All competitors by tournament central - photo courtesy of Martin Hough
MODS moved south on May 6th to open up the new 18 hole Berkshire Disc Golf, course situated in the beautiful Dinton Pastures Country Park.
A labour of love over the last 18 months it's a very fun to play course in a delightful setting with great facilities on site. The potential for the future is incredible and we look forward to many more tournaments here in the future!
There was a a large field of 36 players and a good showing in the Open division with 7, including some newcomers. Freddy Unt of Estonia by way of Surrey was making his MODS debut and would challenge the young favourite Declan Bransby. Richard Hatton and Jon Tweed of Disc Golf UK were both in contention and there were a couple of newcomers to the Open division in Nick Blakehill of Anhyzer Productions and co- course designer Russell Westwood.
Unt and Hatton finding themselves on the same card made the strong start to the day. Teeing off from hole one, Hattons birdie three on the first set the tone and both players played out the round consistently, taking mainly pars and picking up the birdies when they presented themselves. Unts accurate power hyzers both backhand and forehand overrided many of the courses defences and he finised with a birdie on the 18th to Hatton's par to take a course record 50 back to the clubhouse wth Hatton hot on his heels with a 51.
Jon Tweed putts on hole 1 with the lead card and gallery looking on. photo courtesy of Martin Hough
Tweed had also shot well with a 53 and Bransby had a 54 leaving him in position to strike in the afternoon.
These four made up the lead card in the afternoon. Hatton quickly dropped off the pace leaving it a three way fight. Despite a strong challenge from both Tweed shooting a 52 and Bransby who stormed home with a 50, Unt was unfazed and just got better and better throughout the day as his accurate hyzer game kept him safe and picked up birdie oppurtunity after birdie oppurtunity. He came home with a near 1000 rated 48 to take the win by a comfortable 6 shots from Bransby who jumped one ahead of Tweed. Hatton slipped back into joint fourth tied with Blakehill who had made a late surge, shooting a very respectable 54.
Blakehill putting on hole 3 making his move on the chase card. - photo courtesy of Martin Hough
In the Advanced Amateur division Disc Golf UK's Mark Davis was the pre tournament favourite. He came out of the blocks strongly shooting a 55 with Cambridges Scott Rickard one shot back on 56. Lauri Vaard of Estonia had a 57 and regular on the top card Ken Thompson was back on 59.
It was a fairly uneventful afternoon round with Davis extending his lead shooting another solid 55 and with Rickard and Vaard consolidating their positions with two 60's. Rickard is starting to look at home now in the Advanced Amatuer division after making the jump this season. Thompson was edged back into 4th after a flying 2nd round of 54 by Kiwi expat Jamie Meek who is currently residing in Belgium.
In the Masters division it was set for another good battle with Grant Bransby father of Declan taking on Sussex' James Burton who was making his MODS debut, Previous MODS winners Will Woodward and Gareth O'Neill of Bristol were also in the running.
Bransby drives on hole 1 - photo courtesy of Martin Hough
Burton led the early pace with a solid 60 in the morning round leaving O'Neill and Bransby battling it out behind him on 62. In the afternoon O'Neill got to grips with the course with his trusty sidearm and shot a division best 58 to catapult him into joint first with Burton who could only manage another 60. The two would go head to head in an epic playoff with Burton finally ending victorious.
The Intermediate Amateur division had another good showing and bought old rivals Graham Proctor of Quarry Park And Amazingstokes Shaun Lewis back together again joined by a rather tired Craig Snelling who, in the middle of sleep deprivation in his Masters thesis, may or may not have known where he was. These three were the favourites going in, despite a strong push from Proctor in the afternoon round hitting a 61 noone could get close to Lewis, shooting a strong 59 in the morning and cementing that with a 60 in the afternoon round. Proctor took a good second 4 shots back and Snelling grabbed third. Lewis is making a strong early charge for the overall Intermediate tour title, snagging his third win of the season. If Proctor can just start to convert some of his second place finishes into wins it's all still to play for.
- photo courtesy of Martin Hough
There was also a recreational division diue to the size of the field. The standout story here were the two superb 59's shot in the afternoon round by Amazingstokes Allen Gilbert and eventual winner Craig Brown a Dinton local. The 59 for Brown beat his rating by a whopping 167 pointswhich is a staggering effort! He took the win by three shots from Gilbert with another local Mark Parmenter picking up third 12 shots back.
There was a hard fought battle by the Douse brothers in the junior division with the younger Peter coming out on top with two steady rounds of 89 and 91.
The CTP other divisions spot prize on 16 was taken by who else but Shaun Lewis and the hole 15 tempter CTP for the Open and advanced Amateur divisions was grabbed by Craig Pettitt who landed within 2 meters on this very tricky par three with a great sidearm.
The lunch time game yet again showed up an element we are all sadly lacking! The idea of the game was to approach on a 60 meter hole to as close as possible, earning points for how close you were and then putt out and earning points for how far you putted from. You had the option to gamble and take hte putt back for higher points.
There were a woeful number of competitors who managed to get within the 15 meter circle to begin with on the approach, let alnoe the inner rings and the putting was, to be frank, abject! The eventual winner was Craig Snelling after a playoff with Craig Pettitt who both shone in making a decent appraoch and then actually converting the putt (a rarity)
A Massive thank you to the Royal Berks Disc Golf club and the Dinton activity center for use of the course and the huge amount of work that went into it. There is a real collective effort there and a great facility has been created for the local community as a result. Special thanks go out to the course designers Russ Westwood and Martin Hough, to Mary Richardson who unfortunately couldn't be there on the day and Adam Moss.
All the flags and signs put out and taken in by the club on the morning
As always a big thanks to everyone that helps out and to our designer Andrew Douse, with that in mind, Andrew as "Live Love Throw" has created a couple of beuatiful MODS fundraiser discs, as well as supporting the tour a percentage of the sale will go back to Andrew who has done countless hours of free design work during his 8 years in Disc golf, your support would be greatly appreciated! Our next purchase or the MODS will be temporary Astro tee mats which we are saving up for now!
Discs available Latitude 64 Gold Line River, Saint, Compass, Pure
Our next event will be at the stunning Cold Ashby Golf course on the 25th June. Best described as Whitcombe on a golf course the layout we are playing will be an amalgamation of the best holes of the three layouts played so far, it promises to be one of the best you've ever played, with a huge amount of long downhill shots it somehow manages to only really have one uphill hole. There will be camping available on site for the saturday night and with the lovely bar/restaurant this should be a really good social event! We are considering a PDGA rated round on the Saturday afternoon as a separate competition for anybody who wishes to camp or just turn up!
A sneak preview of the expected course can be found here
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