Week 1 of SFL is one for the record books

Week 1 division winners: C. Mallery, T. Farris, S. Farris, J. Spradlin
The field: 22 players combine for 142 birdies, two eagles

* Week 2: June 30 – July 3 at Hoffman Park DGC
* Summer Youth League continues June 27, July 4, July 11 and July 18
* Scroll down for a few photos from Week 1 SFL
* Summer Flex League rules, schedule and more

MOUNT SAVAGE — Krystal Mallery didn’t know it, but the completion of her round on Monday as part of Week 1 play in the Allegany County Disc Golf Club‘s second annual Summer Flex League helped to make history.

It didn’t matter that the 51-year-old Mount Savage resident one of only two players who did not record a birdie. What mattered most, instead, was participation. And for some people, having the flexibility to play at a convenient time — and without onlooking strangers — provides a sense of comfort while providing, in the bigger picture, a sense of community.

Mallery was one of 22 players to complete a round of 24 holes on the tournament layout at Mile Lane Disc Golf in Mount Savage over the four-day period, doubling the turnout from Week 1 in 2022. Sixteen were men, split into the Advanced Division (seven) and Recreation Division (nine). Mallery was one of three women, along with Shania Farris and Stephanie Spradlin. And there were three players in the Youth – Boys Division.

The entirety of the club’s Summer Flex League is free to play. Adults are competing for cash prizes and juniors players are vying for gift certificates to their favorite retailers. In 2022, awards were three deep in each of four divisions. This year, the men’s pool has been split into two divisions, which will allow three more individuals to be awarded (a total of 15 players throughout the five divisions) so long as participation continues its upward trajectory.

In all, 12 of 22 players threw their best mark, or tied it, during Saturday Morning Tag League action and earned the extra point in their respective division standings that comes with that distinction. The initiative is a club idea that intends to provide an incentive to increase attendance during the independently operated SMTL events at Mile Lane Disc Golf; it seems to be working early on, as Week 4 of SMTL featured a historic high of 14 players.

A couple of quick notes about the differences between Summer Flex League division standings and Allegany County Disc Golf Club division rankings. First, they are not the same. Players are assigned to a division regardless of the type of club-sanctioned round they play — casual, glow, league, etc. — and can can move up (or down) based on performance. Players have to play only a single club-sanctioned round to be assigned a division within the club rankings. Club membership is free and for life; if the player never completes a second club round, the player will remain in the division (but, inevitably, will move down in the pecking order as other players compete).

Second, the club has decided to move all players under the age of 18 to a youth division. Previously, there were two youth divisions, one for boys and one for girls. However, there were four boys under the age of 18 who were listed as competitors in the Men’s – Recreation Division. This was decided to offer a less-than-level playing field for the younger players, as it was perhaps not fair for them to compete against players in their 30s, 40s and beyond.

The club, then, has decided to split its Youth – Boys Division into “Youth – Boys Advanced” (currently with seven players) and “Youth – Boys Recreation” (with 19 players). Some of those 19 players will never play a second club round. Some of them, however, will quickly move up into the Youth – Boys Advanced Division with continued experience and improvement on local courses.

How to earn points during the Summer Flex League: 5 points for a win (within your division), 4 points for 2nd, 3 points for 3rd, 2 points for 4th, 1 point for 5th, and 1 point for participation. Further, players can each one additional point each of the six weeks that SFL is played in conjunction with Saturday Morning Tag League if the player ties or throws their best

Women’s Division

Shania Farris continued to dominate the women’s field since her first round with the club on Jan. 1. The 26-year-old from Wiley Ford, W.Va., is ranked second among the club’s seven female members and seems to have her eye on first. By the end of the 14-week Summer Flex League, Farris just might earn the top spot currently held by Becky Shreve.

All Farris did this time was throw a three under par 69, including six birdies from 24 holes from the short tees. Her effort was 13 strokes ahead of runner-up Stephanie Spradlin, 43, of Frostburg. Farris makes the case for the club to create an Advanced Division within the women’s field, but there must be at least four players in each division for that to happen. And even so, Spradlin would be in the Advanced Division, too, as she is currently ranked fourth among seven female club members.

The creation of divisions within the Summer Flex League is based on participation and not solely club membership in order to keep a minimum number of competitors within each division.

Spradlin finished with an 82 on her first time throwing 24 times from the short tees. Mallery finished third with a score of 103. She threw for par three times and managed to save bogey 11 times, indicating the possibility of a significant improvement in future weeks as the Summer Flex League returns to Mount Savage five more times over the next 13 weeks.

