Woods help Warder, Mallery earn comeback win

Warder chips away at Shreve’s MVP lead
Doubles play resumes Feb. 13 in Cumberland

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CUMBERLAND — At the current pace, David Warder would need another nine weeks to catch up to Bill Shreve in the Western Maryland Disc Golf Fall/Winter League Most Valuable Player standings.

It’s likely that Warder is simply going to run out of time.

Devon Spiker putts on No. 18.

Fifteen weeks of league play are in the books and three remain. Fall/Winter Doubles League play wraps up on Sunday, Feb. 27. Spring League play begins Thursday, March 17 at 5 p.m.

Each of the past three weeks, Warder, 31, of Frostburg, has cut into Shreve’s lead by a single point. On Sunday, Warder threw for eight birdies — 44 percent of the baskets — and made par the other 10 baskets. And still, Warder gained only a point on Shreve.

Playing a combined score format on Sunday, in which players threw individual rounds but their total was paired with another player’s for a final score, Warder and teammate Colby Mallery, 18, of Mount Savage, combined for a round-low 103 for the win.

Shreve, 45, of Cumberland, and teammate Ethan Von Hagel, 19, of Cumberland, finished in second place with 106. Close behind were Dan Beachy, 38, of Frostburg, and Sam Wolodkin, 19, of Frostburg, with a 108. Scott Mallery (55), 53, of Mount Savage, and Devon Spiker (62), 19, of Frostburg, finished fourth with 117 while Kevin Spradlin (68), 42, and Josiah Spradlin (75), 12, both of Frostburg, finished a distant fifth with a 143.

Bill Shreve drives from No. 14.

All players were limited to two discs for each half of play. Each half, players had to use a specific putter for putting and a second disc for everything other than putts from the second circle in. Players were permitted to change their discs out at the midway point. The purpose of this particular condition was to attempt to increase a player’s confident in the chosen disc(s), or, at least, learn more about what the disc could and could not do on the course given certain conditions. The idea might have been especially helpful to those who might have received a new disc or two over the holiday break.

Team Warder-Mallery was down by one after the front nine. Team Beachy-Wolodkin threw a combined 46 on the front nine — Beachy was six under par, and Wolodkin was two under — while Warder-Mallery were at 47 and Shreve-Von Hagel were at 50.

For some, the second half didn’t go as well as the first.

Beachy threw three over par on the back nine — including a double bogey on No. 15 in the woods and a bogey on No. 17 — while Wolodkin was also three over par, including three bogeys (Nos. 13, 14 and 15).

Ethan Von Hagel and Bill Shreve struggled on No. 15 and gave up their one-stroke lead.

Warder and Mallery, meanwhile, stayed in their stride, which set up an exciting second half between them and Shreve and Von Hagel. Like Beachy, Warder had thrown a 21 on the front nine while Mallery, at 26, was one under par.

Team Shreve-Von Hagel gained two strokes on No. 10, as both players threw for birdie while Warder and Mallery each made par. Team Warder-Mallery’s lead over them was down to one.

Warder and Mallery gained a stroke on No. 11 to double their lead to two, and it stayed that way through No. 12.

On No. 13, though — the white tee No. 4 that comes back across the gap and up the hill — Shreve and Von Hagel each threw for par on the par 3 hole, and while Warder also made par, Mallery double bogeyed the basket.

Sam Wolodkin driving.

After 13 baskets, and with five to go, the score was knotted up at 72 apiece. At that point, Beachy and Wolodkin still led by a single stroke, but that was about to change.

On No. 14, Shreve threw for birdie and Von Hagel made par, putting them at 77. Warder and Mallery each made par, and they stayed one behind at 78. Beachy made par as well, but Wolodkin threw for a bogey. Shreve-Von Hagel held a one-stroke lead at 77, while the two contenders were one stroke behind.

Then came No. 15, or No. 6 from the white tee. That section of the course has lots of names — many of them unfit to be published here. That list of names probably grew a bit longer on Sunday afternoon.

Warder and Mallery managed No. 15 just fine. Each made par for a combined 8. Shreve and Wolokin, meanwhile, threw for bogey and Von Hagel and Beachy both threw double bogeys. And just like that, Team Warder-Mallery held a two-stroke lead over Team Shreve-Von Hagel, with Team Beachy-Wolodkin three off the pace.

