Teams Ascend at the IDGC
The 2nd annual National Team Challenge took place at the IDGC on August 31st and September 1st. This very unique and exciting team event is still in its infancy stage, but packs a punch on the enjoyment factor for the participants. In the inaugural year the tournament only saw 6 teams competing for the title, this year the event more than doubled with 15 teams participating. Each team had 4 players with a combined PDGA rating of 3760 or below and were allowed to have one non-member/non-rated player who was assigned a 940 rating, the average. The teams must have some sort of affiliation, whether it’s a state, club, college, city, course, or clique. Some teams brought their own uniforms, but the event also provided team uniform shirts with the tournament logo, team color, and team name on the back.
The tournament consisted of four rounds: singles, match play, best-shot doubles, and alternate-shot team doubles. The singles round was contested on the “Steady” Ed Headrick Memorial Course, in which team points are awarded based on the amount of players you beat or tie. Josh Childs came out on top with a 1067 rated 47 (14 under par), a course which recently became more difficult after the lake levels rose this summer. This round also helps us determine matchups for the match play round, which was also on the “Steady” Ed Headrick course. This second round was pivotal for teams to gain ground on this first day of play. Some teams won 3 out of 4 matches while others lost all or their matches. “ProPutt”, a team of master and grandmaster aged players from the Columbia, SC area, led by team captain Jeff Moore, rose to the top of the leaderboard after the match play round.
Sunday has become known as “doubles day,” where the third round is best-shot doubles with partners chosen by the team captain. Points are again awarded based on the amount of doubles teams you beat or tie. “Team Nooga” from Chattanooga, TN came out on top for this round with a strategy where they partnered their two high rated players with the lower rated ones. This seemed to be the winning formula for the team going forward; although, it was still a very close tournament with six teams still in the race for first going into the final round.
The final round may be the most exciting format, one that we adopted from the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships: “team doubles best/alternate shot.” The exciting part is having eight people (all members of both teams) on one card competing, smack-talking, and spectating. This was a very exciting round as many teams could win the championship by outright winning the final round, it came down to the final shot, but “Team Nooga” held on in the end.
We are already in the planning stages for the 2014 National Team Challenge on Labor Day weekend so make sure you plan now to join us at the International Disc Golf Center. Innova Champion is on board as a sponsor for the coming years and has donated a BEAUTIFUL perpetual trophy basket to the event. We are going to open our field up to 36 teams next year, so start practicing and get a team together!