By Troy Lyle
Playing in the melting snow and ice, the result of an abnormally warm weekend, were the least of the problems for the 86 entrants in this past Saturday’s ninth annual Lexington Ice Bowl. Many of the tournament’s participants awoke as early as midnight the night before to make the drive from as far away as Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana and Tennessee. Couple that distance and fatigue with soggy, semi-slush conditions and the demanding courses at Shillito and Veterans Parks, and you’ve got yourself a challenging disc golf tournament.
To make tournament play even tougher was the fact that Saturday’s turnout was the largest Lexington Ice Bowl on record. As Drew Smith, Bluegrass Disc Golf Association (BDGA) president and tournament participant, pointed out, with that many entrants you have to organize golfers in groups of four or five, making play even slower than what the sloppy conditions alone induced.
“We were almost to the point where we would have to split the field and send half the people over to Shillito and the other half over to Veterans, just so we could fit everyone in,” he said.
That would have meant having two tournaments at two different locations going on at one time. It’s tough enough to organize a tournament when the field’s on a single course, much less two courses at once, Smith said.
But despite the larger than normal turnout, slick playing conditions and sizeable groups, few of the participants seemed to care. Most highlighted the fact that it was nice to be outside on such a beautiful, sunny day in which temperatures climbed as high as 56 degrees, making it the warmest day in more than two months.
Those warmer than normal conditions aided many of the tournament’s golfers in the scoring column. Dutch Napier won the Open (or pro) Division shooting an ultra low 47 at Veterans and 46 at Shillito, for a combined score of 15 under, netting him the first place prize money of $105. He was followed by Chris Boro who finished with a combined score of 7 under, earning him the second place money of $70. Third place in the pro division went to Allen Johansen who finished at 6 under, good enough for $50.
The Advanced Division ended in a three way tie. Jerry Dobbins managed to win the division with a birdie in a one hole playoff. He was closely followed by Billy Serapiglia and Robbie Wildt. All three golfers finished at 5 under.
The top three places in each of the other divisions include:
Intermediate: Mike Naegele, 3 under; Brad Anderson, 1 under; John Allgeir, 2 over
Recreational: Bugsie Taylor, even par (108); Warren Foy, 3 over; Bryan Gort, 3 over
Novice: Greg Weleski, 14 over; Lewis Willian, 15 over; Jeff Smith, 15 over
Junior (under 16): Justin Ramon, 25 over; Jake Rickert, 26 over; Andrew Oisten, 33 over
Only one girl participated in the tournament, Kirsten Coggan. She finished at 68 over.
Of all the divisions competing, only the Open Division received cash payouts. But all of the other division’s top three or four places, as well as the closest to the pin competition winners, all left with players packs consisting of everything from drivers, to mid-range and putter discs, as well BDGA water bottles and disc markers.
In addition, the ace pools were won by Robbie Wildt, who aced hole #4 at Veterans, and Drew Smith, who aced #1 at Shillito. Both players netted $90 for their accuracy.
Above and beyond the fun of competing in a tournament as challenging as the Lexington Ice Bowl, players left feeling good about the money that was raised for charity. Of the entrance fees collected, almost $1200 went to God’s Pantry of Lexington.
The Lexington Ice Bowl marks the conclusion of the winter season for BDGA. Up next is league play starting in March and the 3rd Annual Kentucky State Juniors Tournament slated for April 24th at Shillito and River Hill Parks.
Also just around the corner is the Lawrenceburg “Slide & Glide” Ice Bowl scheduled for this coming Saturday at 8 AM at the city park across from Anderson County High School. Proceeds from this tournament will go to Open Hands Community Food Pantry.
If you would like to learn more about disc golf or the Bluegrass Disc Golf Association contact Drew Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lewis Willian (email@example.com), or visit the BDGA website at www.bdga.org.