Russell rides wind in the pines
It came down to wind-blown tee shot.
With two holes to go, three strokes separated first and second place. Nathan Doss, the 1999 world junior champion, was poised to give the 1999 world champion Ron Russell a run for his money in the final round of the 2001 Tahoe Daily Tribune Disc Golf Championship on Sunday at Bijou Community Park. But then his tee shot on No. 15 hit a jet stream and faded out to the left of the fairway.
Although Doss made a great second shot to set up a par putt, he missed his attempt and had to settle for a bogey, while Russell parred the hole, giving him an unsurmountable four-stroke lead heading to the final hole.
“I just gripped my disc too hard and slipped on the tee box,” said Doss, who finished the tournament at 9 under par. “The wind just grabbed it and pushed way to the left.”
Russell seized the opportunity and didn’t relax when he saw Doss’ tee shot fly errantly off the fairway.
“I knew I couldn’t let up because on every hole out here anything can happen,” he said. “I wasn’t playing match play after I got four strokes up because I knew it was tough to make up shots on this course.”
While only three shots separated Russell and Doss, it could have been a lot bigger margin because Doss opened the final nine holes with a bogey and bogeyed another a few holes later before regrouping to stay within striking distance.
“When I bogeyed the first playoff hole I knew I had to make up strokes to stay with Ron,” Doss said.
For winning the open division, Russell took home a check of $1,160.80, while Dass won $703.57.
Harold Hampton was third and won $491.97 and Jim Oates was fourth and took home $396.75.
Two other divisions – women’s open and masters – finished their tournaments on Sunday afternoon.
Ruth Steele, the distance champion in England, held off both Leslie Harris and Nancy Hendricks to claim the women’s crown.
Steele finished the two-day tournament at +45, eight strokes ahead of Harris (+53) and 22 in front of Hendricks (+67).
The wind, which decided the men’s open title, also created problems for the women as well.
The trio tried to play conservatively to combat the sudden gusts but were challenged by the length of the course as well.
“With the wind, I tried to play a lot more conservative,” Harris said. “But the wind made the holes a lot longer because of it.”
Steele learned the trees played a lot more challenging than the wind or the length.
“On this course you really had to stay on the fairway because if you hit a tree and landed off the fairway it wasn’t very forgiving,” she said.
Steele took home $360, while Harris made $216 and Hendricks was given a check for $144.
The masters champion was Johnny Lissaman (-2), who won $756. Kenny Lee and Scott Riley finished tied for second (+4), each took home $376.50 and Craig Getty was fourth (+15), taking home $144.
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