Another successful Ozark Mountain event is in the books! A big thanks goes out to all of the individuals that helped prepare the courses during the period of the last couple of weeks. Unless you are part of the crew, it is impossible to fully comprehend the amount of time, effort, and money that goes into getting everything ready. Every Spring and Fall Dave McCormack and his band of dedicated workers spend countless man-hours mowing, trimming, pruning, weed-whacking, and marking the 3 courses to get them ready for the annual events. Without Dave’s dedication to this piece of property, none of us would get to enjoy one of the greatest disc golf complexes in the world. Thank You!
The weekend saw 68 official players (and a handful of Sunday add-ons) take on the many challenges that the 3 course complex offers. Some arrived as early as Wednesday and some weren’t planning on leaving until Monday evening so that they could squeeze in as much golf as possible. Personally, my legs have usually had their fill after playing the 3 official tournament rounds, but I completely understand the mentality of getting in as many rounds as possible while the courses are looking so good.
As usual, Dave went out of his way to ensure that everyone (pros included) received a sweet player’s pack and that the payouts weren’t compromised because of them. For $10 of the entry fee, everyone received a custom stamped G-Series Wizard, a Scott Stokely Fly High Disc, a full-color logo long sleeve T-Shirt, and a stash mini: Additionally, Dave also added cash to every division as well, so you know that the payouts were more than fair. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has been to the Ozarks before, as Dave has always been more concerned with providing everyone a memorable experience versus making a few bucks. Once again, Thank you Dave!
Most of the campers showed up on Friday and were greeted with some amazing weather…this was not going to be one of those years where the courses/campground are covered in a hard frost every morning! Night-time lows only got down to the mid 50’s and the day-time highs reached close to 90 degrees. How nice is that for late October?! I think I even heard some people complaining about it being too hot…how quickly they forget!
Friday night officially started off the scheduled tournament festivities. DG NOMAD Disc Golf set up a glow course for some night time play with their custom glow chain/black-light setup. If you have not seen this in person, it is by far the coolest glow setup around…the glowing chains look insane! On top of this, John Manion with Miller Brewing Co., provided a bottomless supply of brew for the weekend. Try as everyone might to finish all 10 x 5-gallon kegs, I believe that some beer ended up having to be dumped when it was all said and done. Let’s go ahead and call this an Ozark first! Thank You DG NOMAD and John Manion!!!
The competition started at high noon on Saturday. All of the Pros and Advanced players started on Spencer-Davis, and the rest of the field (Intermediate, Recreational, and Women) started on Ozark Mountain. There was not a cloud in the sky and just enough wind to make it interesting. The only “casualty” of the day happened on the big course, when Victor Roarke had to call it quits due to some overheating in the unseasonably warm conditions. I can honestly say that I almost fell victim to the same demise when I got to the top of Spencer-Davis Hole 3, so he should definitely feel no shame…the Ozark Mountain DG Complex can be a brutal test!
At the end of the first day of competition, Gateway Pro Justin Bunnell had taken a commanding lead in the Pro Open Division, carding a smoking 54 on Spencer-Davis, with local John Manion in hot pursuit, carding a solid 59. In the Pro Masters division, Roger Reyes and host Dave McCormack both started things off nicely, carding a 58 and 59 respectively. In the Advanced division, Gateway’s own Dominick Clark shot a stellar 56, taking a 4 stroke lead over Matthew Rowe. On the big course, the Intermediate division was shaping up with some tight competition – Brandon Luebbering, Micah Johnson, and Will Ward ended the day in a dead heat at 77. Aaron Hill started off the tournament in style, carding a bodacious 77 in the Recreational division, with Sam Huberburger nipping at his heels, carding a 79. Melissa Tunis (the lone female warrior of the weekend), carded a very respectable 92 on her quest for a wire-to-wire victory!
Saturday night at the campground was once again one of the main attractions of the weekend (at least for me)! The glow baskets were kicked back on by DG NOMAD and a formal glow doubles round took place.