Thrift becomes first local to win disc golf tournament |

Thrift becomes first local to win disc golf tournament

The inaugural Northern Nevada Disc Golf championship at Lake Tahoe crowned a hometown champion on Sunday.

Dan Thrift of South Lake Tahoe closed his weekend on the Zephyr Cove Park course with his best round, to win the amateur masters division at the Northern Nevada Championships on Sunday. Thrift capped a consistent performance over the weekend with a one-under final round round to finish even for the three-day tournament. He also became the first Lake Tahoe resident to win in the area’s fifth Professional Disc Golf Association event, and the first event on the Zephyr Cove course.

“I think it’s a big deal,” Thrift said. “I like it because I won my first tournament, and it was the first time at Zephyr.”

Thrift pulled away from the lead group – Tim Parsons of Christmas Valley and Manny Ambrosia of Santa Cruz, and Russell Wey of South Lake Tahoe – in the final round, which he called his best and most fun round. He led Ambrosia by three going into the final round, and survived a late charge to seal the win. Parsons made a run with two holes left, but Thrift’s next-to-last drive set up a putt for birdie, and Thrift hit the putt to clinch the championship. He finished three strokes better than Parsons and Ambrosia, who tied for the silver.

Geoff Lissaman of Nevada City, Calif., captured the pro open title, while brother Johnny Lissaman took the masters title. Jennifer McChesey was the top advanced woman at the tournament, and Brian Babbitt won the advanced men’s title. Robert Fabela won the amateur title. While Jeff Stoops and Ambrosia dueled for their last amateur masters championship before moving up to the pro ranks next year, Thrift upset both.

“With the way he throws, (the design of the course) was perfect for his game,” tournament director “Super” Dave Pollock said of Thrift. “He did really well.”

More than 50 disc golfers from as far away as Las Vegas competed. Only four players came from the South Shore, but three of those were in the leader group in the final round. The tournament was not only the first-ever disc golf championship for Northern Nevada, but also the area’s first PDGA-sanctioned event.

“I was a little apprehensive going into it, but everything was so smooth, everybody was so happy, we really didn’t have any problems at all,” Pollock said.

Next year, the Zephyr Cove venue will be part of a four-event disc golf series around Lake Tahoe, along with the courses at Kirkwood, Bijou and Truckee. Organizers hope even more participate when the Northern Nevada Championships return to Zephyr Cove next year.

“Next year, we’ll definitely try to get more people to play,” said Pollock, who thanked the Douglas County parks and recreation department, as well as sponsors M.S. Dixie, Heavenly Ski Resort and Final 9 Sports. “We’ll put the peer pressure on them to try to get them out there.”

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