Warder’s approach, Von Hagel’s putt keys to victory

Doubles play resumes Jan. 30

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CUMBERLAND — Basket No. 15 confounded David Warder and Ethan Von Hagel. Lucky for them, it left just about everybody scratching their heads.

Ethan Von Hagel misses a put on No. 15. He and David Warder finished with a triple bogey on the hole.

Warder, 31, of Frostburg, and Von Hagel, 19, of Cumberland, overcame a disheartening performance on the basket in the woods on Sunday in Western Maryland Disc Golf Fall/Doubles League play to win by one stroke. They teamed up to post a round-low score of 55. The father-son duo of Scott Mallery, 53, and Colby Mallery, 18, both of Mount Savage, finished second with 56 while Bill Shreve, 45, of Cumberland, and Tyler Gilks, 23, of Wiley Ford, W.Va., took third with 57. The father-son duo of Kevin Spradlin, 42, and Josiah Spradlin, 12, both of Frostburg, finished a distant fourth with a 75.

The style of play was pure alternate shot, as players on each team rotated their throws from one basket to the next. This method improved the pace of play — though, at the 2 p.m. start it was a balmy 39 degrees compared to last week’s start time temperature of 16 degrees — and helped teammates keep an eye on discs that sought to hide under the snow.

The score was knotted at 52 apiece for the top two teams heading into the last basket. Von Hagel drove from the tee on No. 18, a flat par 3 from 303 feet out, but his drive went uncharacteristically left for the southpaw, due in no small part, probably, to the 16 mph wind. Warder made up for it with a solid approach throw and Von Hagel made the putt for the win.

David Warder drives from No. 13.

Team Warder-Von Hagel led by one after the front nine with a 24 to Team Mallery-Mallery’s 25. Team Shreve-Gilks were four strokes off the lead, while Team Spradlin-Spradlin were six strokes behind third place.

Team Mallery-Mallery birdied No. 11 to pull into a tie, and it remained that way for the next three baskets as both teams made par, bogey and par, respectively.

The Mallery duo took a two-stroke lead on the often-dreaded six hole from the white tee. By far the most difficult basket on the course — the basket is tucked away in the woods, and from the tee the driver must decide whether to play it safe for the fairway, try for a sharp right-angle turn, or go big with an attempt through the thick of things.

Sometimes a line looks clearer than it really is, and trees have a nasty habit of being something other than a best friend to those who play disc golf. Sometimes a gust of wind comes along at just the wrong time. And sometimes things simply don’t work out as intended.

Von Hagel’s putt attempt on No. 15 was his team’s fifth shot on the basket. The blue flag atop the basket blew in the stiff wind, and Von Hagel’s disc glided to the basket, hit the chains, and somehow fell to the ground. Team Warder-Von Hagel threw for double bogey and, unbeknownst to them — they were playing on a separate cards — Team Mallery-Mallery threw for par.

On No. 16, though, Warder and Von Hagel earned one stroke back by throwing for par, then tied it up on No. 17 with another par while Team Mallery-Mallery bogeyed the basket. They also threw for bogey on No. 18, and Team Warder-Von Hagel made par for the win.

Team Shreve-Gilks, meanwhile, had their sights set squarely on their card mates. Trailing Warder and Von Hagel by three after the front nine, they trailed by four after 11 but gained a stroke back on No. 12 by throwing for birdie.

Nothing changed over the next two baskets, but Team Shreve-Gilks lost a stroke on the dreaded No. 15 when they bogeyed the hole. But they made par on the next three while the Mallery duo bogeyed each of the last three.

MVP standings update: Warder cuts into Shreve’s lead

There are 18 weeks of play scheduled in the Fall/Doubles League, with — weather permitting — five weeks left to play.

Twenty-two players have played in the Fall/Winter Doubles League. Thirteen weeks down, five to go.

Bill Shreve remains atop the Most Valuable Player race with 48 points. Heading into Sunday’s action, Shreve held a 12-point lead over David Warder and Keith Raynor. Warder earned five points for the win with Ethan Von Hagel, while Shreve and Gilks earned three points each for finishing in third place.

Warder is now alone in second place with 38 points, 10 behind Shreve. Raynor is in third with 33 points, while Scott Mallery, who earned four points on Sunday, is one point behind in fourth place. With 27 points, Colby Mallery rounds out the top five players in the standings.

A total of 22 players have completed at least one round in Fall/Winter Doubles League competition. Inclusion in the MVP points race is automatic and requires no additional cost to the player.

The winner will receive a plaque, to be awarded on the opening night of Spring/Summer League play on Thursday, March 17.




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