Some years the Minnesota Majestic spotlight is on the guys and some years it’s on the gals. This year was most definitely a year for the gals. Almost everybody knew Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce were locked in a tight, tense battle all weekend. It was finally decided on the fifth hole of the Final 9 at Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area in front of a gallery estimated at about 1,000 spectators.
A little background: For the Majestic’s Final 9, the host Minnesota Frisbee Association has a tradition of featuring the top Men’s card with the top Women’s in one large combined group. As always, the gallery enjoyed watching both groups together with the gals teeing off first and holding honors throughout the Finals.
The day began with Catrina and Paige tied, and after their round-four, 21-hole Sunday morning match at Hyland … yep, you guessed it, the dynamic duo was still tied up.
The showcase Final 9 began right on time on a lovely summer afternoon with MFA legend (in his own mind!) Lightnin’ Lyle Jensen doing the introductions. Regarding the Catrina/Paige deadlock, nothing budged for the first four holes. Then, on the 680-foot extremely unpleasant #5, they teed off near the top of one of the chairlifts aiming down toward a gravel service road with a steeply pitched pine grove on the left side with thick woods on the right.
This is a very tough par 4 with a narrow ribbon of a fairway. Paige’s drive found the right rough, but a tree blocked her; Catrina’s was shorter but down the middle. It took over half an hour for the mixed group of Catrina, Paige, Sarah Stanhope, and the guys — Dave Feldberg, Paul McBeth, Will Schusterick, and Ken Climo — to finish this monster temporary hole. When this hole mercifully ended and all had putted out, there was a momentous 2-shot swing: Catrina made a satisfying, solid par 4; Paige carded a 6. Later, on hole 7, Catrina added 2 more shots to her lead and it was all over.
Paige is very popular in Minnesota and she wowed the crowd with an amazing drive on the last hole, a spectacular 515-foot downhill blaster from the top of the ski slope to a temporary basket sitting on the grassy green hillside at the bottom in front of the chalet. With the gallery cheering and cameras rolling, she calmly parked her Z Force. Among the several world champions playing in the Finals, Paige earned the only birdie on that fantastic finishing hole. Congratulations to Catrina for enduring and finding a way to win and to Paige for throwing the most memorable shot of the tournament and playing another great Majestic.
Dave Feldberg Wins
Oh right, the guys … Well, sorry guys, frankly you were somewhat overshadowed by the gals. OK, the men put on quite a show too, no question. Dave Feldberg started the Finals with a one throw lead over Paul McBeth and slowly increased it with his combination of booming, accurate drives, parked upshots, and steady putting. I only saw him miss one putt all weekend, a putt on #5 during the finals that somehow dribbled through the chains and fell out. Congrats, Dave, on a very strong tournament and a well earned victory. I’m not sure how he did it, but Paul, even with a very sore knee, kept up with Dave all weekend, and fell just a tad short.
With no locals in the Finals for the first time in years (Cale Leiviska was attending a wedding in town and had to withdraw), Ken Climo was clearly the crowd favorite and put on a show for the gallery with some spectacular drives, including a near ace on hole 3, a 375-foot downhill toss that flew a couple feet over the basket. The Champ also had by far the longest drive on the next hole, an uphill par 4 boomer. He’s in his 40s now and still playing disc golf at the elite level. Kudos, Champ. Keep doing what you’re doing and good luck in Charlotte. We all hope to see you back in Minnesota next summer.
Phil Arthur beat Jay “Yeti” Reading in Masters by 9 throws, but Yeti had the best final round among the Masters and finished strong. Grandmaster Doug Peyton from Iowa had a terrific tournament and won every round. Homeboy Bruce Novak took second, three throws ahead of another Iowan, Scott Innis.
Reilly Takes Advanced
Lon Reilly threw a very hot final round rated at 988 to take first place in the 60-player Advanced field. He was even par for the whole weekend on some very difficult courses. Aaron Walther was second, one throw back, with Conrad Olson, Kelly Greenhoe, and Steven Eyberg tied for third, just two tosses off the pace. Holly Finley took first in Advanced Women, 15 throws ahead of Ellen Kline. In Advanced Masters, Gary Suarez edged out John Lloyd. John made a strong charge in the last round but he fell one throw short.
It was another tight match in the 37-man Intermediate division. Joe Howard built a nice cushion in the first three rounds and beat Clay Ebertowski by one throw. Dan Larva was third with Mitch Heller and Travis Sargent tied for fourth. Alex Boser vaulted up to sixth place with the best final round—63—rated at 975. Finally, in Intermediate Women, props to Kelly Caywood who beat Christa Ahrens by an ample margin of victory.
A tip of the old visor to new Majestic TD John Solberg and his team. Like most Majestics over the past 25 years, the 2012 edition was a well-managed event that ran on time with few glitches or controversies. Thanks to our many sponsors, especially Surly Beer and Gotta Go Gotta Throw. We added a lot of cash. And most importantly, a good time was had by all, players and spectators alike!
Written by: Joe Feidt, #362
Photos by: Wisch Photography