under 51. Don Smith of Brookdale, Calif, finished third at 170 and Tribune tournament winner Arren Griffis was fourth at 173.
A pair of South Lake Tahoe players earned their way into the money. Brian Morgan was seventh at 179 and Dan Thrift, on the strength of a final-round 59, took ninth at 181.
Nancy Hendricks of Grass Valley was the lone competitor in the women’s open class, winning with a 209 total.
Scott Riley of Oakland duplicated Herm’s 163 total over three rounds to win the pro masters class. Riley, however, was in line for a 162 until his first bogey of the round came at an inopportune time – the final hole. His drive on 18 caught a wind gust and he overshot the pin on his approach shot. He missed a 70-foot tomahawk putt for par.
Riley, a three-time Lake Tahoe Point Series champion, had a big buffer on the field by that time. He won by 12 shots over Kenny Lee of Manteca, Calif.
The final stop in the three-event LTPS is the Sept. 8-9 finals at Zephyr Cove Park.
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