Youth Division

In 2022, the Youth Division – Girls had the lowest turnout, and the start of the 2023 season continues that unfortunate trend.

Meanwhile, three Frostburg players toed the tees in the Youth Division – Boys and made it fairly competitive after 12 short tees and 12 long tees. Josiah Spradlin, 13, finished atop the leaderboard this time with a 90, several strokes off his previous best of 84. Newcomer Evan Padovini, 12, played his first time at Mile Lane and finished second with a respectable 95. Like Spradlin, Padovini recorded one birdie — Spradlin on No. 7 long, Padovini on No. 9 short. Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, newly 10, placed third with a 96 on his first time playing from the long tees on the back 12.

He was one of only two players in the field of 22 who did not secure a birdie this time around. Spradlin-Vogelsang, however, threw for par on 10 of the first 13 holes, providing a sense that his score will lower significantly in the near future.

Men’s Division – Advanced

Give Sam Wolodkin credit. He tried.

Wolodkin, newly 21, of Frostburg, finished his SMTL round three strokes behind Colby Mallery Mallery finished with a 15 under par 59 to win back the No. 1 tag. Wolodkin was three strokes back and quickly decided he could do better than his 10 birdies, one eagle and completed a bogey-free round. Immediately after his SMTL round, Wolodkin joined up with newcomer Tim Carpenter for another 24 holes. This time, Wolodkin carded birdies on the first six holes and finished with 14 in all — but still one stroke behind Mallery.

Mallery, 20, of Mount Savage, finished with 14 birdies, one eagle and only one bogey en route to the Week 1 Summer Flex League victory. Wolodkin finished second with a 60, while a familiar face — Scott Mallery, 55, of Mount Savage — earned third with a 65 on his third flex league round of the weekend. Players are permitted to play multiple rounds (always a minimum of two on a card) and their best score counts. In this case, Mallery (a) completed a Monday round with wife Krystal and (b) bet on himself. He won the bet. Mallery threw his best of three SFL rounds over the weekend on Monday — outside of SMTL play, for which he gave up his SMTL point. However, his previous best of 67 (thrown Friday night) would have had him in a tie for seventh. That would have meant only one point total. The third round effort, then, netted him third place and an additional three points in the division standings.

Three players — Bill Shreve, 47, of Cumberland, newcomer Ken Pellini, 62, of Cumberland, and Nic Davies, 27, of Mount Savage — tied for fourth place with a 66. At No. 3530, Pellini has the lowest PDGA number of anyone in the Allegany County Disc Golf Club. The Navy veteran has been a PDGA member since 1984 and recently moved from Georgia to Maryland.

Ethan von Hagel, 20, of Cumberland, rounded out the seven-player field with a seven under par 67, which included eight birdies.

Men’s Division – Recreation

Tim Farris was part of a four-way tie among Saturday Morning Tag League competitors with an eight under par 66. The other three players, however, compete in the Men’s – Advanced Division, which means Farris stood alone atop the Men’s Division – Recreation leaderboard after Week 1of the club’s Summer Flex League.

Farris, 26, of Wiley Ford, was the only Rec division player to finish among Advanced Division players this week. He beat Advanced Division player Ethan von Hagel by a single stroke. Farris tallied 10 birdies and only one bogey as he blazed to a Week 1 win.

Kevin Spradlin, 44, of Frostburg, tied his best effort on the 24-hole layout (12 short, 12 long) with a 67 to finish in second. His effort, his best since May 27, included 10 birdies, one bogey and one double bogey.

New club member Rick Perkins, 66, of Cumberland, tied with Keith Raynor, 47, of Vale Summit, for third place. Each player finished with a 73. Perkins finished with eight birdies on what was only his second time playing at Mile Lane. Raynor finished with six birdies.

Noah Spradlin, 23, of Frostburg, placed fifth with an even par 74, only two strokes off his best of 72 set a month ago. Newcomer Brian Padovini, 42, of Frostburg, tallied eight birdies on his first time at Mile Lane and recorded a one over par 75, good for sixth place. Matthew Marsh, 21, of Oakland, tied with Tim Lick, 32, of Cumberland, as each recorded a 77 while playing on the same card on Monday mornin, tying for seventh place It was Lick’s first time at Mile Lane and Marsh’s second. The pair combined for seven birdies, including five for Marsh.

Division standings after Week 1 of the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s second annual Summer Flex League.

Summer Flex League 2023 results – Week 1

Allegany County Disc Golf Club – Division Rankings

Allegany County Disc Golf Club – Division Rankings

Brian Padovini

Evan Padovini

Ethan von Hagel

Matthew Marsh

Tim Lick

 

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