Scion Tree Nursery course, January 12/13
Kiora and welcome to the 2013 Makaripi Rotorua Disc Golf Championships.
NOT EASY, NO FEASEY…. MUST BE MAKA RIPI….!!!
What a fantastic start to the 2013 NZDG tour. The summer decided to turn up and so did the players for the first event of the 2013 disc golf year. A massive 28 players pre registered for the Rotorua Championships. With a total of 34 players getting in early to get their skills honed for the 2013 Nationals in Woodhill Forest, Auckland. A massive thank you to local supporters Santa Maria Motel for sponsoring a hole and putting players up year after year, along with Trevor Bloor and company who are the local legends of the course and continue to help maintain and grow the game in Rotorua.
So with the largest turn out in the Makaripi's short history first time TD David Keene had his hands full on the Saturday morning. However he managed to get the ball rolling smoothly and on time.The players were treated to fantastic weather and also fantastic course conditions. I can’t remember a tournament where the have had mown fairways and greens mowed (thanks Trevor)!
Amongst the regular culprits were plenty of new faces and not to mention a fantastic turn out from the Waiheke boys Paul & Siep with relative new comers Leroy and Malcolm and an epic effort from the Wellington contingent of Brady Keuch and Adam Rawson.
After the first round the cards started to roll in and with the top two seeds missing in the form of Damien Peters & Simon Feasy the door was left open for the likes of Brad Muir, Blair Joines & David Keene to steak their claim early on in the year. However after being lured out of and early retirement Dean Marshall's return meant that the tournament was going to be a fiercely contested. If there was any thought of Marshall being rusty that went straight out the window as he shot straight to the lead with a -3, 55 followed closely by the tour stalwart Blair Joines with a -2, 56 with a log jam of 5 players on 57. With a 'Ring of Fire' putting competition inbetween rounds which wasn’t your standard lunch break with everyone getting the chance to warm up before the afternoon round. After four rounds of elimination putting Brad Muir put his disk in the basket to take it out while the others fell by the wayside.
Going into round two some of the youth were showing their hand with Jackson Sullivan putting his hand up for top ground action on a hot 57 while leading the Levin bunch. However a notable absentee was crowd favourite Shane Sullivan with a rather strange stretching injury... ('warming up' we heard...?!). The afternoon saw the course fight back at the first round leader Dean Marshall with a few lost discs forcing him to an irregular 62. With perfect weather and now knowing the course the other scores started to cut themselves with David Keene shooting a solid Tournament best 54 and Bliar Joines not far behind on a 56 with Peter Boyle on a 57. Brad Muir shot impressive scores of 59 which included a fantastic drive on one of the signature holes #11 to land a meter from the basket and staking a real claim for the CTTP (closest to the pin ) that was running on that hole.
So after the first day's action leading the pack was David Keene on -5 (111) Blair Joines 2nd and leading the masters on a -3, 113 with Peter Boyle leading the Grand masters only a stroke behind on a -2, 114. Leading the woman’s was Fiona “Ming “ Menzies as she held off the growing challenge of Gemma Sullivan and Jenny Joynt. While Toby Gentil was out in front in the Juniors and is closing the gap every tournament on making both the super 6 and the top 16 with two consistent rounds. TD David Keene brought into play a Handicap Division for this tournament and leading in that division after two solid rounds was A.B Hartley who was - true to the handicap system - playing some of his hottest golf. Waiheke Lads of Siep van Vliet and Paul Cohen were only one shot back which made the Sunday rounds all that more interesting and with something to fight for and help really condense the field and create an interest amongst all the players. After a hard day in the redwoods the players all were headed to the nearest pool or lake they could find to cool down and to rest for another big effort on Sunday.
The Sunday morning saw a good bit of cloud cover for the players, which would hopefully reflect in their scores. It seemed to work for the chasing pack of woman as both Jenny Joynt and Gemma Sullivan closed the gap on Fiona “Ming” Menzies. Jenny shooting her best round of 70 and Gemma all but pulling back Ming’s 7 shot lead and finishing only two shots behind Ming. However Gemma was unable to bridge the gap and the title once again went to (and now the three time winner) Fiona “Ming” Menzies. While over in the Handicap Division both A.B and Siep were in the same group and vying for the first inaugural Handicap Division title with it coming down to the last two holes. With Siep van Vliet having a slender 2 shot lead going into the last two holes over A.B . However as is the case with Makaripi and the unforgiving nature of the course Siep recorded bogies on both hole 1 & 2 while A.B was able to hold his nerve with two pars to tie even and taking it out on a count back. While Jackson smashed in a 25 metre putt on the same hole to finish with a par, and although the bogey might have lost Siep the Handicap Division it was enough to get him through to the Super Six and keep Jackson out by the skin of his teeth.
