2010 New Zealand Disc Golf Championships at The Redwoods Rotorua
February 5, 6 & 7 2010
Points Out of Ten?
- Simon Feasey
cannot hide his pleasure over the permanent status this disc golf course has recently gained. Much of the thanks in fact go to this man and to the land owners Scion Research
Thanks to competitor Dave 'Speedo' Keene for this story...
Once again the most under televised event on the New Zealand sporting calendar had come around. Playing host to this years New Zealand Disc Golf nationals for the second time was the picturesque location of the Redwoods forest in Rotovegas. This seemed like the perfect location to hold the Nationals, with Scion Research approving the installation of a new permanent course this lined up nicely with the 2010 New Zealand Discgolf Nationals.
A new Permanent course, a new decade and perhaps a new champion or champions? Only time would tell!
With Co tournament directors Andrew Taylor & Karoline Jonsson taking over the nitty-gritty of tournament organization and administration they roped in course designer Simon Feasey to make this years nationals truly challenging, if you thought the course was tough before Simon got his hands on it, then their was every chance you would defiantly find it testing after it had been lengthened!
Thursday saw a few keen bodies turn up to the Redwoods Holiday Park to set up camp and an afternoon round eventuated with the evergreen Pete Boyle amongst the enthusiasts, while Simon Feasey was out finalising the new course layout for doubles the following day.
As dawn broke on the Friday the first thing that was different was that Des hadn’t already been out to play his traditional 2 rounds pre registration, in fact, there was no Des due to the fact he was recovering from knee surgery. So there was an eerie feeling that this years nationals would be vastly different to years gone by. As players arrived, the traditional banter started to fire up again. With doubles pairings going from the sublime in the form of Simon and Blair, Damien and Dean to the outright insane with Marty de Hass teaming up with Juan Unda. Many were surprised not to see the energetic and vocal pairing of the Waiheke lads Siep and Paul. Other contenders opted for safer pairings from either family members (the Hailstones and the Keene’s) to spouses (Arthur and Dawn and Andrew and Karoline).
So without any further ado the doubles foursomes hit the course for the first time. With various shouting and laughter coming from different directions it was hard to get a gauge on how difficult the players were finding the lengthened course layout. Of course the luxury with doubles is that you usually have some one else to bail you out of a drive into the rough or a missed putt. After an enduring 18 holes of doubles in the Vegas heat there was a definite shake up at the top of the leader board with the fiery Arsenal supporter Damien Peters and his wiser (some say better looking partner) Dean Marshall in the lead from defending champions Simon Feasey and Blair Joins, it also became obvious Arthur Pengelly had been making Dawn practice four hours a day as they put the heat on the defending mixed doubles champions Andrew & Karoline.
Heading back out into the park for a second time some pairings started to fade, while others pressed on hoping for a top finish. The makeshift pairing of Mario Cerner from Christchurch and Australian Chris Finn made a big surge to put themselves in contention. There was also an intense battle for family supremacy between the Hailstones and the Keene’s plus the generational pairing of Josh Smith and Pete Boyle at the head of the field.
The mixed doubles title was looking as if it was going to be heading south to the Fault-line as Arthur and Dawn Pengelly pulled away from Andrew and Karoline! The teaming of de Hass and Juan Unda with Fish and Mark Hamilton for the second round put an end to any hopes the ultimate boys had of getting their hands on the doubles title, mind you the moment Marty agreed to be Juan Unda’s partner, meant they too where never going to be in the title race.
As the tired bodies returned to HQ the talk started up again as all were surprised to see the top two teams head back to hole one, as Simon and Blair had managed to stop arguing with each other (apparently this is a strategy Blair uses) and had managed to catch the Double D’s of Damien and Dean. After a staggering 43 holes of doubles a winning pair had finally emerged. Auckland’s Damien Peters & Tauranga’s Dean Marshall had beaten the defending champions of Simon & Blair on the 7th play off hole. While the mixed doubles title did go south to Arthur & Dawn Pengelly and the Woman’s title went to Jenny and Robin Joynt.
Congratulations to our 2010 Doubles champions....
But there was still the singles to go and with no partner to bail you out, there promised to be a lot more frustration on the faces of the competitors.
Saturday morning saw some tired bodies emerge with some course knowledge mixed in with fresh new faces that had not had the pleasure of taking on the mighty Redwoods course. This time round there was no blaming bad throws on your partner, it took most people a few holes to find their groove, most notably was the ever smiling face of George ‘the Hammer’ Huhu, who after only 18 holes had lost his smile on the course and it’s yet to be found.
The first round of singles saw Tauranga’s Dean Marshall & Taumarunui’s Blair Joines pile the pressure on defending champion Simon Feasey shooting a 53 while Simon was two shots back on 55.
