ADG A-tier Event: 4-5 December 2021
The weather forecast was not great, but on Saturday 4th December, 68 disc golfers turned up at the Newington Armory for the first ADG A-tier event in Sydney for a number of years. With travel restrictions easing we had players from South Australia, Victoria, ACT and all across NSW vying for a coveted trophy. Round 1 of the 19-hole layout kicked off on Saturday morning followed by round 2 in the afternoon. The rain held off but the winds whipped up towards the end of round 2 making scoring a little more challenging. Players then had a chance to recuperate on Saturday night before returning on Sunday morning for the final round. Light showers had moved in overnight, but fortunately, the wet weather gear was able to be kept in the bags for most of the final round.
The MPO division was a see-saw affair with Chris Hill and Todd Nowack posting the hot starting rounds on Saturday morning of 53 (-8) on the par 61 layout (1005 rated). In round 2, Shaun Archer took a commanding lead with a 1004 rated round of 54, following on from his 54 in round 1. In the final round, Cameron McDonald made a run for the trophy with a 1014 rated 52, but it wasn’t enough to catch Chris “ChillI” Hill who finished at -16 after 57 holes. Cam was the runner up at -12 and Todd at -10.
In Advanced, Jade Brady from the ACT got off to a good start with a 977 rated 56, taking a 4 shot lead from fellow ACT player Nick Mason. Locals Rhys Wisniewski and Priit Koiv were a further 2 back at the end of round 1. In the afternoon, Jade grew his lead with a 59, 2 shots better than his rivals. And in Round 3, Jade romped away with a 1014 rated 52 to crush the rest of the field, finishing at -16. Leith Brodie and Rhys Wisniewski were joint runners-up, 14 shots behind Jade. The question now is when will we see Jade in MPO?
Advanced Women (FA1)
Only 3 women contested FA1 but it was a close battle all the way. Gina Hill and tournament director Kairi Koobakene were tied after round 1 with a score of 72. After lunch, Kairi took a slight lead over Gina and went home at the end of day 1 with a 2 shot lead. The tight battle continued in round 3 with Gina shooting a strong 882 rated round and tying with Kairi after 57 holes. The 2 ladies then went to hole 18 for a playoff with Gina taking the honours after parking it under the basket.
Amateur Masters (MA40)
There was a strong showing in the MA40 division with 12 players. Albert Munoz from Wollongong set the hot starting round with a 949 rated 59. Chris Hart from Victoria and Olatundji Akpo-Sani finished 3 shots back going into the lunch break. In round 2, Albert followed up with the same score as round 1 but a higher rated 958 in the windier conditions. Sydney Disc Golf Club president Mat Wallis shot a 61, moving him up to second place. In round 3, Albert couldn’t replicate his earlier rounds and, with 2 holes left to play, Albert and Mat were tied with Neil one shot behind. Albert and Mat then threw OB allowing Neil to slip into a tie for the lead. Then on the final hole, Neil parks the deceptively tricky hole 15 putting the pressure on Mat to follow suit. Mat gets the line right but hits a branch on the ground leaving him with a 9 metre putt to force a playoff. Unfortunately the putt hits the chains and drops out, giving Neil a 1 shot victory over Mat with Albert 1 shot further behind.
Amateur Grand Masters (MA50)
The usual hot competition in MA50 was a little subdued. Mathew Lamy played well in round 1 with a strong 921 rated 62. Paul Comninos finished the first round 4 shots back. In the second round, Mat ran into a few issues and finished with a 66 (+5) but this was enough to extend his lead over Paul by 1 shot going into the final round. On Sunday, Mat replicated his first round score of 62 to crush the MA50 division with a 10 shot win over Paul, and Nicholas Hall a further 7 shots back.
With 11 starters in MA2, scores were close after the first round. Keegan Brady took bragging rights with a 912 rated 63, followed by John Soden with a 64 and 3 others nipping on the heels with a 65. In round 2, Keegan continued his good form with a 64, matched by Joe Nardo. The rest of the field didn’t fare so well. Keegan started round 3 with a 4 shot lead over Joe and another shot back to John. All Keegan had to do was stay in front, and he did this with 3 super consistent rounds (912, 912 and 910 rated) to beat Joe by 4 shots and another 2 back to John.
The Novice division had the most competitors with 18 players. 14 year old Ryan Hart (from Victoria) surprised everyone with a strong 949 rated 59 to start the day. John-Henry Pajak had a good round but was still 6 shots back. In the second round, Rory McDonnell made an 11 shot improvement over his first round to move up the leaderboard, but Ryan continued his good form with a 62. With his grandfather cheering him on for the final round, Ryan smashed out a 957 rated 58 to dominate MA4 and take home the trophy with a 15 shot margin. More importantly, he took out household bragging rights by beating his dad Chris (playing in MA40). Rory McDonnell managed to score well in round 3, finishing runner-up and there was a tie for third between John-Henry Pajak and Liam Aungle. The 64 million dollar question is: Where does Ryan go next?! Should he go up one division to Intermediate, or should he go straight to Advanced? Keep an eye out for this up-and-comer.
Novice Women (FA4)
In the Novice women, local Peata Hapi played a good first round to lead Canberran Alex Williams by 1 shot with a respectable 79. However, Peata couldn’t repeat it in round 2 allowing Alex to storm ahead backing up from the second round with an 82. Claire Bruton improved on round 1 with an 83 to snatch second place by 1 shot going into Saturday night. Returning for the final round, Alex bagged herself an outstanding birdie on the technical par-4 hole 13 having parked it after two monster forehands. She finished the final round with a strong 72 to smash the competition by 19 shots. Alex only started playing disc golf three months ago, and with her fast arm honed by softball, the FA1 ladies can expect to see Alex in FA1 soon. Thanks to some long drives, Peata managed to pull 1 shot back on Claire to see them tie for second place.
Finally, a huge shout-out to our event sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Also a huge shout out to TD Kairi Koobakene along with members of SDGC who organised the event, setup the course and ensured it ran the way it did: Priit Kõiv, Paul Comninos, Tanga Waetford, Stephen Clarke, Albert Munoz, Mario Tolberg, Jack Lemon, Luke Turnbull and Mat Wallis.
Full event scores here: https://www.pdga.com/tour/event/55271