The 2014 "Steady" Ed Memorial Masters Cup
For many, the “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup is the one tournament a year you simply can’t miss. Even if you’ve never been to Santa Cruz or played the infamous DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course, it’s still not that difficult to understand why. Whether you are walking the Santa Cruz boardwalk after a round or standing on the tee pad of hole 27 at DeLaveaga, dubbed the “top of the world” by locals, it’s easy to see why people travel from all over the world for this event. California is truly a hot spot for disc golf, and with that comes great courses and incredibly talented golfers.
The “Steady Ed” Memorial Masters Cup is the third of eight stops on the 2014 PDGA National Tour. Reigning world champions Paul McBeth #27523 and Paige Pierce #29190 are the current points leaders, but both of them will have to continue to play extremely well to keep the competition from taking over their spots at the top. Catrina Allen #44184 sits just 10 points behind Pierce and on the men’s side the newest face on tour, JohnE McCray #9852, is just 15 points behind McBeth. Look further down the current NT points standing lists and you’ll see endless opportunities to move up, or down. DeLaveaga is a beast of a course, and this weekend will certainly result in a significant shuffle of the NT rankings.
The tournament starts on Friday, May 16th, and ends on Sunday, May 18th, boasting a $38,000 cash purse, with each division playing one full round of 24 holes per day at DeLaveaga. As close as DeLaveaga is to the headquarters of the Disc Golf Association, it's no surprise that the course has recently installed 24 brand new DGA Mach X Disc Golf Baskets, The same baskets were installed at Fountain Hills Park DGC for this year's Memorial Championships as well.
A full day at DeLaveaga can be exhausting. The course plays up and down the side of a small mountain with many of the holes on steep inclines and declines. It was designed by Tom Schot #3303 and is maintained by the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Club, one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the world. Many of the holes have steep drop-offs along the fairways, treacherous greens, and a rough that can very easily turn a par into a triple bogey. If you survive those obstacles, you still have to deal with the potential of Poison Oak, which grows naturally on the mountainside. Despite its difficulty, DeLaveaga DGC attracts an average of nearly 50,000 visitors annually and that number continues to grow every year.
There's one other very important and prestigious moment that this event brings to the disc golf world. Every year some very lucky person (or persons) has their name added to the "Steady" Ed Memorial Disc Golf Trophy. "Created by DGA in the memory of the 'Father of Disc Golf', Ed Headrick, the 'Steady' Ed Memorial Disc Golf Trophy is awarded yearly to the player who best exemplifies 'Steady' Ed’s code of conduct for the sport of disc golf. Ed believed that one should “leave things better than you find them” and that 'whoever has the most fun, wins'. It is in that spirit that the participants of the yearly Masters Cup tournament will be chosen for the recipient of the 'Steady' Ed Memorial Trophy for that year."
A huge thank you goes out to DGA for sponsoring this PDGA National Tour event. Last but not least, take a moment to remember the man who this tournament is named after. The man who invented the Frisbee. The man who founded the Professional Disc Golf Association and then donated it to the members. "Steady" Ed Headrick, PDGA member #1, is referred to as “The Father of Disc Golf” for good reasons.
Follow the action all weekend with live scoring, throw-by-throw commentary, pictures, and videos on PDGALive.com.