A Tale of Two Tourneys - Part 1 : Riverbend Open II - 05/04/2019
If there has been a weekend in particular that I had been looking forward to for disc golf, then May 4th and May 5th was it - I had plans to play two events, on vastly different courses, presented by two fairly iconic Tournament Directors.
This is Part 1 of that weekend - the Riverbend Open 2, put on by Chuck Connolly of Spike Hyzer fame, at River Bend Park in Louisburg North Carolina.

 

I played the inaugural session of this event in 2018. A nice small community park, River Bend hosts a permanently installed 9 hole course that rambles through a low laying riverside area with the corresponding trees, undergrowth and sandy spots one would expect. There is often standing water in places , and the mosquito breeding bloodlines are historic and impressive.

 

(For the tournament an additional 9 temp holes are installed.)

I was not involved as Fly Guy for this day - simply playing as myself and traveling solo - so I took the top off the Jeep and rode up while listening to some old Cure and Smiths songs. For me it was  closer to a 2 hour ride, and it was pleasant the whole way.  I didn't bother to bring a lunch or pack a cooler - Just me, the jeep and my Rovic cart and Pound bag of discs.

 

Upon Arrival I checked in and was greeted by several folks I usually see - as well as some I have not seen in a long time. The vibe was healthy and I felt good. Chuck's event run smooth as silk always - check in was a breeze,  and this day's player pack for the AM field was disc of choice from a huge selection of Discraft - real nice. Chuck's switch from Innova to Discraft seems to have lifted Chuck's setup quite a bit this year, too -- he sets up a huge display, has large deep choices of discs to pick from as well as some bags and other accessories.

(Right about now if your saying " Wait - Fly Guy sells this stuff too - why are you talking up a different vendor?" - Here's why - The table is big and there is room for many seats . I constantly give props to other vendors and companies who do things " the right way" in my view - be it Chuck, or Cape Fear Games down in Wilmington, or Marshall Street with their excellent website - the truth is we're just here to make everyone's experience better - not judge our little store and setup at the detriment of not acknowledging others.) 

So - the golf was good. I grip locked my very first throw of the event, into the river, and abandoned my throw, recovering a 5 and effectively starting the event in a 2 stroke hole from the get go. But then I settled in right nicely.  We played a comfortable card of  3, and the flow of the course was smooth and no major waiting at any point. I got to play with Judah Berman - he's such a cool little dude. Always positive, focused - but still lights up like a kid and not enjoys what he's doing. 

The event was a first for me in one regard - after round 1 I found myself in a 3 way tie for the lead. ( Carded a 50 versus the 54 par)  I have been lead card before, but never with the lead itself. I have to admit that abandoned first drive really "hit me in the gut" for the first time once I saw that tie on the board.

Lunch was at a local little breakfast place whose name is forgettable. It was OK, but nothing I'd go back for; the staff was nice enough though. I did get a ride there with Aaron McLeod , who I see more and more at events and makes me laugh. 

I would love for this to be the post where I tell of how I started round 2 with a lead, held it and defended my play to a victory - but alas, that is not to be. I did play well ( carding a 51 for a total of 101) , but Randy Young played great and Judah also bested me by a couple shots, and I ended up back in 4th. 

This also gave me a chance to claim a "first" - first event that I was under par for both rounds. 

As for other members of Team Fly Guy - Cameron Worsham was present - and took 10th in the MA40 field. 

I had a good time. Didn't Cash ( With the low entry fee and the high player pack value offering with the 'pick a disc' , it is totally understandable that only the winner of Rec got payout) but walked away feeling pretty good and ready for the next day ...

 

One other thing that needs to be pointed out about this event that I really, really liked - We were DONE by 2:00 - Maybe even by 1:30.  

Pace was quick, but we also had an early start time - something I myself appreciated a lot. I'd like to see more tournaments with early start times - even with the long ride I still had some daylight left when I got home and needed to unpack the jeep, load up for the next day, etc.

  Once I was home, I had to get some sleep and went to bed early - because Part 2 of the weekend was a long ways off, and rumored to be a much longer and more challenging course ; I went to bed dreading rain storms and sunburn, because come morning time, I had to head to the 5th stop of the ECO Tour in Ahoskie, NC .....

 

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