The 2019 Live Free and Drive Tour kicked off with a bang yesterday in Amherst, NH! Birch Park is a new addition to the tour and our hosts pulled in an unbelievable 97 players for the 1st annual (we hope) Spring Fling! Bill, Norma, and the gang put together a great event and we had the privilege of playing on some freshly-made tee pads. Huge thank you to the Amherst Recreation Department for their hard work getting the course ready – its looks great and we are excited to see how both the course and the Spring Fling mature in the coming years!
The gorgeous weather provided opportunity for some long throws and low scores throughout the day. Shane Wyatt set the tone early with a hot score of 46 in the first round! Shane went on to win MPO with a 95 on the day, beating Nathan Vintinner by just 2 strokes – congratulations to both for some consistently awesome throwing!
Blaine Faulkner, winner of the 2018 MP50 point series, stepped up to MP40 and took the win with both rounds under par. Tying Blaine was John Dunphy, who took the win in an incredibly competitive MA1 field. The top 6 players were all within 2 strokes, but John eeked out the win with a consistent 52/52 and earned a healthy amount of points to start off the season.
On the women’s side, Tammy Coburn notched her first win of the season in the advanced division. Tammy finished 2018 strong with a win at Storrs Pond, and it looks like she has kept that momentum going through the “off-season”! In the FA2 field, Nichole Powers took an early lead, but Louise Brown took home the glory with a come-from-behind victory in round 2.
The men’s intermediate division was enormous, and the top scores were right up there with those in advanced. Ben Zukatis threw a 49 first round (in MA2?) and rode that score to victory despite valiant efforts to catch up by Janson, McDonald, and Fee. If this season-opener is any indication, we’re going to have bigger MA2 fields this year than ever before (if that’s even possible).
We also had very strong showings in MA40 and MA50, where Chris Buckle and Scott Roberts both held on to early leads to win first place in their respective divisions. With New England disc golf legend Gary Vigue on his heals, you know Scott was feeling the heat!
All in all, it was an incredible start to the season and we had a blast – thank you everyone for coming out! We can’t wait to keep this momentum going into stop #2 at Bellamy next month. Registration already open and filling fast, don’t miss it!!!
With only two events remaining before finals, it seems appropriate to update our tour blog for the first time in two years and analyze the current standings for our 2018 season. The tour has seen impressive growth this year with a 25% increase in the number of tournaments and still managing to sell out more than half of those events. To that end, we owe great thanks to our tournament directors for all of their tireless efforts to put on such fun events across the state. Thank you!
Now down to business…
The women’s intermediate division is a smaller population this year, but we have a tight race for first place between Kaye and Hanna at 8 and 10 point, respectively! It looks like Squamanagonic will be the last chance to earn points in this division before finals, as none of the ladies on this leaderboard are registered for the (sold out) Storrs Pond Classic. Are you going to just let Hanna take the win, Kaye?!?!?!?!
The race for first place in men’s intermediate is far less competitive right now, as Bryant Chamberlin is dominating the division with a lead of more than 40 points! The race for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places, however, are wide open with five players all within 20 points of each other. Bryan Kilmer has a bit of a lead, but with the size of the MA2 fields this year those points could easily be made up across the two remaining events. Beau Schofield has been throwing hot rounds in the past few events, does he have time to secure the 2nd place spot?
MeSean Anderson has a healthy lead in FA1, which is even more impressive because she has played intermediate in a few events this year as well! We’d have to see a lot of action at Squam to topple her first-place position, but 2nd place is up for grabs with Rachel Craveiro registered for Storrs Pond next month. Carly might want to snag a spot a Squam if she wants to hold on to her ranking!
Men’s advanced has a VERY tight race for the top 3 spots! Matt Stolarz has a small lead, but Dylan Adjutant and John Bilsky have been consistently placing well in the past few events and could easily steal the lead. Can Michael Santos regain the steam he had in the early season? Time will tell, but Squam will be a critical event for deciding this division as none of these players are registered for Storrs (though Stolarz is #1 on the waitlist!).
In the Advanced Masters divisions, MA50 is all but locked up by Paul Lusky, more than doubling the points accumulated by his nearest competitor! MA40 has tight competition with all 3 players within 3 points of each other. Jason Barry will need to register for Squam, otherwise he is all but guaranteed to lose his first-place position. Steven Nichols is only one point behind and could take the lead with a win over Shane Piroso at Squam. However, Storrs Pond has a huge MA40 field of 10 players, so there are a lot of points up for grabs. With Nichols having recently given up his spot in that event, Piroso has an excellent opportunity to put up some good number and come from behind to take the lead!
The Pro Masters divisions will both require lots of action at Squam in order to shake up the current standings. None of the leaders in either field are signed up for Storrs except for Blaine, who is currently sitting in first place for MP50.
Men’s Pro Open, the big leagues, has had some great competition this year. President Ian Craveiro and Billy Crane are ahead of the pack and vying for first place. Crane is in the lead, but Craveiro has a spot in the Classic where he can earn some extra points. There is a large pack of players all vying for 3rd place around 20 points behind the leaders. Charlie Veysey has a slight lead, but Cody, Ben, and Edwin are hot on his heals and a win in either of the upcoming events could push someone into that 3rd place spot. This will be a very exciting division to watch as we come into the final stretch of the season!
If you missed the boat on signing up for Storrs Pond, Squamanagonic is you last chance to put up some last-minute points and improve your spot in the standings! Rob Feeney is putting together an excellent C-Tier event and you’re not going to want to miss it – sign up today!
Hello to all, lets get this going. I am very excited for the start of the Live Free And Drive Tour's 3rd season and the start of my new blog "Ian's Tour Blog". (better blog name thoughts would be appreciated) This Blog will contain my veiws of the points race, Top players and what to expect from course to course.
Before we get started I would like to touch base on my impeccable grammer and ability to spell words in multiple formations. I will put you in aww with my wizardry of the english language. Do as you must, but I warn you it will be a full time job to correct my awsomeness. With that said lets continue.
WINTER IS OVER!!!! No more having to wear 18 layers just to get some throws in, handwarmers are part of door buster sales right now and trees are pushing out leaves. I know I'm not alone when i say i have had enough of this winter! So be it! Its time for LFDT's first event!
Our first stop is Bellamy Disc Golf Course for the LFDT Opener. The Bellamy Disc Golf Club just had a huge turn out for Earth Day, give or take 40 or so people showed up to clean the course up, remove some hazard trees and do some much need projects around the course. A huge thanks to Dan Maloney and Chooch Maroon for organizing a team and building up around the tee boxxes of holes 13 and 15. Bellamy is ready to make or break your round, you know how she is. This year for added fun there will be some added Mandos and OBs, even an island green.
Just as unknown as how Bellamy will treat us at the Opener is how unknow the Top players of our first event will be. Will it be the guys we see on top all the time or some new faces ready to take their turn? Make sure to check in with me here at "Ian's Tour Blog" to find out the storys behind the scorecards and who to keep an eye on going in to the following stop at Moose Mountain on May 13th.