Small glow round turnout offers two races in one

Spradlin duo outlasts Padovini men for adult, youth wins

FROSTBURG — It would have been nice if it could have been said that Kevin Spradlin and Brian Padovini played so well that their back-and-forth competition helped push each person to their competitive best.

Both players, however, would likely dispute such a notion. At times, in fact, it seemed that either (a) neither player wanted to finish first in the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s low-key glow round Sunday night at Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course in Frostburg, or (b) the disc golf gods took quite some time before deciding on an eventual, if not worthy, victor.

The race for first between Frostburg residents Spradlin, 44, and Padovini, 42, featured multiple ties and lead changes over 18 baskets in a darkness broken up only by the green glow of plastic discs and white lights hanging from each basket. It took Spradlin nine strokes, for example, to make it through the No. 1 basket both times around. The two were tied after nine baskets, so on No. 10 (No. 1 the second time), Spradlin’s bogey handed Padovini a one-stroke lead. Padovini tripled his lead with birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Spradlin cut into that lead by saving par on No. 4 the second time around to Padovini’s boggey. The next two baskets were a wash, but Spradlin birdied No. 16 to cut Padovini’s lead to one stroke.

With the vines hanging along a tree some 30 feet or so from the No. 8/17 tee pad still in Padovini’s head, the younger player’s drive hit that exact tree and kicked the drive wide right, well off the fairway. Spradlin threw for par, while Padovini struggled to scramble and finished with a double bogey.

The two-stroke swing gave Spradlin a one-stroke lead headed into the final hole. Spradlin’s drive went well enough. Padovini’s didn’t. With his second shot, Padovini knew he had to either go for the home run or go home in second place. He tried to go big. Some trees prevented the plan from working out.

Padovini settled for a bogey, doubling Spradlin’s lead and handing him the overall win, 56 to 58 on the par 54 course.

Padovini finished with five birdies to Spradlin’s four.

It was the club’s first glow round since May. Summer time offers more recreation time but late sunsets also make it less likely players can make the later tee times. Late Autumn and Winter both offer earlier sunsets, but the weather can be somewhat uncertain and sometimes less than pleasant.

Youth Division

The race for third overall, and first among Youth Division players, was even more of a nail-biter than the adults’ game.

Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, 10, eked out a one-stroke win over Evan Padovini, 12. Spradlin-Vogelsang finished only two strokes off his personal best on the course with a seven over par 61, while Padovini carded a 62.

After both players threw bogeys on No. 1, Spradlin-Vogelsang led the rest of the front nine and reached the midway point four strokes over par with a 31. Padovini was three strokes back (34).

Then the fun began.

Spradlin-Vogelsang double-bogeyed No. 2 — statistically the easiest hole on the course — the second time around while Padovini saved par. Padovini pulled into a tie with another par save on No. 3 while Spradlin-Vogelsang threw a bogey.

On No. 13 — No. 4 the second time around — Padovini took a one-stroke lead when he recorded only his second birdie on the hole since the course opened on May 14.

But Spradlin-Vogelsang wasn’t yet finished. He erased Padovini’s lead when he threw for par on No. 17 while Padovini struggled with interference from an early tree. The score was knotted with two baskets remaining.

On No. 17, Spradlin-Vogelsang’s drive was picture-perfect, a green laser beam straight down the middle of the fairway. The easy birdie negated Padovini’s par save and gave the younger player a one-stroke lead heading into the final basket. Both players needed three strokes to finish No. 9 the second time around.

It was the first glow round for each of the Padovini players.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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