What a fantastic “Part 2” to the 2020 Challenge at Goat Hill Park – Driven by Innova over the weekend! 152 disc golfers tackled the tough Goat Hill Park layout, with great competition and some last-minute drama to entertain us all. In the end, 5 of the 9 divisions were decided by one throw (a 6th was by just 2 throws), three divisions had playoffs for second place and another had a playoff for third! Having PDGA Live Scoring in use and showing on the golf-ball scarred big screen TV on the pro shop patio meant that many were watching the back and forth battles throughout the weekend. The higher than normal temperatures and humidity were less of an issue than they might have been due to the fact that all players had golf carts available for their use (at no additional cost to the players!).
Pros: Dave “Super” Bretado displayed his “Super” skills by firing two 1020+ rated rounds to lap the rest of the MP40 field by eleven throws. Only four throws separated 2nd through 8th place, with Matt Jankowski taking the second place Goat trophy and Shane Dehner 3rd. Tom Juhl brought home his third consecutive Goat trophy in MP50, holding off a hard-charging Dan Duron who took second place, followed by Jerry Goff in 3rd.
Amateurs: On the Amateur side, Joe Behny birdied the final hole of the tournament for a one-throw win over Will Marion and Nathan Heron in MA1 (Advanced Amateur). Joe’s purchase of 10 CTP/Raffle tickets before his round began may have given him the karma boost to win the tournament, but those tickets also helped him to win the raffle Grand Prize – a Zuca Cart (donated by Joe Rotan), DD Ranger Bag (donated by AJ Risley) and Tour Support discs from AJ, Philo, Clint Calvin and Jay “Yeti” Reading! Steven Dickman had won the CTP Contest with a 180-ft throw-in just minutes befoe, taking home the schweet Nate Sexton LVC-Edition Firebird.
Holyn Handley had a big win in FA1, besting Claudia Luckey and Rachel Trager by 14 throws. Ralph Martinez had a one-throw win in MA40 over Fire Captain Mike Reeves, with Quinn Henry and Eric Shanahan just one more throw back. Mike Vivian beat the youngsters in MA50 – one throw better than Ed Smissen in 2nd and a few more over Eric “Drick” Ducharme in 3rd. And Spence Stevens eked out a three throw win over Jon Dominguez in MA60, who was one throw ahead of Gary Kendy in 3rd place.
Kyle Weir had a two-throw victory in MA2 (time for MA1 now?) over Tom Dew and Tyler Spicer, while Diego Lopez was one throw better than Justin Kuester in MA3, winning with a birdie on Hole 18. Christopher Saldaña happily took home a Goat trophy for 3rd place in the Rec division.
Thank Yous: Many, many, many thanks to our sponsors and supporters. I have another post coming to enumerate our sponsors, but I can’t pass up a chance to thank Mark Molnar and Sam Ferrans of Innova-Champion Discs, and all of the Innova Team, for their ongoing support of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park. Innova gave me access to the discs that everyone wanted this summer, and I sold over 400 of these discs to raise funds to pay for golf carts at The Challenge – no player entry fee money went towards the carts. And Am players, make sure to show appreciation to DiscGolfValues.com for the quality of the player pack you received – Mark Molnar and DiscGolfValues made generous donations that provided the great Challenge Me discs and Innova Blade shirts.
Another set of thanks to Jeff Jacquart, Scott Merritt and the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club and Steve Rico and Legacy Discs for providing the bulk of the Am payout at The Challenge. The payout table was filled by these folks!
Volunteers make tournaments happen. Maxine and Glenn Duncan were helpful in so many ways, including helping me bring tournament gear to the Goat after my car broke down. Shaun Watkins was my right hand all weekend – covering check-in, payout, player packs and raffle sales – anything I needed help with. Randy Wylot was a top-notch starter – getting groups out onto the course on time and making sure that EVERY GROUP used the PDGA Live Scoring! And when we ran out of carts on Saturday, Joe Rodriguez and Jason Aberle turned around the incoming carts and shuttled them back out to players on the course in amazing fashion. Spence Stevens did a great job getting the mandatories and drop zones set up Saturday morning while Courtney Weekly and Alejandra Puga #undiscgolfed the course after play was completed. And Reuben Saldaña jumped in on Sunday to help Glenn Duncan handle the raffle prize selection and disbursement. Thank you, thank you, thank you all!
Major thanks also to Eli Ivey and John Ashworth of Goat Hill Park, for their continued support of disc golf at the Goat. And huge thanks to Eric, Hunter, Lisa and the rest of the Goat Hill pro shop, cart barn and course maintenance staff for helping me navigate the ins and outs of running disc golf events at Goat Hill Park. They stepped up like champs this weekend to make sure we had a great experience for our tournament.
I have been running The Challenge and other events at Goat Hill for nearly ten years now, and my kids – Katie and AJ – have always been there to help me get things done and look as good as possible in the process. I hope they understand how much I appreciate their support.
Now the planning begins for 2021. I intend to keep moving forward, accepting whatever roadblocks come up and coming up with solutions. I’ll keep working to make The Challenge the best disc golf tournament it can be.