Vibram Open

Vibram Open

After the fourth long and exhausting day of competition at the Maple Hill Open, two players emerged as first time winners of this prestigious event: Paige Pierce #29190 and Jeremy Koling #33705. Pierce is no stranger to victory on the 2014 PDGA National Tour. She has now won four out of the five NT events this year, giving her a significant advantage in the overall points standings for the series. Koling isn't new to victory either but this is arguably the biggest win of his professional career.

After another long 12 hour day of disc golf at the Maple Hill Open, a majority of the field has now been cut. The 72 men and 12 women that survived the 3-day battle of heat, rain, and wind will play one last 18-hole round on the Maple Hill Gold Course. The competitors that have made it to this point are all guaranteed to cash but for many of the players cashing was never really a concern. The touring pros that have made this sport their career don’t come out to make the cut. They come out to win.

Torrential rain and thunderstorms have plagued a majority of the PDGA National Tour and Major events thus far in 2014. All signs and forecasts predicted a full day of rain and wind for the second round of the Maple Hill Open presented by Vibram and unfortunately it was one of the few occasions where the meteorologists were dead on. By 11:30AM, the rain started coming down. When the women’s lead card teed off at 3:30PM, it was still going strong. Hurricane Arthur provided a continuous downpour for a solid 10+ hours here in Leicester with the only upside being the exciting shifts on the leaderboards.

Who cares? Don’t answer that. It’s not really a question. It’s a concept that Tournament Director and head of Vibram Disc Golf, Steve Dodge #22042, came up with for the Maple Hill Open. It’s even written on a sign as you drive past all the other signs advertising the event leading up to the Maple Hill entrance. The point of “who cares?” is that disc golf events should be bigger and more important than they are today.

What most people know as The Vibram Open has officially been renamed this year to Vibram Presents the Maple Hill Open. The name is new but the quality of the event certainly isn’t. It has been and will continue to be one of the best disc golf events of the year, played on one of the most challenging courses in the country, Maple Hill Gold. If you’re lucky enough to qualify, the world will have a chance to watch you on the weekend long live broadcast starting Friday July 3rd and finishing up on Sunday July 6th.

Sunday morning was bitter sweet, as the players arrived to the course at Maple Hill Farm for not only the final round of the Vibram Open, but also the last leg of the 2013 National Tour Elite Series presented by our host, Vibram Disc Golf.  Another beautiful day, with temperatures in the mid 70’s with low humidity and plenty of sunshine; there were no distractions for the players who made the cut and prepared themselves to tackle the difficult Gold course one last time.  The top 10 female competitors and 72 men with the lowest totals in the field made the cut, and all were promised to get paid, so everything that took place on Sunday

The Vibram Open closed today with a flurry of great disc golf.  Congratulations to our champions, Valarie Jenkins and Paul McBeth for coming out on top.  With the close of the National Tour Elite Series presented by Vibram comes the NT Points Series awards as well, and our top finishers were as follows:

 

NT Points Finalists

Another beautiful day greeted the players as they arrived at Maple Hill Farm in Leicester, Massachusetts today, readying themselves for round three of the Vibram Open.  Today was a big day for all the competitors, as some were focused on making the cut, while others were trying to separate themselves from the pack.  Both the men’s and the women’s divisions were tight at the top, and with so many others within striking distance, it truly was moving day.  Today was the day we would see players taking more risks as they fought for position going into the final round.  If those risks paid off, perhaps they would make the cut or take the lead, but if not, it would be a long ride home. 

A crisp, cool breeze started to build above the dew as the sun rose this morning at Maple Hill, the site of the 2013 Vibram Open.  Another gorgeous day awaited the players as they prepared for the test in front of them.  Shoot well, and position yourself to “make the cut and get paid”, a mantra heard over and over here at one of the most demanding and laborious courses on the National Tour Elite Series presented by the host, Vibram.  Typically, after two rounds of highly competitive disc golf on the tour, our leader would be sitting somewhere close to 20 under par, but not here.  Shooting par at the Maple Hill course is

The Vibram Open at Maple Hill Farm in Leicester, Massachusetts is one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the year.  Not only is the course at Maple Hill one of the most picturesque and amusing courses the players see all season, it is also possibly the most challenging.  It is the perfect place to test the will and determination of the world’s fiercest competitors.  Appropriately, the Open wraps up the National Tour Elite Series presented by Vibram, which means there are winners of the event, but there are also Champions of the National Tour.  As we bring the season to a close,

With the 2013 National Tour Elite Series presented by Vibram coming to a close, there is no better place to crown our final champions of the year than at the illustrious Maple Hill course in Leicester, Massachusetts.  The Vibram Open has always been a player favorite since it was introduced to the National Tour in 2008.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that the course at Maple Hill Farm is one of the game’s most challenging, fair, and well-manicured tracks around the country.  Or maybe it has to do with the countless side events that are prepared by Steve Dodge

The 2013 National Tour Elite Series points race is very close with two players in both FPO and MPO only two points apart with some followers potentially within striking distance.   Each player brings their best five finishes with them to Maple Hill Farm in Leicester, Massachusetts where they will then add the points that they earn in the final NT and series crowning event - the Vibram Open.

The Vibram Open keeps getting bigger and better with four significant changes to the event this year.

So let's figure out who is going to be crowned the PDGA National Tour champion for the men's and women's sides. We've got all the stats available and if you like numbers, you are going to love checking out all of the possible combinations.

Let's start with the ladies' side - it is pretty straight forward. Valarie Jenkins controls her own destiny. If she wins or gets 2nd at the Vibram Open, like she has done from 2008-2011, she will be crowned the NT Champion. If she gets third or worse, Catrina Allen could catch her. If Valarie gets 5th or worse, anything goes.

NPR’s syndicated radio show, It’s Only A Game, will be airing a piece on disc golf and The Vibram Open this Saturday. Make sure to listen in, live or online, and if you enjoy the article, please thank Karen Givens (she came out to the event and spent the entire day at the Vibram Open during the final round), WBUR, and It’s Only A Game.

Find a station in your area: www.wbur.org/syndication/?program=Only-A-Game

It’s Only A Game website: www.onlyagame.org

Congratulations to the 2010 Vibram Open Champion Nikko Locastro, who never shot worse than a 1056-rated round of 55 during the three tournament rounds. Tied with Matt Orum entering the 18th and final hole, Nikko's victory wasn't assured until he scored a birdie 3 on the 650-ft. pro par four 18th hole, while Matt's upshot sailed into the out-of-bounds surrounding the island green and resulted in a score of bogey 5. With a final tally of 163 throws (17 under par) Nikko claims his first National Tour victory of 2010. 

Congratulations to Sarah Stanhope for winning the Open Women Division at the 2010 Vibram Open! Sarah has now won the event two years in a row and is coming off a recent 2010 Professional Disc Golf World Championships win in Crown Point, IN. Based on the strength of a 997-rated final round of 63, Sarah cruised to a 5-throw margin of victory. Way to go, Sarah!

Congratulations to Maryland's Jim Myers for winning the Grandmasters Division at the 2010 Vibram Open. Based on the strength of a 1034-rated second round of 58, Jim jumped out to an 8-throw lead heading into the Finals and cruised to the win. Way to go, Jim! 

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