Blame It on the Rain
Day three of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships kicked off to some less-than-desirable conditions. Banners and flags were pinned straight due to the high winds, and by mid-morning, the rain began to accompany the gusts – true recipe for disaster. But, in the true spirit of this unique event, the players hit the course with vigor and wouldn’t let the terrible conditions dampen their spirits. With smiles from ear to ear, they battled the elements and the uniquely difficult greens here at the Hippodrome.
Today was a day for singles competition in the Championship Flight. Along with determining the individual honors, the singles scores count towards the team total. Each team has four players on the course. Of the four scores per course, the highest score is dropped from the cumulative team total, and the other three scores are added together for a round total. At the end of the two rounds, a final 13 holes would be played for the top 28 players plus ties. The finals do not count towards the team score, so players get a chance to play a little more aggressive. Following the finals, the top 10 players are designated as 1st Team All-Americans and 11-20 make the 2nd Team. For the women, the format is much the same, only the top 9 women make the finals…or will.
The weather wreaked havoc on the players, courses and staff today, and it was hard to stick to such an elaborate schedule. The Women’s Division and the Second Flight were late to start after the lunch break, making it impossible for the ladies individual finals to take place. The top 9 will play the finals tomorrow, sacrificing their lunch break for a chance to become All Americans. After two rounds, Allison Carlton of North Texas is holding strong in the lead by seven throws, but will be chased in the finals tomorrow by a slew of fierce competitors. So nice to see such a large field this year for the women, increasing from 16 last year to 28 in 2014. There are four full teams this year and another two teams from mixed schools. Some are even playing with the guys.
As the Championship Flight began their final 13 holes today, the rain only seemed to pick up speed. The day was getting short and the conditions were getting worse, but the players were fired up to finish their day strong. Bryan Murphy of Ferris State started the finals with a slim lead, and grinded his way through as the light faded and the winds howled. He was being closely followed by Dakota Mincey of North Carolina State. By the time they approached the last tee, it was nearly dark and headlights were shining down the fairway simply so the players could see the green. When the last putt dropped, Murphy squeaked out the win by two throws over Mincey and four over Sean LaTour from CSUMB and James Proctor of Nevada-Reno. Congratulations to the Champ; it must be sweet after being a teammate on a Ferris State team that came so close last year.
With the miserable weather today at the Hippodrome it seems that all the Aces were hunkered down in their burrows playing card games and drinking hot chocolate as they did not wish to venture out into the cold and rain to play disc golf. After 16 Aces were recorded over the past two days of the NCDGC, only a single lonely Ace ventured out on Day 3. Jesse Coffia from South Alabama hit his Ace on the 240 ft. hole #20 of the Old Glory course. With the somewhat dismal weather reports, it may be a light day for Aces tomorrow as well unless some of the Aces get "burrow fever' and venture out.
Be sure to check out the last day of the Championship tomorrow, as Disc Golf Planet will be bringing you live action of the Ladies Individual Finals and the Men's Final round of Doubles to determine the 2014 National Collegiate Champion team. Morning round coverage of the top teams is available at PDGA Live Scoring. Watch the Champions as they are crowned on the green and witness the celebration that is the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship. For a complete listing of scores, go to pdga.com. Stay tuned!
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