Beachy outlasts the field in Ace Race

Mallery 2nd, Wilson and Davies tie for 3rd

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By Kevin Spradlin

MOUNT SAVAGE — Nine players. One shot each at 36 holes. That means event director Scott Mallery planned for 324 shots.

Kevin Spradlin photo |
Dan Beachy throws as Colby Mallery, left, and Seth Lewis, right, wait their turn.

And it wasn’t until shot No. 301 — fourth thrower on the 34th hole — that Mallery sank what was the only shot of the day that resembled the event’s namesake: He had a hole in one.

The 53-year-old Mount Savage man thrust his arms up in the air as the drive vaulted him from a scoreless tie in last place with five other players into second place with only two baskets remaining.

It was just what Mallery had had in mind after No. 17.

“We need an ace,” he said at the time.

Over the final two baskets, though, no one could catch up with Dan Beachy. Mallery’s ace was worth three points, but hitting any part of the basket (but not landing in the cage) was worth one point. Beachy, 38, of Frostburg, hit the chains four times — on baskets 6, 17, 18 and 28 — to outlast the field and win the inaugural Ace Race disc golf competition on Saturday afternoon on the private, heavily wooded Mile Lane Disc Golf course in Mount Savage.

Kevin Spradlin photo |
Scott Mallery throws towards the blue basket.

The tees, modified from the original course, were placed between 120 feet and 160 feet from each basket.Competitors were limited to only two discs for the first 24 holes. They were able to swap out discs for the final 12 baskets.

All nine players played each hole together before moving on to the next one. As they did, players (mostly the younger ones) shared some friendly trash-talking.

There were times, though, when players simply acknowledged the challenges of the course and all it had to offer.

“There’s a tree limb,” Beachy said while teeing off at No. 2. Wilson wasn’t satisfied.

“There’s the rest of the tree,” he said after the sound of his disc making contact with wood echoed.

The scoreboard was empty through the first five holes before Beachy hit the top of basket No. 6 for the first point of the day. Not to be out done, Seth Wilson, 27, of Cresaptown, hit the chains on the very next throw to create a two-way tie atop the leaderboard.

Wilson took a 2-1 lead on No. 10, and Wilson and Beachy remained the only players who touched a basket with a disc until Nic Davies, 25, of Mount Savage, struck on No. 13. Then Ethan Shreve, 18, of Cumberland, took his turn as the second thrower on No. 17 and scored a point.

Three throws later, though — still on No. 17 — Beachy tied Wilson with two points apiece. That left Davies and Shreve tied with one point each, and the rest of the field with zero.

Kevin Spradlin photo |
Seth Wilson on a tee on the woods.

That situation didn’t last long, as Beachy scored again on No. 18 for a 3-2 lead over Wilson. Beachy’s effort on 18 marked the only time of the day a player scored on consecutive holes. At the midway point, Beachy held a 3-2 lead over Wilson, with Davies and Shreve still at one point apiece.

Colby Mallery, 18, of Mount Savage, opened the scoring in second half of the competition on No. 19 by hitting the drift wood at the base of the basket, one of the rare times hitting anything but metal converted into a point. Mallery became the fifth player in the nine-person field to get on the scoreboard.

Nobody scored on the next seven baskets. Then, on No. 27, there were a couple of near misses. As the third thrower on No. 27 — the rotation was set on the first basket and each person took turns going first throughout the three-hour competition —Bill Shreve, 45, of Cumberland, had as close of a near miss as there was all day when, throwing down hill, his disc landed roughly the diameter of a disc away from the pole holding up the orange basket.

Kevin Spradlin photo |
Nic Davies maintains his balance while teeing off in the woods.

That, of course, wasn’t close enough to score. Three throws later, however, Davies’ disc bounced in the bottom of the cage and out again.

“Dang,” the mild-mannered Davies exclaimed. “Dang.”

His point moved him into a two-way tie with Wilson for second place at the time.

On No. 28, Beachy struck for the fourth and final time, giving him what would be the game-winning point. The scoring remained Beach 4, Davies and Wilson 2, C. Mallery and E. Shreve 1 until Scott Mallery’s ace on No. 34.

For his winning effort, Beachy was awarded a new disc golf bag, three discs, and a medal. At registration, each player received a water bottle and an MVP Neutron Uplink – GYROPalooza Stamp.

Beachy must be getting used to the idea of winning. He won the Western Maryland Disc Golf League Championship Tournament in October by three strokes, and he also won the League Point Series.

Kevin Spradlin photo |
From left to right: Ethan Shreve, Amanda Ward, Sam Wolodkin, Bill Shreve, Scott Mallery, Dan Beachy, Colby Mallery, Nic Davies and Seth Wilson.


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