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Prestige in the Trees

The word that comes to mind when the 2013 Beaver State Fling presented by Keen Footwear and Next Adventure is mentioned: elite. The field of competitors, the phenominal courses, the player’s packs, the camping, and last but absolutely not least, the hospitality and professional manner of Tournament Directors Jeff Mittl and Jeff Hagerty all make this event a staple on the National Tour Elite Series presented by Vibram.

The BSF experience begins upon entrance into the heavily wooded Milo McIver State Park that is filled with rolling terrain just off Clackamas Highway in Estacada, Oregon.  Here, the eyes are overwhelmed with a beautiful, lush forest filled with vibrant green ferns that cover the ground beneath the canopy. After descending deeper into the park, the street becomes lined with event banners fluttering ever so gently in the wind. Still awe stricken by the majestic scenery surrounding the beautiful entrance, tournament central slowly rolls into view.  It stands surrounded by well defined fairways in the heart of a dense forest. Immediately the heart begins to pound with nervous excitement.  It’s that time again. It’s BSF time.

With over 300 competitors total and an average player rating of 1000 in the Men’s Open division, birdies are sure to fly through the firs. The women’s field is highly competitive as well, as this year’s event boasts 28 female professional players. With the most competitive player base so far on the 2013 National Tour series making an appearance, this year’s BSF is sure to put on a show. 

“I think we have the highest average rated field,” Hagerty mentioned about the MPO competition present in this event.

The high player rating for this event is a product of its revolutionary registration process: Players with a rating greater than 1000 are eligible first followed by tiers of lower rated players until all are allowed to register. For the amateur side, players are granted two weeks for lottery registration and the 72 spots reserved for the men’s advanced division are randomly chosen. This system was generated in 2010 after their historically quick fill of the 2009 BSF. During this event, amateur divisions filled in just over three hours and the open field in less than 2 days. The servers crashed, people panicked, and the event still went on. Yet, the BSF core team decided that the chaotic registration process was flawed and they don’t like flaws.

 “We’ve put all these things into place to manage that problem and I think we have done that,” Hagerty said.

With the National Tour points race as close as it is, this event means more than just a single victory. The top three women are separated by a small margin of 10 points making the BSF a chance for Sarah Hokom, Paige Pierce, or Catrina Ulibarri to grasp the lead heading into the final National Tour event, The Vibram Open. On the men’s side, after his win at the Kansas City Wide Open, Paul McBeth holds a slim 11.5 point lead over young gun Ricky Wysocki. This event could provide the stage for these competitors to make their late season push towards the crown of the National Tour point series.

This Beaver State Fling is not one to be missed. The options for spectators are limitless to groups of all ages. It has the world’s most elite class of competitors, vendors ripe for the picking, clinics by several top professionals, a tough mini golf course, and a brisk river to shake the sunshine. There will also be a shuttle provided by Disc-Van-Go to help spectators and competitors move from parking lot, campsite, or walking trail to tournament central. The shuttle is free of charge for all competitors and spectators. The only cost of entry is the $5 State Parks parking fee and the willingness to have a great time. For more information on camping, spectating, or the history of the BSF visit their website.

Will Cale Leiviska and Catrina Ulibarri repeat as BSF champions or will someone else step up and dominate the field?  Come out and enjoy the show, or check in on and find out who will be the 2013 Beaver State Fling Champion.