It was a lead Warder and Mallery weren’t willing to give up.

The top two teams matched scores on No. 16, but Beachy and Wolodkin fell off the pace by another stroke. Warder and Mallery gained another stroke on No. 17, buoyed by Warder’s birdie.

MVP standings update

Bill Shreve continues to maintain his grasp on the top spot in the Most Valuable Player standings. He earned another four points on Sunday, finishing in second with Ethan Von Hagel.

MVP standings for Fall/Winter Doubles League through play on Feb. 6, 2022.

Shreve is in first place with 55 points with three scheduled weeks of play remaining, weather permitting. David Warder is in second place with 46 points and Scott Mallery is third with 37 points. Keith Raynor, who missed his third consecutive week, is currently in fourth with 33 points, while Colby Mallery is one point behind in fifth.

Consistency in play helps. Most weeks, the better players are guaranteed at least three points for a third-place finish and up to five points for a share of victory. Shreve has played in 14 of 15 weeks, missing only Christmas weekend, and has placed in the top three 12 of 14 times on the course.

Warder has played in 10 weeks, finishing lower than second place only once — and that was third place on Jan. 30.

Hypothetically speaking

Kevin Spradlin, the facilitator of the 2021-22 Fall/Winter Doubles League, tries to make it so that each week’s matches are exciting and competitive. Sometimes that effort pays off better than other times.

One thing Spradlin has consistently tried to do is separate the worst players in regular league play — that is, any player with the name “Spradlin” attached — from the better, more competitive and established disc golf athletes.

But what if he didn’t do that?

Each week, the field is seeded based on who shows up to play. Seedings are based off a mix of league tournament play results on Oct. 24 and Summer 2021 league results. Today’s pairings went like this: Dan Beachy was seeded No. 1, David Warder No. 2, Bill Shreve No. 3, Colby Mallery No. 4, Scott Mallery No. 5, Devon Spiker No. 6, Sam Wolodkin No. 7, Ethan Von Hagel No. 8, Kevin Spradlin No. 9 and Josiah Spradlin No. 10.

Note that there is not much that separates seeds No. 1 through No. 8, and from week to week, the person in the top spot can be about just about anyone.

So, the results from Sunday’s play included:

1. No. 2 David Warder(47) and No. 4 Colby Mallery (56) 103;
2. No. 3 Bill Shreve (49) and No. 8 Ethan Von Hagel (57) 106;
3. No. 1 Dan Beachy (52) and No. 7 Sam Wolodkin (56) 108;
4. No. 5 Scott Mallery (55) and No. 6 Devon Spiker (62) 117;
5. No. 9 Kevin Spradlin (68) and No. 10 Josiah Spradlin (75) 143.

This is only part of the mix, but during Summer 2021 league play, Beachy’s average score was 49.1 over 26 weeks, while Warder (16 weeks) averaged 50.7, Shreve (12 weeks) was at 52.1, Colby Mallery (11 weeks) was 56, and Sam (9 weeks) 57.4. Averages for Spiker (4 weeks) 58.5, Von Hagel (2 weeks, 58.5) and Scott Mallery (1 week) 59 are a little skewed for lack of data points.

If Spradlin hadn’t separated everyone with his last name from the rest of the field, the pairings (and results) could have looked something like this:

1. No. 3 Bill Shreve and No. 8 Ethan Von Hagel 106;
2. No. 4 Colby Mallery and No. 7 Sam Wolodkin 112;
3. No. 2 David Warder and No. 9 Kevin Spradlin 115;
4. No. 5 Scott Mallery and No. 6 Devon Spiker 117;
5. No. 1 Dan Beachy and No. 10 Josiah Spradlin 128.

It’s more art than science. While we have past results to rely on, there is no telling when a player will break through with a better-than-usual round of disc golf. Likewise, it’s difficult to tell when a player will have an usually bad day.

The whole idea is to come out and have fun while playing disc golf each Sunday afternoon regardless of how teams are comprised or what format of play is implemented. Hopefully that is accomplished more often than not.

 

 

 

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