Shreve, Von Hagel tops in ‘worst’ outing

Doubles play wraps up Feb. 27 in Cumberland
Spring League begins March 17

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MOUNT SAVAGE — In sports, athletes at some point might choose to push the “reset” button in order to address any noticeable or even perceived flaws. In disc golf, this time can be used to work on disc grip, release angle, foot work, wrist snap, follow through and more.

Asked what David Warder was looking to change, the 31-year-old Frostburg resident put it simply.

“Everything.”

It’s back to the drawing board for Warder, and quite frequently that means taking a step or two back while trying to figure it all out and taking a giant leap forward. Before it comes back together, though, such situations can often create opportunity for others.

Bill Shreve winds up for a drive.

On Sunday, it was a chance for Bill Shreve to increase his lead in the race for the season’s Most Valuable Player award, presented by AlleganyPlayground.com and Ryan’s Disc Golf Stop.

Shreve, 45, of Cumberland, and Ethan Von Hagel, 19, of Cumberland, rallied on the back nine en route to victory in Week 17 of the Western Maryland Disc Golf Fall/Winter Doubles League competition at Mile Lane Disc Golf Course in Mount Savage.

David Warder worked on his forehand on Sunday.

The 18th and final week of Fall/Doubles League is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27 at Central Assembly of God in Cumberland. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and tee time is set for 2 p.m. Registration is $5 per player, and competition is open to the public.

Shreve and Von Hagel broke ties with Scott Mallery, 53, of Mount Savage, and Seth Wilson, 27, of Cresaptown, twice on the back nine to earn the win. Team Shreve-Von Hagel led by one at the midway point, 26-27 — with Warder and Keith Raynor, 45, of Vale Summit at 35 on the par 27 front nine.

Wilson threw an ace — his first, and the first in league play in 2022 — on No. 10 in an attempt to jumpstart the back nine for his team. Unfortunately, the ace did not count for scoring purposes due to the style of play. Shreve and Von Hagel threw for par on No. 11, lost the lead on No. 13 but gained two strokes — and the lead for one last time — on No. 15 when they threw for par while Mallery and Wilson double bogeyed the basket, approximately 230 feet from the tee.

Ethan Von Hagel putting inside Circle 1.

Shreve and Von Hagel finished with a score of 58, followed by Mallery and Wilson with a 61. Warder and Raynor finished a distant third (70). Kevin Spradlin, 42, of Frostburg, played a regular round as the odd man out and threw a two-under 52. Spradlin threw for nine birdies, including six on the front nine. He finished with three bogeys and one quadruple bogey (No. 15).

All seven players threw from the new blue tees on the privately owned course. The blue tees are, over 18 baskets, more than 1,300 feet closer to the baskets than the original version of the course. With the mud and the trees, there were plenty of challenges. Of course, the style of play didn’t help, either.

Seth Wilson putting.

The playing format has varied from week to week during Fall/Winter Doubles League. This time, host Mallery chose to use the “worst shot” method, also known as “opponent’s choice.” It works like this: Both players on Team A drive from the tee. The other teams decide on which lie Team A throws from — competitively speaking, choosing the worst of the two. Then both players throw from that point on toward the basket, until both make the putt.

Something not to forget: Warder is already in the top tier of local disc golf players. What happens when he gets back from the drawing board with it all figured out?

MVP update

Shreve entered Sunday’s action with 55 points, and a five-point lead over second-place Warder. Mallery was in third (41).

With the shared win, Shreve now has 60 points, while Warder lost ground and is now seven points off the pace heading into the final league of the season. Mallery is 15 points behind Shreve.

Keith Raynor with a forehand drive.

It would take a win by Warder and at least an ace — assuming Shreve did not play next week — to finish in a tie. If the MVP race does finish in a tie, a play hole (or holes) will be played at a time to be determined.

Incidentally, Warder is one of three players who have thrown an ace during Fall/Winter Doubles League action. Warder’s came on Nov. 7 at Central Assembly of God. Shreve threw his on Dec. 5, also at Central. Wilson’s took place on Sunday, and though it did not count in the race for MVP, there was a fourth — Mallery threw one at Mile Lane Disc Golf Course during the Ace Race in November.

The top four spots remained the same from last week through play on Sunday. Shreve in first, Warder second, Mallery third and Raynor fourth. With the shared win, Von Hagel moved into a tie with Spradlin for fifth place.

The top three players in the final MVP standings will receive a modest award on the first night of Spring League play scheduled for Thursday, March 17. Tee time is 5 p.m.

Bill Shreve leads the MVP race by seven points heading into the final week of the season.

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