Warder takes chunk out of Shreve’s MVP lead

Doubles play resumes Feb. 20 in Mount Savage

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CUMBERLAND — Sure, Nick Russ led his team to victory. That was probably not much of a surprise and, with only two weeks remaining in Fall/Winter Doubles League action, not the top story line.

David Warder and his team finished second in the two-team field on Sunday in Western Maryland Disc Golf competition. That means he earned four points in the race for league Most Valuable Player presented by Ryan’s Disc Golf Stop and AlleganyPlayground.com. And while Warder earned four points, points leader Bill Shreve didn’t earn any.

The MVP standings through Feb. 13. Sixteen weeks down, two to go.

Warder, 31, of Frostburg, entered play on Sunday nine points behind Shreve, 45, of Cumberland. Shreve had 55 points. Warder had 46. Shreve had played in 14 of 15 weeks of league competition this season, and placed in the top three 13 times. First place is five MVP points, second place is four points, third place is three points, which means Shreve’s mere attendance today and over the final two weeks would have virtually, if not literally, guaranteed taking home the MVP title short of Warder throwing a few aces.

Then, 18 minutes before tee time Sunday, Shreve sent a text: “I will not be playing today. Unfortunately, I am sick.”

No one wanted Shreve to be sick, or to play while sick. But the status change suddenly turned the race for MVP into a two-man contest. Doubles play is scheduled for Feb. 20 at Mile Lane Disc Golf in Mount Savage and, on Feb. 27, back to Central Assembly of God in Cumberland.

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to how things will wrap up. But it should be fun to watch. The MVP award will be presented to the winner on Thursday, March 17, which is the first night of Spring League competition. This is the closest Warder has been to Shreve in the standings since Jan. 2, when the two were separated by only three points.

Warder, along with Scott Mallery, 53, of Mount Savage, and Ethan Von Hagel, 19, of Cumberland, teamed up to finish second in the two-team field with a score of 47, including seven birdies.

The style of play varies from week to week. This time, each player drove from the tee and teammates picked the best lie. The two players whose drive was not picked then worked the disc to the basket.

Nick Russ drives from the No. 13 tee.

Russ, 43, of Cumberland, teamed up with Seth Wilson, 27, of Cresaptown, and Kevin Spradlin, 42, of Frostburg, and together they were just a little bit better than the other group. The Russ-Wilson-Spradlin trio scored a day-best 42, including 13 birdies (72 percent of the course) and made par on the remaining five baskets.

Most weeks, players are seeded as they arrive on site based on 2021 Summer League play and tournament results. On Sunday, Russ had the No. 1 seed, while Warder was No. 2, Mallery No. 3, Wilson No. 4, Von Hagel No. 5 and Spradlin No. 6. So, it was a match-up of 1-4-6 vs. 2-3-5.

Team 1-4-6 threw for birdie on No. 1 for one-stroke lead that was never relinquished. Russ, Wilson and Spradlin led by two after four, three after five and four after six. Warder, Mallery and Von Hagel gained a stroke back with a birdie on No. 9 while the other group threw for par. After the front nine, Russ, Wilson and Spradlin led 20 to 23.

It was only the second time Russ participated in Fall/Winter Doubles League this season, and the five points he earned moved him up from being in a two-way tie for 16th place among 22 players who have recorded at least one round this season to 10th place.

Scott Mallery drives from No. 14.

Mallery remained in third place, also gaining on Shreve and is now 14 points off the pace. Wilson jumped from 18th place to a tie for 11th place with the five points from the shared victory. Like Russ, it was Wilson’s second time participating in league play this season.

On No. 15, David Warder has an unenviable task of trying to avoid trees.

Seth Wilson tries to park it from a tough lie from the drive on No. 15 in the woods.

Ethan Von Hagel drives from No. 16.

 

 

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