Mallery, Warder buoyed by luck of the draw

Shreve’s lead in MVP race shrinks
Doubles play resumes Jan. 9 in Cumberland

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CUMBERLAND — The idiom “luck of the draw” was born from playing cards in the 1940s. Of course, the draw from a randomly shuffled pile of cards could be good luck or bad luck, depending on one’s perspective.

On Sunday, in a draw modified to suit the sport of disc golf, Scott Mallery and David Warder had good luck. Bill Shreve did not.

Scott Mallery drives from white tee No. 2.

Each of the 11 players who registered for the 10th week of the Western Maryland Disc Golf Fall/Winter Doubles League put their mini marker, or disc, inside a large red fabric bucket. Then the youngest of the 11 players, 8-year-old Lucas Spradlin-Vogelsang, was charged with picking the markers out of the bucket. The owner of the first disc would be paired with the owner of the second disc, and so on.

To be as fair as possible, the bucket of mini discs, which included his own, was lifted so that Spradlin-Vogelsang was unable to peer into the bucket. The goal was to facilitate a draw that was as random and fair as possible.

Warder and Mallery were the first two drawn. Heading into Sunday’s competition, the two were second and third, respectively, at the midway point of the Fall/Winter Doubles League MVP standings. Spradlin-Vogelsang next drew the disc belonging to his father, Kevin Spradlin, who — by standards of regular scoring — is one of the worst players in the league. The person who owned the next disc to be pulled from the bucket was likely to have a less-than-stellar chance of finishing in the top three, and thus a chance to maximize a potential gain in those standings.

Team Warder-Mallery got off to a strong start with David Warder’s driving ability.

Shreve’s disc was pulled next. Heading into Sunday’s round, the 45-year-old Cumberland resident had a seven point lead over Warder and 12 points over Mallery. That lead was about to be gutted.

Warder, 31, of Eckhart, and Mallery, 53, of Mount Savage, made birdie on basket No. 7 and never again trailed any of the other nine competitors. Team Warder-Mallery finished with an even 50, three strokes ahead of Keith Raynor, 45, of Vale Summit. Raynor was the odd man out and played a modified solo round, being permitted a mulligan once on each of the 18 holes. Raynor finished with a 53. In third place was the duo of David Moore, 60, of Monroe, Ga., and Colby Mallery, 18, of Mount Savage, who finished with a 56.

Ethan Shreve, 18, and Ethan Von Hagel, 19, both of Cumberland, were two strokes back with a 58. Bill Shreve and Kevin Spradlin, of Frostburg, finished five strokes behind that with a 63, while the youngest two players on the day, 14-year-old Rezin Moore, of Monroe, and Spradlin-Vogelsang, of Frostburg, finished with a 71.

Keith Raynor drives from No. 5 on the back nine.

From the outset, it seemed like the day would field lively competition between Team Warder-Mallery and Raynor. Raynor held a one-stroke lead after the very first basket, having made birdie while Warder and Mallery made par (3) on the 162-foot construct. Each made par on No. 2, then Mallery and Warder threw a birdie on No. 3 to pull even with Raynor, who made par.

Raynor again pulled ahead No. 5, again on the strength of his second of five birdies on the day. Team Warder-Mallery knotted the score on No. 6, then made two consecutive birdies — to par for Raynor — to pull ahead by two strokes.

At the midway point, Team Warder-Mallery had a 22 while Raynor had a 24. Team Moore-Mallery and Team Shreve-Von Hagel had 27 apiece, while the Shreve-Spradlin duo and Moore-Spradlin-Vogelsang duo were tied at 30 each.

David Moore

The youngsters solidified the final spot in the team standings on the back nine, as they double-bogeyed Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 from the white tees. Team Shreve-Spradlin, meanwhile, made par on the first two baskets from the white tees but double-bogeyed No. 3 and, after making par on two straight, double-bogeyed the woody No. 6 from a bad drive onward.

MVP standings update

Bill Shreve began the day with a comfortable lead atop the MVP standings with 35 points. David Warder was second with 28 and Scott Mallery was third with 23.

There is no league membership requirement to vye for MVP, and no additional cost to enter the race. Players are automatically entered into the race when they complete a round of Fall/Winter Doubles League play. Through Jan. 2, 17 players have accumulated at least one point each.

As Warder and Mallery secured five points each for the win, however, and Shreve earned only a lone participation point for a fifth-place finish, that cut Shreve’s lead over Warder to only three points — and there remain eight more scheduled weeks of play. Mallery was 12 points out of first and is now only eight from Shreve.

Colby Mallery

Keith Raynor was fifth coming into Sunday’s play and is now fourth with 25 points, one point ahead of Ethan Shreve.

If there is a tie for the top spot among MVP contenders after play on Feb. 27, the winner will be decided by a playoff hole at Central Assembly of God. The playoff basket — or baskets, if more than one is required — would be configured from existing baskets with modified tee locations.

Doubles play resumes Sunday, Jan. 9 at Central Assembly of God in Cumberland. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. tee time. Registration is $5 per player.

The updated MVP race standings after play on Jan. 2, 2022.

Fall/Winter Doubles League competition is set to end Sunday, Feb. 27. Spring League is scheduled to begin Thursday, March 17.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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