By Pete Charron
Woo! What a fun weekend. Jeff, Carli and I are officially through this year’s open and it feels amazing. What a great display of disc golf at our favorite course. As predicted in the previous post, Bobby C, Craig Cutler and Matt Berube were logjammed at the top of the leaderboard through two rounds. They were able to weather a charge from a couple of Maine boys, Cooper Legee and Tyler Grady. Cooper was consistent on the day shooting a 993 first round and a 1011 second. It took Grady a full round to warm up, shooting a 935 first round but came on HOT with a 1048, course record round of 49 on the B layout.
This was our 6th year hosting the Crane Hill Open and it was the third time(!) that the MPO division was decided by playoff. This year, unlike the epic playoff between Jason Dore and Chris Scofield in 2014, it took only one hole for Bobby C to best both Cuts and Berube for the top prize. Cutler led off the playoff with a drive to Hole 1 (B) and turned his drive over towards the A pin. Clearly upset with his effort, Cutler had to look on as two premier talents had an opportunity to park the hole and end it. Bobby was up next and just as he thwarted Team Crane’s hopes in a 2015 playoff, he put himself inside the circle to the B basket standing 370 feet away. The bar had been set and although Matt shows poise and incredible talent for somebody just getting out of high school he was unable to match Bobby’s effort. Matt’s drive sailed long past the A basket, leaving a difficult approach through rough. Bobby canned his 25′ putt and the playoff was over just minutes after it started.
In the FPO division Erica Johnson earned her third Crane Hill Open Championship. She is the first professional player to do that. Erica was propelled primarily by her 945 rated 52 first round. The second round found Erica shooting a 66 along with 2nd place finisher Carli Bennett, putting up a solid 892 rated round.
2005 Masters World Champion Dean Tannock graced the Crane Hill Open this year. He is the second World Champion to play the Open, next to Sarah Cunningham who came out in 2013. Dean, however, was usurped by Scott Howard’s strong second round. Scoward took the division by one stroke earning a solid paycheck for his day’s work.
The Grandmaster division was won by Karl Molitoris who showed up the morning of the tournament with hopes of getting in. Karl has been a dominant force in the sport for years now although he has come under fire by some for his division hopping. Karl has a unique perspective on the sport, not believing in playing for money, so he only competes for merchandise and likely always will only compete for that. Kevin Lane was the runner up and Paul Sullivan took third place in a division that saw some true legends of disc golf. Davis Johnson and Steve Hartwell were long time innovators of this sport and it was our pleasure to play host to them.
Another year up and another year down. We can’t wait to see you at next year’s Crane Hill Open!