Rec Clubs: Par for the (disc golf) course

On a semi-cloudy weekend, some of the country’s best disc golfers took over Milo McIver State Park in Estacada for the Beaver State Fling.

On a semi-cloudy weekend, some of the country’s best disc golfers took over Milo McIver State Park in Estacada for the Beaver State Fling.

A national tour event of the Professional Disc Golf Association, this marks the fifth stop on the nine-city tour to the championship. Four divisions of men, women, Masters (age 40 and up), and Grand Masters (age 50 and up) competed in this three-day event on May 28–30.

Montana native Christian Dietrich edged out Nikko Locastro from Missouri by one point to finish in first place out of 134 players in the men’s division, finishing 26 throws under par with 214 strokes. Nathan Doss of California came in third with 217 throws.

Locastro was the 2009 Player of the Year and Doss is a two-time PDGA World Champion, and both were on Dietrich’s heels coming into the finals. With Dietrich and Locastro exchanging top spots all around, the 13th hole saw them tied with only five holes left.

Locastro’s initial drive on the 15th was off the mark and cleared the way for Dietrich, who gained the lead and never lost it again. According to a statement released by the league, Dietrich said it was an unexpected win, since his recent completion of law school restricted his play.

This is Dietrich’s third win out of the five events he’s played this season. Jerry Sowers from Arizona, who followed the entire weekend’s events, said this was one of the more exciting events he’s seen in a while,

“They were so close there at the end, you were holding your breath after every hole,” Sowers said.

Liz Carr of Michigan was the winner in the women’s division with 255 throws, finishing 15 over par. Page Pierce from Texas finished one throw behind Carr, and Des Reading finished third with 258 tosses.

In the Masters division, Patrick Brown of California took first out of 47 players with 223, finishing 17 throws under par. In the Grand Masters event, Jeff Fielder finished first out of 17 players with an even-par score of 240. Doug Werner finished five over par with 245 and Rob Wilson finished with 246.

PSU graduate student Steve “Pop” Tufty finished 12th in the Grand Masters division with 268 throws. PSU junior Sarah Tolle, who attended the event for the first time, found the sport fascinating.

“Watching them make these incredible shots with the flick of their wrist is crazy,” Tolle said. “It’s so much more interesting than golf, you can’t help but watch.”

For the first time this year, the amateurs get their own weekend to play. Last year, the one-weekend event filled up within four hours, and this year it only took 28 minutes. Drastic measures had to be taken to ensure everyone got a chance to play, so a split for the players was formed. 158 amateurs will compete from June 4–6 in the wake of their professional idols.

Senior Tony Skrivanek and fellow student Aaron Ray will be competing during the event, and Skrivanek said he is excited to compete this weekend. Many of the spectators from this weekend will be returning for the amateurs. California native Linn Lowry says watching the pros is amazing, but watching the amateurs is inspiring.

“I’ve always wanted to compete,” she said. “And every time I watch them, it gets me closer to that goal.”