Mallery takes control over back nine to complete comeback

Four teams separated by 3 strokes at midway point

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CUMBERLAND — There was consensus among fellow players that Colby Mallery didn’t have his best stuff early on.

That hardly mattered. The 19-year-old from Mount Savage put together a standout effort on the back nine to complete a comeback with teammate Kevin Spradlin, 43, of Frostburg, in Week 5 of the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s Fall Doubles League on Sunday afternoon at Central Assembly of God in Cumberland.

To be clear, the comeback was mostly Mallery’s doing.

Colby Mallery drives from red No. 5 at Central.

All eight players — ranging in age from 8 to 54 — paired up in teams of two and competed in the “best shot” format. This time, there was no cap on the number of times a player’s drive could be used. Each player threw from the tee pad, and the team played the disc with the best lie. That continued until one player made it into each basket to complete the hole. The format accentuates the positive, ensures all players get a turn and helps teams compete for the best score possible. It worked; all four teams finished below par on the par 55 course in conditions that most would describe as less than ideal: sunny, but only 32 degrees and with a steady 18 mph wind on the mostly open course that made it feel closer to the low 20s.

Mallery and Spradlin were on a card with Bill Shreve, 46, of Cumberland, and Scott Mallery, 54, of Mount Savage. Team Mallery-Spradlin quickly found itself in a hole. Team Shreve-Mallery birdied the first three holes (they started on No. 3) while Team Mallery-Spradlin managed to save par. Team Shreve-Mallery increased its lead to four strokes on the fifth basket (No. 7) by throwing for a fourth par in five tries.

Team Mallery-Spradlin used Spradlin’s drive on the first three baskets (Nos. 3-5), then again on No. 1.

On the second half of the front nine, though, the younger Mallery began to find his footing. Mallery’s drives were used on the final 10 baskets (and 14 of 18 overall).  Team Shreve-Mallery used Shreve’s drives fives times on the front nine. On the back nine, Shreve’s drives were used on six of nine occasions.

Colby Mallery was the catalyst to gaining back all four strokes his team needed — one each on Nos. 8, 9, 1 and 2, in that order — and forging a tie at four under par 23 strokes over the front nine. On the other card, Keith Raynor, 46, of Vale Summit, and Noah Davis, 8, of Frostburg, were only two strokes off the pace with a 25. Ethan von Hagel, 20, of Cumberland, and teammate Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, 9, of Frostburg, rounded out the field at the midway point with a 26.

On the back nine — from the long tees, which is young Mallery’s strength — he continued to roll. On the second hole of the second half (No. 4), Mallery’s drive landed in a fine spot and he and Spradlin managed to throw for par. Team Shreve-Mallery, meanwhile, threw their only bogey of the day. Team Mallery-Spradlin had a one-stroke lead, it’s first of the day. It felt pretty good, and it was a position Mallery worked hard to preserve.

The next two baskets were even, but on the fifth of the back nine (No. 7), Mallery’s drive led to a birdie while Team Shreve-Mallery threw for par. In an instant, Team Mallery-Spradlin’s lead doubled to two strokes with only four to play. And if that hadn’t already sealed it — and it probably hadn’t, as pretty much anything can happen over four baskets from the long tees in strong winds — Mallery’s drive from the tee on third-to-last (No. 9) hole put the nail in the coffin. Mallery threw his MVP Uplink mid-range. The tee was 303 feet from the basket. The disc hit the ground at least 100 feet from it, but rolled and rolled until it was only a few feet from its target. The inevitable birdie to Team Shreve-Mallery’s par grew the lead to three strokes, and nothing changed over the final two holes.

Keith Raynor toes the tee pad on No. 9 (long).

While most, if not all, of the used drives for von Hagel and Spradlin-Vogelsang were from the former, the latter (younger) player made a couple of putts to keep the two in a race for third with Raynor and Davis. Davis had to bail after the 12th hole, so Raynor played Cali style — he was permitted a mulligan — on each of the remaining six holes.

Team Raynor-Davis held a one-stroke advantage at the midway point for third place. The first three holes on the back nine were a wash, they doubled their lead on No. 4 when von Hagel and Spradlin-Vogelsang threw their second bogey of the day. Von Hagel and Spradlin-Vogelsang cut the deficit in half on No. 5, then the 9-year-old made a putt on No. 7 to take advantage of von Hagel’s well-placed drive. The drive-and-putt made for birdie and forged a tie with only two holes left, on which both teams threw for par to finish out Week 5 play.

Week 5 notes

* No ace was hit, so the ace pot stands at $55.

* For the second straight week, doubles partners were assigned randomly. This time, Scott Mallery blindly drew minis from a box.

* Colby Mallery (short 8) and Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang (short 7) won CTP contests. Both will receive a gift certificate to Mile Lane Disc Golf retail store in Mount Savage.

* The Allegany County Disc Golf Club has collected $236 in registration fees (not including the ace pot) that will be put toward the pursuit of a public disc golf course in Allegany County.

* Mile Lane Disc Golf will host a glow round on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. in Mount Savage. There is no cost to play.

* The Ace Race at Mile Lane is set for Saturday, Nov. 26. Click here for details.

* Week 6 returns to Mile Lane Disc Golf in Mount Savage. Tee time is 2 p.m.

 

Standings after Week 5. Please email AlleganyPlayground@gmail.com with any suggestion corrections.

Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang makes a putt on No. 7 that forges a tie for third place.

 

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