Meanwhile in the top group there was a lot of moving and shaking in the early stages of the final round with Tournament leader David Keene starting poorly and then carding a 6 on hole 6 it left the door wide open the chasing pack to draw level. Pete Boyle needed no further invitation shooting all 3’s on the front 9 holes, with Blair Joines one behind on a 28 which saw a three way tie heading into the back nine from each division leader. Keene then stands up to the tee on hole 10 and launches a pinpoint drive to show he wasn’t done yet carding a birdie while both Pete and Blair both taking par. Keene then backed up the good work on hole ten to birdie hole eleven with the chasing pack slipping another further shot behind. Continuing the good start to the back nine Keene was able to regain his 3 shot lead over Blair Joines who had got his nose back in front by one from Taumarunui playing partner Pete Boyle. Dean Marshall wasn’t to be forgotten shooting a powerful 55 along with Keene and Boyle to leave himself within touching distance of Blair and the master’s title should he be able to make up three shots in 6 holes while topping up the other two positions were ever improving Brad Muir and the preciously mentioned Siep van Vliet.
The super six holes were to be holes 7, 17, 18, 1, 2 & 3.
The entire group picked up a shot on the leader after the first hole and the gap was down to two. On the very next hole Marshall put himself in harms way and into the rough while the smart play of both Joines and Boyle saw them wide out in the open looking at the basket for their par. With pressure starting to mount who would be able to hold their nerve?
David Keene had never won this tournament and only ever finished second while Blair Joines won the 2010 Nationals on this very course and previous winner Dean Marshall now all within sight of each other. Keene being last to tee off then gave the gallery something to watch as he sent his drive to within 5 meters of the basket and regained his three shot lead with a fantastic birdie on hole 17. Birdies on hole 18 and 1 saw Marshall get to within one of Joines and Boyle while Keene was not letting go of that 3 shot buffer.
So on the final hole of the super six there was one more twist to this story with Marshall going far left on the drive giving the opportunity back to Blair. However Blair then sent his drive into a tree 20 meters in front of the tee. Pete then fairing no better put himself into a blackberry bush with a tough lie. With the Leftie contingent of Siep, David & Brad all staying clear of the horror hole three has to offer. David’s upshot secured him his first victory in over a year on the tour while a double bogey from Blair and a bogey from both Pete & Dean meant there was a three-way tie for second with a playoff needed for the Masters title. Off to hole 6 Blair & Dean went. As playoffs do when they have Blair Joines in them, it was decided on the third playoff hole after being level on holes 6 hole 17 it was decided by a 12 meter kneeling putt from Dean Marshall carding a birdie that exacted revenge for a previous playoff loss to Blair in the 2011 Nationals.
Congratulations to the winners
- David Keene (open & overall )
- Dean Marshall (Masters)
- Peter Boyle (Grand Masters )
- Fiona Ming Menzies ( Woman’s )
- Toby Gentil (Juniors)
- A.B Hartley (Handicap )
- Trevor Bloor (Local )
Reporting: Tab Lloyd
Santa Maria Motel
Jason and Emma are the disc friendly folks from the very pleasent Santa Maria Motel were an ideal accomodation option for many of our disc golfers. They even put on an awesome high energy breakfast for competitors on Sunday morning, a wonderful gester that was greatly apprecaited.
They are just opposite hole 1 at 270 Te Ngae Rd and in support of the game they have discs for loan ($20 deposit refunded on return) should you wish to try out the game - see our page detailing the course here. Thanks Santa Maria!
Dreadfully Good Attempt - Myles Darral (Tauranga) fires into the Hole 2 green from a rather healthy spot.
Sleepless Grove - The light within the ninth green was magical. The Sleepless Grove.
