Discs flew, a record fell, and a new champ was crowned over the weekend.
Whitehorse’s best disc golfers (and a few newer ones) were on the move at the third annual Whitehorse Fall Classic.
The tournament was previously called the Two Course Tournament, but apparently 36 holes wasn’t enough for the Whitehorse Disc Golf Association.
The weekend’s was a three-course tourney followed by a playoff.
“It’s definitely the largest format we’ve had in Whitehorse that I’m aware of,” said WDGA president Ryan Norquay. “It really takes some head-down concentration to be able to get through three rounds and potentially a final nine. It’s not a game of luck anymore, it’s a game of perseverance and skill.”
Disc golfers who dared to enter the advanced division made a weekend out of it. They played the par 56 Solstice DiscGolfPark and the par 63 Takhini North DGC on Saturday, and the par 54 Mount McIntyre DGC on Sunday.
The top five golfers after that then played nine playoff holes on the Mount Mac front nine to decide it.
Whitehorse’s Sheldon Casselman only expanded his lead in the final nine. The 33-year-old captured his first tournament title with a seven-stroke victory, carding a minus-14 after three and a half rounds.
“There are really good disc golfers out here … too many people to mention. It could have been anybody,” said Casselman.
“I was just playing consistent disc golf and that’s what you’ve got to do in order to even just make top five. You have to let the bad holes go and roll with the punches when you can.”
Casselman took the lead in the second round and didn’t let go. He moved into first with a spectacular round in Takhini North, setting a course record of minus-13 with 13 birdies and five pars.
“It was my best round ever. My previous best was minus-12 here (at Mount McIntyre),” said Casselman.
“I was in the zone. That’s the beautiful thing about scorecards: when you’re not keeping your own score in your head, it’s a lot easier to just play. When we are taking turns keeping score, it’s a lot easier to just play.”
Casselman brought a three-stroke lead into the playoff and expanded it to seven, capping the tournament with another birdie.
Jesse Devost, who topped the field on round three with an on-par-54, carded a minus-seven to place second.
Last year’s winner Dan Reimer tied for third with Richard Vladars, both finishing at par. Reimer also got an ace – a hole in one – on hole 13 on Sunday, pocketing a bonus $200 for it.
Alan Hill fifth placed fifth for the second year in a row, finishing at seven over.
James Boyle won the novice division with three over in 18 at Mount Mac. Carole Dumont finished nine holes at Mount Mac four over to win the novice women’s division.
“Tournaments can seem stressful and daunting, but they are a great way to come out and learn the rules of the game and watch other people throw, learn from other people,” said Norquay. “There are huge advantages to playing competitively – it makes you a better golfer.”
Speaking of learning the sport, the WDGA is hosting a new tournament this Sunday that Norquay says will be a great introduction. The Ace Race tournament will be a fast-paced event in which the goal is to get an ace on every hole over two quick rounds. Among other goodies, each participant will receive two Discraft discs to take home. The event costs $45 per person and starts at 10 a.m.
“You’re going for holes in one on every hole,” said Norquay. “Everything will be really close; you’ll be able to see the basket on every throw and there will be some aces that day for sure.
“It’s a great time to get introduced to it. It gives you everything you need to play disc golf.”
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