The second round was again un-seeded and by the end of it, it seemed Mario Cerner had finally warmed up his big arm and bullet like putting to shoot a 53, while Blair Joins had shaken his fellow Master Dean Marshal shooting a par round (56) to take the over night lead by a single stroke. Simon had managed to peg one back shooting a 55. While in the race for the Woman’s title out of nowhere Dawn Pengelly had shot some amazing golf bringing home a 59 & 63 to give defending champion Ming Menzies something to sleep on. Dawn was holding a 3 shot lead over Ming going into the final day. It was also great to see the likes of Dawn and Ming really pushing the men along as well. All be it from the Woman’s Tees.
As the bodies emerged from the Redwoods and retreated back to base camp, TD Andrew and Caroline put together an outstanding feed and even managed to rope in the trusty BBQ skills of Josh Smith to complete an outstanding meal followed up by a group hacky sack session on the lawn before some formalities. Of special note was the outstanding contribution to Disc Golf award which went to one of disc golf’s unsung heroes CORYNNE BOYLE, the entertainment and social director for the Taumarunui’s Lost Tribe. If you’ve ever been to a tournament where and partaken of Corynne's cooking you’ll know what we mean.
Some of the brave and rebellious had now made a bee line for Spanky’s studio where the vocal talents of Martine Gully & Baz Taihape Keene were ever present. Not to be outdone the youthful body of Grand Master Peter Boyle was found on the drums (is there anything the man can’t do) A resounding rendition of ‘to love somebody’ was once again sung out from the discgolf band and bought many smiles to the faces before most of the sensible ones headed back home to rest before the final days play.
As day broke on the Sunday morning, it was familiar names at the top of the leader board, Blair Joines had a one stroke lead on Simon who was just one shot up on Dean with another 2 shots back to David Keene. The second group however had not let the top group out of their sights with Mario Cerner and Damien Peters breathing down the neck of the front four. With Bob Gentil and Pete Boyle locked in another epic duel for the Grand Masters title.
Another wonderful day weather wise meant it was going to be very demanding on the body and to stay in the game for four rounds players were going to have to stay hydrated and keep their energy levels up. After the third round Blair had managed to again shake the shadow of Simon Feasey and replicate his first round 53 while Simon carded another 55. Mario had worked tirelessly to recover from his opening round 61 to knock the young David Keene from the top four, while in the other battles going on around the course Peter Boyle had managed to pull away from Bob Gentil in the GM race, Dawn had a now comfortable lead over Ming for the Woman’s crown and Brett looked to have bragging rights over Nigel in the battle of the Hailstones for the 2010 year.
So one more time around was the call come Sunday afternoon. Some broken bodies had 18 holes to go; survival became part of the game. With nothing to loose and all to play for the final round saw a little shifting up and down the leader board. Brendon Love shot his best round of the tournament to overtake Michael Proctor and break away from the ever improving Chris Ambler and TD Andrew Taylor. Jenny Joynt also shot her best round of the tournament carding a hard earned 69, though both Dawn and Ming had stepped it up a gear. Ming fighting until the death pulling out her best round of 59 but wasn’t quiet able to haul in the new 2010 Woman’s champion Dawn Pengelly who came in with a final round 57! Pete Boyle had managed to hold off a late charging Bob Gentil to take out the Grand Masters title.
All focus now turned to the top group with Simon Feasey finally pulling one out the bag to bring home a 51 and force a play off with Blair Joines who shot a final round 54, both ending up with a tournament total of 216, while the fast finishing Dean Marshal wasn’t able to force his way into the playoff falling just one shot behind the duo. So yet again we were heading back to the course for a play off.
Hole one saw Simon put his drive into the open with a par guaranteed, while Blair was forced to use a ‘get out of jail’ card with a beautiful second that landed under the pin. The second hole saw both players throw bad drives leaving the title wide open, but once again Blair put his recovery shot under the pin to force the best out of Simon if he was to keep the title fight alive. As good players do, Simon answered by sending his up shot 5 meters from the pin and sinking the putt. To hole number three the big gallery went in anticipation of a victor. With Simon up first he sent his drive wide, deep into the rough on the left of the fairway meaning the Lost Tribes Blair Joins could play percentage golf. As Blair always does he stood up to the tee and sent his immaculate side arm straight down the fairway putting the pressure right back on Simon. Try as he might Simon was unable to find any way through the dense bush and left Blair with the opportunity to place his upshot under the pin. Simon had one last attempt at making a miracle put from 55 feet to keep the playoff alive but from a difficult lie was unable to find the chains. Blair proceeded to step up and sink his putt, the smile was from ear to ear, he had finally managed to beat Simon and take out the 2010 NZ Championship.
Congratulations To all the Divisional winners and to those who helped out, a special mention to Andrew & Karoline, Gabb, Simon and others for their efforts in making the weekend a huge success.