Down the Line - Paul Cohen (Waiheke Island) showed mastery of the forehand technique with plenty of accurate tosses like this one on hole 11.
Is This Paradise? - Myles Darral (Tauranga) contemplates the magic that is the Scion Nursery Disc Golf Course whilst sending his putter to the chains on the seventh.
A Slight Obstacle - players often had to make the most of their flexibility and creativity to save par, Here AB Hartley (Levin) is in a bit of bother on the new fourth but uses his well rehearsed forehand to deliactely bend it like Boyle..
All Bow to Santa Maria - The first hole is right across the street from the friendly folks at Santa Maria Motel - an ideal accomodation option for any of visiting disc golfers. Here we see recent trophy winner Andrew Taylor (DNF, Tauranga) puts in an extra ounce of effort to impress playing partner DV Haas (Whakawerawera).
Colloquial Locals - The playoff for the Local Title was a doozie. Both rookie tournament players, Trevor Bloor and Mikey Grondsma (Rotorua) play on this course together regularly and were well rehearsed in the art of psychological play. But youth didn't help Mikey here as this putt to take it to the 3rd bounced out giving Trev the coveted title.
Quick Recap - TD Speedo Keeno helps out the rookie tournament players with some of the basic rules of your stance behind the disc.
Signature Hole - Auckland golfer, Nic McKay is a tall dude, but he is drawfed by the magnificent Redwood Pine trees.
Myles Away - Hole 11 could be a round breaker, but Myles Darrel (Tauranga) is able to use his height to glide his putter over the ferns into the chains.
Seal the Deal - Winning a tournament that you are running is something special and here Dave 'Speedo' Keene (Auckland) lives the dream with his final putt for the win.
Handy cap on a handy bloke - Speedo congratulates the winner of the first ever Handicap Division. Based on rules more complicated than Quantum Entanglement AB Hartley from Levin was not even aware of his new status but he did play very well. We're sure the other Levinites will be hearing where he got that disc over and over!
Popular Winner - TD Speedo could not hide his joy in handing the big trophy to one of his favourite players Dave 'DK' Keene, winner of the 2013 Makaripi.
DV Haas in the Daisy Grass is a Lazy... - Hole 13 was the longest, but no problem for leftie DV Haas (Gunna Gotta) with a wonderfully accurate approach shot but an equally impressive putt underneath a nasty overhang.
A Focused Player - A picture of technique is crowd favourite Ming Menzies who held on to the title with some great golf.
Chris Cross - If only that were his name. Tim Mayson (Auckland) shows great balance with his right handed forehand crouch. And he throws backhand left handed!
This could be yours - as players gathered for the start of play, the new trophies organised by a busy Speedo were on display. Some gazed with determination and conviction, others just gazed.
I was a 2, no a 3 - players gather around the basket of hole 9 to compare scores.
Its In the Bag - Still at the top of his game is Taumarunui legend Pete Boyle.
Local Winner - In his first tournament, local player Trevor Bloor takes out the Local Cup.
Tee Party - With the hard work of local Trev players enjoyed some special treatment on what was already a very special course. As Fred Dagg would say, 'On ya Trev!'.
Rednecks in the Redwoods - Super Six time and Grandest of Grand Masters Capt. Pete watches upcoming powerhouse Brad Muir (Auckland) flick his disc right under the basket for a great birdie - the only player of the Supermen to do it.
W is for... like Nic McKay, Wellignton golfer Bradey Kuech seems to be sporting a regular uniform look for tournaments, complete with what must be an award winning moustache.
Weathered but plenty of spring - that's how Tauranga's Dean Marshall described his putter after he began the year's Tour well with an under-pressure win for the Masters Title in a 3 hole playoff with Blair Joines.
Silver Does It - Capt. Pete has been playing the game for a long time, consistent to the tee. But he was spotted this time sporting some new fangled high tech silver footwear. Until we looked closer and recognised the sneekers he wore in the 1945 Classic
Super Sixer - regular tour player Blair Joines played some very consistent golf - for all three rounds he registered the same score on eight holes.
Missing Mexican - Looking to be warming into fine form after his first round with his sweet new Eagle, Juan Unda was strangely absent for the second. When queried as to why, he was reported to reply 'I was called away'...
Scion Tree Nursery course, January 12/13