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Rain Golf Reigns Supreme

For the last month or so, we actually believed that the PDGA National Tour had hit its quota for bad weather. As it turns out, we were apparently a few inches of rain short. The rain began as soon as we arrived at the park in the early hours of the morning, and it would continue for the next 5 hours without a break. It was truly a continuous downpour for the final day of the 2014 Brent Hambrick Memorial Open, turning dry creek beds and fairways into rushing streams and pseudo-swamps. Even with an umbrella it was nearly impossible to keep anything dry. We can only imagine how frustrating this was for the competitors, all of which suffered through slippery tee pads, soaked clothing, and discs with minimal grip for 27 holes.

With less than nine holes remaining in the round, the rain finally came to a halt. The sun slowly started to break through the clouds, spiking the temperature and evaporating much of the rain. In a matter of 60 minutes it went from cold and rainy to hot and humid, a classic Midwest moment in time. Despite the climate-based adversity, the tournament continued without any major issues. We didn't get to see any record breaking scores but we did get to see how some of the best players in the world respond to rain, wind, heat, and humidity in just a single day.

In both the Open and Open Women's division, there wasn't much of a race for first place. Paul McBeth #27523 was in the lead right out of the gates and really never looked back. The same can be said for Val Jenkins #17495, who not only won but won by a landslide. She may have set some of record, but not the kind you'd expect. She played on the lead card with her mom Sharon Jenkins #5408 for both the second and third round. Val jokingly said that if she wins, her moms will take the prize money and give it to her as allowance.

After the third round came to an end on Sunday morning, the top four men in the Open division played a final safari round of nine holes in front of the gallery. Before it began, Jeremy Koling #33705 and Josh Childs #13007 had to determine the fourth place spot by means of a sudden death playoff. Big Jerm was able to kncok Childs out of the finals with a parked forehand drive off the tee of the third hole, quickly putting an end to the suspense. The real fight during the finals was for the second place spot between Paul Ulibarri #27171 and local pro Tyler Horne #16058. Horne started the finals down two to Ulibarri but quickly tied it up. On the last hole of the finals, Ulibarri sank a 35 foot putt to remain tied with Horne, forcing them to split the second and third place cash.

Tim Weimer #29380 shot the hot round on Sunday and took home the gold after starting out seven strokes back on the leader, Steve Boylan #6542. I asked Steve how he did after the round and with a big smile on his face he said he played well, but Weimer shot an 83 in the rain and deserved the win. One of the highlights of the weekend for Weimer was when he surprised the other players on his card by throwing UNDER the guard rail from the tee on Hoover Dam West's hole 17. It's a ridiculously steep downhill shot from the tee, where most (by most we mean all players except for Weimer) throw over the guard rail and down the slope of the dam to a green that's barely visible. Weimer had practiced his method all week, and when the time came to go for it during the round he did, and he nearly aced it.

The Grandmasters division was perhaps the closest division of all. There were at least 6 competitors that could have won the event based on how they played in the final rain-filled round, and of those competitors Michael Frame #20305 emerged as the victor. Michael was the only player to manage a score in the 80s in the downpour and his hot round is what gave him the two stroke lead overall to go him as a National Tour champion.

A well-deserved congratulations goes out to the event winners, listed below. Check the 2014 BHMO page on for the full results.

Division Name PDGA # Par Total
MPO Paul McBeth 27523 -19 226
FPO Val Jenkins 17495 +27 243
MPM Tim Weimer 29380 +10 226
MPG Michael Frame 20305 +16 232
MPE Paulie Bagwell 28892 +102 318

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