On the second day of the 2014 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships, the wind that is notorious at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex began to show its teeth. A sustained wind of up to 15 mph all day can certainly take its toll on some players, but today, scores seemed to tell a different story. Although the courses at the Hippo host to some short holes, tricky greens, wind and out-of-bounds can turn a certain birdie into a much higher score. Navigating through the danger is difficult, but several teams and individual players cruised around the courses today posting some really hot scores.
In the Championship Division, the flagship of the NCDGC, a tight battle continued today as Colorado State and Georgia Regents University pushed ahead of the narrowed down 40 team field. After some stellar putting and ferocious team play, the Rams of CSU sit above the rest at -52. Close behind them finishing the day at four shots back are the local Jaguars of Augusta. There is a pack of teams just behind GRU at a total of 200, or 46 below par. Today marked the second straight day of team play in the Championship Division, and it seems as though these teams at the top have come up with quite an effective strategy. Tomorrow the teams will face off in individual competition, only counting the top three scores from each team. Each player will have to focus on helping their team push towards the top as they stride toward an individual accomplishment of being named an All American Athlete. Tomorrow will certainly be moving day, as these guys combine their efforts to benefit the “greater good.”
The women’s teams in the Championship Flight also played as a team today, and the Lady Lumberjacks of Humboldt State were at it again. They stretched their lead to an astounding 42 shots, keeping themselves within striking distance of the overall course(s) par, while sitting at +2. In the apparent battle for second, defending National Champions Mississippi State have some work to do, as the Ducks from Oregon are playing some great golf and are 17 shots ahead of them. Seems like it is out of reach, but with singles competition tomorrow, things can change in an instant.
In the First Flight division, we find a much tighter race. Today was singles competition for these guys, and some deft touch was shown by those at the top. The Kansas Jayhawks are in the lead at -16, but East Tennessee State and Ferris State out of Michigan are hot on their heels. Tomorrow they return to team play, and we will look for a push from the second and third cards who are only a few shots back. The Lions of North Alabama lead the Second Flight by four shots at -13.
To emphasize the level of skill being displayed this week, look no further than the astounding number of aces thrown over the course of the last two days. During Day 2 of the NCDGC, a total of ten aces were recorded. Six were recorded during doubles play within the Championship flight. At the Moody Woods course, CSUMB hit the 227 ft. Hole 5; Minnesota hit the 281 ft. Hole 6, Wisconsin - Stout hit the 179 ft. Hole 7; and Alabama Huntsville hit the 251 ft. Hole 15. The other two doubles aces were recorded on the Headrick Hills course with Western Michigan hitting the 279 ft. Hole 13, and North Carolina State hitting the 268 ft. Hole 19.
Four Aces were recorded today during individual play. On the Old Glory course, Matt Weller from Alabama Huntsville hit the 259 ft. Hole 1. The other three aces during individual play were all recorded on the Hogback course. Cameron Harbachuk of South Florida and Josiah Mullins of Alabama Huntsville both hit their aces on the 186 ft. Hole 12, while Brandon Melton of Kansas, hit his ace on the hole the course is named for, the 245 ft. Hole 8 known simply as “Hogback” as it runs on a ridge with a 15 ft. drop-off slope on each side.
That makes 16 aces in the first two days of play at the Hippodrome complex - how many will the next two days of the 2014 NCDGC produce? Be sure to tune in to Disc Golf Planet TV to find out, and watch all the live disc golf action. Check out some photos at Flickr.com, and as always find a complete listing of results at PDGA.com. Watch live tomorrow as we wait for more great shots and see all the drama unfold before our eyes!