The Masters of the House
At the 2013 Tim Selinske United States Masters Championships in Burlington, NC, the stage was set for an exciting finish on Sunday. Nearly every division was tight going into the final round, which would make for some late afternoon drama. The forecast called for thunderstorms all day, and the rain began to fall in the early morning hours. The weather would then take a turn for the better, and prove to be a non-factor as the play started to heat up. The pros would be challenged by the Rock Creek course, as the Amateur divisions would battle Wellspring and Cedarock, the two permanent courses at the Cedarock Park complex.
In the Masters division, Jay “Yeti” Reading and Brian Schweberger were tied at the top after scorching hot rounds to finish the day on Saturday. Patrick Brown and JohnE McCray would round out this lead card, but there were others nipping at the heels of the leaders. Ken “the Champ” Climo, John Baldwin and defending champ Barry Schultz sat on the second card, all within a few shots of the leaders. Ken and JohnE would start off on fire, shooting a near-perfect -9 on the first nine holes, bringing them both within 2 shots of the lead. After finding the water on the first hole and carding a bogey 4, Yeti would find his groove and begin to put the pressure on North Carolina’s own, Schweberger. Brian felt none of the heat; his happy-go-lucky, lighthearted demeanor allowed him to navigate through the stunning Rock Creek course with ease. Although his closest competitors were shooting extremely well, Brian was on top of his game. He made big putts when it counted, scrambled successfully when he got into trouble, and basically made it look too easy. The Champ cooled off on the back nine, while Brown and Reading made a charge towards the title, but “Schwebby” would not give up. He continued his stellar putting by carding birdies on the last 3 holes, finishing with the hot round of the day, a remarkable 14 under par 52. As his last putt dropped into the basket, tournament director Robert Leonard met him on the green of the 18th hole, declaring him to the massive gallery as the newest Major Champion. Although Schweberger has several PDGA wins, this was his biggest. His victory was well-deserved, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Brian embodies all the characteristics of a Major winner, but the area in which he excels most is sportsmanship. There wasn’t a single great shot from any of his playing partners that went without congratulations, and he thanked each spotter and volunteer as he made his way around the course. He beamed from ear to ear as he lifted the trophy at the closing ceremony; a true ambassador of the game.
In the Women’s division, Des Reading started the day with a three shot lead over the highly-decorated Elaine King. Des would continue her stellar play in the final round, making putts from everywhere and piping drives on the tight fairways of the temporary Rock Creek course. While Elaine would apply some pressure in the opening holes, Des would pull away for good, ultimately winning by eight strokes. Rounding out the field was reining Advanced Womens Masters World Champion Michelle Horn, who would finish in third.
The Grandmasters division started as a tight race, but Dean Tannock of Toney, AL would quickly pull away on Sunday, making it a battle for second place between Johnny Sias and California’s Jim Oates. While Tannock was cruising through his round, both Sias and Oates would see-saw for several holes. When the smoke had cleared, Tannock was the winner with a final score of -39, and Sias would edge out Jim Oates by only one stroke, eight shots back of Tannock at -31 and -30, respectively.
The Senior Grandmasters saw Carolina native and local favorite Alan Beaver run away with the title. He stayed relaxed all weekend as his lead grew from one round to the next, which meant another race for second place. Local John Porter and international hero Charlie Mead from the United Kingdom battled back and forth, all day Sunday. With a few holes to go, Porter would pull ahead of Mead for good, landing him a second place spot. The gallery erupted at the awards ceremony as Beaver accepted his trophy, as he has done so much for not only disc golf in North Carolina, but also the world. We applaud him for all his efforts.
There were three divisions represented in the Amateur divisions; Masters, Grandmasters, and Senior grandmasters. Splitting the divisions up into two pools meant the Masters would be tested by the beautiful Cedarock course on Sunday, while the other two divisions played the heavily wooded Wellspring layout.
The Masters division stayed tight all weekend, and at the end of the day only 2 strokes would separate the top four competitors. Ultimately, Todd Hardesty would hang on for the win, shooting a total of -17 at the tournament’s end. Randy Lockhart and Jerry Dobbins would finish one behind Hardesty, and Marty Adams completed the day two behind the winner in fourth place.
The Grandmasters field saw another blowout win, and another race for second. David Muntean, Jr. stayed in front for a wire-to-wire win, but at the end of the tournament, 72 holes were not enough to separate Warren Foy and David Wehrenberg, who would finish tied for second place at -11, 13 strokes behind the champion Muntean Jr.
In the Advanced Senior Grandmasters division, four players would stand a cut above the rest, as they were the only players in the field to shoot under par for the weekend. In a come-from-behind victory, Jim Banbury would inch ahead in the final round to take home the title, finishing with a score of 222, seven strokes under par. Chuck Hornsby finished in second 3 strokes behind Banbury, while Royal Heinz and Doug Singleton rounded out the field.
Congratulations to all the champions of the 2013 Tim Selinske United States Masters Championships. Tim would have been proud of the level of sportsmanship displayed by all the competitors in the tournament, as well as the caliber of play. It is truly a special honor to be declared a Major Champion, and surely we will see more great Masters action as this event heads to Tulsa, OK in 2014. Check out some event photos on Flickr and a full recap of scores can be found at pdga.com.