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!Read more link text
By Pete Charron
We're only days away from the 6th Annual Crane Hill Open! 6 years! It blows my mind sometimes thinking of the amount of time that has elapsed since we started Pure Flight. The Crane Hill Open has always been a fun event to run and each Open has raised significant money for the course which has allowed Crane Hill to grow each year. That reward is secondary to hosting some of the best peeps in disc golf for a weekend at our home course. This year signifies something a little more special though as Team Crane can take extra pride in the showcase of their course, being the home of the 2016-17 Team Challenge Champions.
Here's the stories we're most interested in this weekend. Craig Cutler has played the Crane Hill Open twice and each time he's walked away the champion. He attended the first event in 2012 and the fifth annual last year. He will be making another appearance again and if he wins, we might know what our custom stamp disc is for next year (a bust of Cuts). Craig is the only 2 time winner of the event in Open and if the registration stays as it is, he may still be the only multiple year winner as past champions, Jay Bayer, Jason Dore and Kyle Moriarty are not currently registered.
Will this be the year for Berube to eclipse Cuts and the field and take home the win? He narrowly missed this title last year, posting 1017 and 1040 rated rounds to fall one stroke short. His Latitude sponsored brother, Sam Henderson, has grown into a top New England pro and should be in the thick of it for the title. Of course the polarizing Mcbeth killer, Bobby C, has a great chance to earn his first Crane Hill Open title. It may just be extra sweet for Bobby to win and exact some revenge on Crane Hill after this past year of Team Challenge.
My favorite to win though is of course the local boys. I'll be looking for any number of Team Crane guys to be at the top of the leaderboard. It would be something special for one of these guys to be crowned the Open Champ. Look out for Howie and Cam at the top although it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Pure Flight's own Jeff Fleury or Tous, Phaneuf, Nate, Micah, Pennington, any of these guys and more gave a run at the title.
On the women's side we have two 2x chammpions in Erica Johnson and Wendy Boutin. Both are registered and ready to stake their claim as the first 3x champion. Can Carli or Cheneille prevent either of these two top New England pros or will we indeed crown a 3x ladies' champ?
I'm as excited as ever to play host to this event. I will see you out on the course :)Read more link text
Tomorrow from 9am-12pm there will be a workday at the disc golf course in Northampton. If you enjoy playing the course please come out with a pair of work gloves and any hand tools you might have, to lend a hand! Our local public courses get installed and are maintained by a fantastic network of volunteers (most times) so pay back your love for disc golf in the form of some service!
We will all likely be playing a random doubles round after the workday. We hope to see you there!Read more link text