MODS #5 Cold Ashby
View from the tee of 13 (photo courtesy of Chris Cooper)
The MODS rolled back into Cold Ashby on the 25th June to play the course in all it's summer glory.
The layout was an amalgamation of the best holes played to date with a couple of late tweaks thanks to a mower malfunction.
There was a record attendance for a UK One Day event of 53 players breaking the previous best of 50 set earlier this year at the Quarry Park MODS event.
The largest increase was seen in the Open division with a whopping 18 players, 7 of them brand new to the MODS series.
Unsurprisingly the early pace was set by the youngest ever British Open champion, long throwing Declan Bransby. Playing the course blind he threw a competent 61. Hot on his heels was previous Cold Ashby winner James Luton on 62 with a host of players back on 63 including Dinton winner Freddy Unt, Croydons adopted Aussie Chris Ronalds and CTS team captain Chris O'Brien.
Chris O'Brien stratches to putt on hole 10 (photo courtesy of Chris Cooper)
The afternoon top card consisted of Bransby, Luton, Unt and Ronalds.
Ronalds quickly dropped off the pace with a run of bogeys and pars with the others hitting birdies around him. Unt had the hot start, carding a birdie three along with Bransby on the tricky par four hole 1, he then put his power game into full swing grabbing birdies on the par four hole 3 and the monster par five hole 7 finishing a very respectable 3 under par through the front nine.
Bransby's 2 on the deceptive second hole had given him a healthy lead but this drained away with a double bogey 6 on hole 5, a hole that troubled him all day, followed up by a bogey on the relatively straightforward hole 6. He finished the front nine strongly with a great birdie on hole 7, his second of the day there and then grabbing a rare two on the eighth, he finished up the front nine one under par and level pegging with Unt.
Luton had made a slow start with two fours through the first two holes, he started to put it together coming out of the Elkington valley with the only 2 on the card on the sixth hole. Parring everything else helped him to come to the turn with an unremarkable level par score but still in the hunt 2 back from Bransby and Unt.
Unt looking to grab back to back MOds victories extended his lead on hole 10 with his second two of the day on the hole, putting his power hyzer forehand to full use. As the card started to toil up the big hill, Luton finally woke up and began to play. Unt started to struggle, carding his first bogey of the round on the hugely uphill hole 12 with Bransby only able to eke out a par whilst alongside them Luton took his first birdie of the back nine to start to overhaul the lead.
Hole 13 proved the game changer, a tweener par 3/4 listed as a 4 on the scorecard, Luton driving first picked up an excellent Eagle 2 to put pressure on the other two, going one ahead of Bransby and now just one back from Unt.
The card still with everything to play for stopped at the top of the world hole 14 to admire the view and assess their games. Luton drove first confidently, piling yet more pressure onto his cardmates and taking a three to their 4 and 5 giving himself the lead from both.
Admiring the view from the tee of hole 14 (photo courtesy of Chris Cooper)
Despite a late charge from Unt with back to back birdies on 16 and 17 Luton managed to hold on for the win by one stroke, carding a 2 under on the back nine for a round of 60 and his first MODS win of the 2017 season.
With records tumbling everywhere at Cold Ashby there was the largest FPO division seen to date at a MODS event. The favourite was series leader and Disc Golf UK team member Sian Lee,but she faced a stiff challenge from Croydons Katre Poder up for the day hunting qualifying points for the British Championships.
Poder playing the course blind started the strongest of the two with a morning round of 78 to Sians 81. During a slow afternoon round Sian put all her experience to good use and got better and better finishing off with a very respectable 76 and the win by 5 shots as Poder started to flag.
The Masters division welcomed a MODS rookie into the fold with Marek Nowak travelling up from Croydon for the day. He and Nottinghams Will Woodward went head to head through the day with 36 exhausting holes not enough to separate them. The two went into a three hole playoff before Woodward managed to wrest his second MODS victory of the season.
Grant Bransby drives in front of the sseated Marek (photo courtesy of Greig Underwood)
In the Amateur division Disc Golf UK's Mark Davis raced out of the blocks carding a round best equalling 61, proving once again he would be comfortable in the division above. He had 3 shots from second place Charlie O'Brien down from Newcastle for the day with the top card rounded out by Lauri Vaard and Adam Willetts both shooting 66's.
No one could touch Davis in the afternoon and he extended his lead by one from Charlie who held on for second. Strouds Ben Jezewski leap frogged into third with a well played 65 on a course that suits his long throwing game.
In the Intermediate Amateur division Series leader Shaun Lewis was once again pitted against his main rival Graham Proctor. Chris Phillips, last years division winner, was still nursing the back injury that has stopped him from reaching top form all year. Also in the running was Nial Al- Zanki who has been improving steadily in the MODS event after event and the American Jonathan Spenceley, playing in his third MODS.
Proctor started strongest with an above rating 71. Nial after a really poor start to his round rallied well by the end of the Elkington Valley and started carding birdies and pars to end up on a 72 to go into the afternoon in second place with Phillips back on 73 and Spenceley on 74. Lewis had a bad start finishing up with a 76 and out of the running barring a miraculous second round.
With Phillips and Al-Zanki unable to improve much on their morning scores the fight for first would come down to Proctor, desperate to record his first MODS victory and Spenceley who tore the course up in the afternoon coming home with a 66 to Proctors 69. Like the Masters division these two wearily traipsed up to hole one to enter the playoff that gave Proctor his first victory.
The Recreational division was won by Croydons Mikko Poder from Local Dan Bent and the Juniors division was won by last seasons Junior Champion Erin Pettitt from her brother Ethan.
The Longest Putt and CTP were both won by Strouds Pat Luke with a superb drive on the 185 meter hole 14 to pick up a drop in birdie.
The Other divisions longest putt was taken by Chris Cooper.
The Lunchtime game overall longest drive competition winner was Strouds Ben Jezewski with a monster forehand and a reasonable backhand.
Chris Cooper won the other divisions.
Timmy Murphy drives forehand in the lunchtime comp (photo courtesy of Chris Cooper)
MODS#6 will take place in Shrewsbury on the 29th July - registration is open here
Hole by Hole stats for the course.
Dusk over the tee of one (photo courtesy of Dan Bent)
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