Queenstown Gardens course, Queenstown NZ Mar 3-4 2018
This is how the weekend was seen through the eyes (& mind) of TD Simon Feasey ..
Waitangi weekend just gone was one that was very special to me. It was the 40th NZ Disc Golf Nationals and I was privileged to be the TD and together with friends such as Martin Galley, Mario Cerniar, Jackson Sullivan a hoard of Auckland City Council rangers and volunteers led by Reg Phillips and of course some good keen Auckland Disc Golfers managed to get Pae O Te Rangi Disc Golf course into shape for a major event that turned out to be Epic.
The Spoiler is that I also managed to win my 11th Overall Title at the age of 50 so I am stoked!
The tournament came together last minute despite my best attempt to have it well organised beforehand.
We decided to mark this special 40 year occasion by recognising some people who had made massive contributions to getting us here.
A set of signature discs were in order and I was thrilled that my name was to be included on the Kahu along with Bob (GM) Gentil [attending his 40 NZ Champs] on the new Kea and James (Jaguar) Smithells on the Ruru.
Bob did an awesome job on the design, turned into finished art by Phil Clarke and Lisa Te Awhitu and we launched our new RPM Kea which is a stable mid-range disc.
Chris Finn & Dude supplied the players pack bags and we had many sponsors of prizes for the Handicap division. Everything arrived the day before the tournament so Jacko, Paula Wilson, Chris Sinai and my girls helped put together the players packs ready for Saturday Doubles.
Doubles was progressing nicely until mid-way through the second round when thunder, lightning, gale force winds and torrential rain causing a flash flood meant we had to abandon the round and evacuate the park!!! The trickle that was the Cascade creek became a 20 metre wide raging river.
Sadly 2 people lost their lives at the cascade falls further up the stream due to this freakish weather.
Sunday and Monday were good days and we managed to fit in 3 rounds of singles and a final 9.
The Final 9 was when the tournament got tight, Queenstown's Ben Wiel-Lake was 2 strokes ahead of me with Jacko 3 behind and Damo 5 further back. Ben had played flawless golf and didn’t look like letting up. I managed to scrape back an early stroke with a birdie on the first hole but gave it back on the 4th. Hole 12 was the 5th hole we played, and I knew I had to Birdie it to have any chance, after the tee shots I thought I was getting another shot back. Ben proceeded to sink a 12m uphill putt and I squandered my 5m opportunity. As I was lining up my return 5m straddle putt into the wind I was thinking I had blown it when Caitlin came over and said, “Daddy you can do it” I made a solid return putt but now I was 3 behind not 1 with 4 to play.
I felt a strong sense of Focus and played the next 4 holes almost as well as possible carding 4 birdies. Ben had the misfortune on 13 of going OB and taking a bogey he also carded 1 par and 2 birdies to leave us tied at the conclusion of the 9.
We proceeded to a sudden death playoff on the same holes as we had just played. At this stage I was definitely running on adrenaline and after making my longest putt of the tournament on the first extra hole to save birdie and stay in it I knew I could hang in there.
Ben and I played what was some of the best golf I have seen and proceeded to birdie the first 4 playoff holes in a row. It was only when Ben slipped one long past the pin on Hole 12 that I seized my opportunity with a 3m tap in and the Win.
I played the last 9 holes 9 under, as said EPIC and thank you so much to Ben Wiel-Lake for the battle.
To those Disc golf nerds out there my Kahu’s were the star performers with the XG pumping out the distance the regular for the control shots into the wind and the OS for the approach’s and numerous Birdies.