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2017 Amateur World Doubles Championships Officially Underway in Texas

On a day that was expected to see a wide variance of weather patterns, Mother Nature did not disappoint during the first round of the Amateur Doubles Disc Golf World Championships Presented by Innova Champion Discs and Houck Design in Talco and Mt. Vernon, Texas. We woke to the dissipating remnants of a wicked storm that passed through the area overnight, and as the sun continued to rise, the winds began to pick up. No problem for most of the competitors here this weekend, however, as playing consistent and solid disc golf in the wind comes naturally to the hordes of players attending from the Texas and Oklahoma area.

The four beautiful courses that grace the Selah and Trey Deuce Ranches have been primed for some great competition over the last several weeks, and it appears as though the competitors are prepared as well. In fact, the courses may be in the best shape we have seen them over the years. The incredible staff at both complexes have been working hard to make this a top-notch experience for the nearly 240 participants who made the trek. We saw some low scores carded in each division today, but in almost every one of them, there is wide separation between the scores at the top and those chasing from behind. With two more rounds on these challenging tracks, who knows what it will take to be crowned champions at the conclusion of the event? Only time will tell. 

The Advanced division began their tournament with a round of Best Disc Doubles on the par 64 monster known as Trey Deuce. With winding fairways and meandering creek beds, danger lies around every corner. The group of Dan Miller and Andrew Mahowald, also known as the “Surly Hodags”, and the pairing of Tyler Cravens and Tyler Berg, AKA “Revenge of the 36 Strokes”, came out on fire, throwing a score of seven under par 57 to start out on top. Miller and Mahowald managed to keep it together during the second round of Alternate Shot on the Texas Twist course, while the hot round of 63 was being put together by two different teams. Ricky Ovaitt and Adam Case and also James Gauthier and Johnnie Wade finished Day 1 strong and they now sit tied for first and third, respectively, with the latter sitting a measly two strokes behind. Bates Hopkins and Luke Humphries are only one shot back of them, coming in at -7 for the day.

The Advanced Women’s Division has some fierce competition this year, and the ladies aim not to disappoint. Recent Glass Blown Open Co-Champions Alexis and Valerie Mandujano are proving why they are some of the fiercest up-and-comers in the game these days. We won’t be surprised when we see them emerge on the Pro Touring scene in the very near future. After shredding the two courses at Trey Deuce Ranch, they now sit at the top of the pack at an astounding 16 strokes under par. Don’t count out the Discabled Divas, however, as Denise Gentry and Lourdes Herrera scored an impressive -5.

We have a Mixed Division at the event this year. This experimental division is new to the event and contains teams with one male teammate and one female teammate. It's pretty cool to play an entire 4-round tournament with your spouse or significant other, and that is exactly what these teams are doing in 2017. A former Advanced Women’s Doubles Champion, Lauren Adams has paired up with her husband Louis, and not too surprisingly, are tied for the lead at 3 over par. They are locked up with another familiar pair of names to this event, the dynamic duo of Kim and Eric Householder. Kim, amazingly, flew into Dallas from Seattle at 5am this morning, made the two-hour drive up the Interstate 30, and peeled in just in time to help her team rise to the top after day one.

The Intermediate Division hosts our largest field of the event at 43 teams, which means that division is split across two pools. As the full field in the C Pool battled the difficult Selah Creekside course, their peers were being challenged by the demanding Lakeside course, which has the signature 890 foot, par 5 seventh hole. This hole requires a series of contested layup shots, followed by a significant water carry to a literal island green. It is simply one of the prettiest yet compromising holes in the game. To make matters worse, the field is asked to play a mixed format labeled “6-6-6” on this track, or a mixture of best shot, best disc, and worst shot doubles. At the end of the tumultuous two rounds, the team of Jesse Ramirez and Chance England sit alone at the top with a score of 8 under par. Only two shots back are Mataeus Hitt and Matt Williams, with three teams resting 3 more throws behind them.

The Masters, Grandmasters, and Senior Grandmasters are playing strong as well. Battling these long courses and breezy conditions can prove to be quite arduous, but these gentlemen have greeted the challenge with poise and composure, and the scores are showing it. The Advanced Masters field is led by a score of 3 under par, carded by none other than Adam Bailey and Jerry Stoken, coming in only one throw ahead of Benjamin Avalos and Alfredo Rodriguez. The Grandmasters division hosts myriad talented golfers, but “A Ray” and Mike Anderson, labeled the “Metal Collectors,” are making it difficult for the rest to keep up. They stand 5 shots clear of their closest competitors at -9. Last, but certainly not least, our Senior Grandmasters trucked through the courses at Selah Ranch today in impressive fashion. Playing from the short tees may give them a distance edge over the rest of the field, but they sure are taking full advantage. The leaders are Paul Wright and Dave Inger at -26, but two teams are hot on their heels three back and are poised to strike tomorrow on the two courses at Trey Deuce Ranch.

Check back in tomorrow for more recaps and scores, and be sure to stay tuned; the talented team from Central Coast Disc Golf is putting together an amazing video recap of this 27th annual Amateur World Doubles Disc Golf Championship! As always, big thanks to the many volunteers and supporters of the event!

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