Team Mallery-Spiker hangs on for Doubles League win

Shreve remains atop MVP standings
Doubles play resumes Sunday, Feb. 6 in Cumberland

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CUMBERLAND — Scott Mallery and Devon Spiker broke the fourth and final tie of the afternoon on the basket in the woods, and the two hung on the rest of the way for a one-stroke victory in Western Maryland Disc Golf Fall/Winter Doubles League action on Sunday at Central Assembly of God in Cumberland.

Bill Shreve was seeded third in Sunday’s field, but is No. 1 in the MVP standings for Fall/Winter Doubles League play.

The doubles play format can vary from week to week, but generally the top players are paired with lower-ranking players with the goal of creating even competition. That gets to be a problem when so few strokes separate the top player who shows up on a given Sunday afternoon to the bottom player.

On this particular Sunday, Dan Beachy was awarded the No. 1 seed and was paired with No. 8 Ethan Von Hagel, while No. 2 David Warder was teamed up with No. 7 Sam Wolodkin. Then it was No. 3 Bill Shreve with No. 6 Tyler Gilks, and rounding out the four-team field was No. 4 Scott Mallery with No. 5 Devon Spiker. The seedings are a mix of players’ results from Summer 2021 league play and the season-ending league tournament in October 2021.

The approach seemed to work well enough, as the top four teams were separated by only two strokes. Mallery, 53, of Mount Savage, and Spiker, 19, of Frostburg, finished atop the team standings with a round-low score of 49, six under par.

Ethan Von Hagel was the No. 8 seed, but teamed with No. 1 seed Dan Beachy to finish second.

Dan Beachy, 38, of Frostburg, and Ethan Von Hagel, 19, of Cumberland, took second with a 50 while two teams — David Warder, 31, of Frostburg, and Sam Wolodkin, 19, of Frostburg, along with Bill Shreve, 45, of Cumberland, and Tyler Gilks, 23, of Wiley Ford, W.Va. — tied for third with a 51. As the odd man out (and ninth seed of the players in Sunday’s field) Kevin Spradlin played a solo round. Without the use of mulligans, permitted for solo players in doubles league action, Spradlin, 42, of Frostburg, finished a distant fourth with a 64. The 64 was his second-best individual round since he began playing at Central in August 2021 (his best is a 63).

The method of play was “best throw.” Both players on each time would drive from the tee. Then they would use the disc at the best position (picking up the one in the worst position). Both teammates would then throw from that spot until they reached the time a putt. Only one player from each team had to make the putt before moving on to the next basket. The only condition was that players were limited to two consecutive drives and, after that, the other teammate was required to drive from the tee.

Team Mallery-Spiker managed to throw for seven birdies, but it was making par on basket No. 15 that broke the fourth and final tie of the afternoon. On that hole — where discs and dreams both get lost in wooded despair — Mallery and Spiker made par on the par 4 hole. So did Warder and Wolodkin, but they entered that basket down a stroke and making par on No. 16 doubled their deficit to two strokes behind the leaders. Meanwhile, Team Beachy-Von Hagel bogeyed No. 15, all but sealing the win for Mallery and Spiker.

No. 6 Tyler Gilks and No. 3 Bill Shreve finished in a two-way tie for third place.

Doubles play resumes Sunday, Feb. 6 at Central Assembly of God. There is a 2 p.m. tee time, and registration begins at 1:30 p.m.

MVP standings update: Shreve still No. 1

A total of 22 players have completed a combined 101 rounds of disc golf in Fall/Winter Doubles League competition over the league’s first 14 weeks. Weather permitting, there are four more Sunday afternoons on the Doubles League slate, which ends Feb. 27.

With four weeks to go, Bill Shreve has maintained his lead that he has held since MVP rankings were first revealed at the league’s midway point on Dec. 30. Over the last five weeks of play, Shreve’s lead has grown by three points, buoyed by finishing in the top three four of the past five weeks.

Through play on Jan. 30, Bill Shreve remains atop the MVP leaderboard.

After Sunday afternoon, Shreve leads with 51 points, followed by David Warder with 41 points. Scott Mallery’s team win moved him from fourth into third place with 37 points, while Keith Raynor is now in fourth place with 33 points.

As there are only four play dates remaining — each Sunday in February — it is practical to consider that the race for MVP is down to those four individuals. A variety of factors, including consistent participation, format of doubles play each Sunday, and who gets paired with who, among other things, can and likely will impact how things shake out.

Shreve has played in 13 of 14 weeks of Fall/Winter Doubles League competition. Warder has played in nine weeks, while Mallery has played in eight Sunday competitions. Raynor has played in nine weeks.

A modest award (no cash value) will be presented to the MVP during the first night of Spring League play on Thursday, March 17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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