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The inaugural Battle at Bluebell Woods is in the books and after four rounds of 18 holes over this two day event we still had more golf to play in three divisions. The Battle at Bluebell Woods was stop #3 on The Bdga Tour circuit, the 2nd event for the Tour of Scotland, a Pdga C-Tier event and a Maple Hill Open Qualifier. We played this event in changing weather conditions with a constant 25-30 mph westerly wind adding to the adventure of throwing a disc over fields and through the woods. But to every ones relief we were dry under foot making the challenge of The Battle more enjoyable.
The Battle was played on a 6629' par 60 Championship course set at Foxlake Adventures in Dunbar. Reboot Disc Golf Course may be young but it is proving to be one of the best examples of disc golf in the UK challenging players with every throw of the disc. The course is made-up of many natural narrow off camber fairways with dramatic elevation change that when added to the prevailing Scottish wind only assist in allowing the best players to remain at the top. We hosted 40 disc golfers from all over the UK with a few participants from abroad. One gentleman originally from Alaska joined us Via Azerbaijani, proving disc golf is truly a global sport.
The Intermediate Amateur Division was taken in the fourth round by crafty veteran and Edinburgh resident Richard "Scuttler" Clegg. After the first day Scuttler (152) trailed fellow Edinburgh resident Keith Alison (147) by 5 strokes and Steven Chapman (151) from Bristol by one. With some amazing putts and fine course maintenance Scuttler seized his advantage in the 3rd round carding a 72 and never looked back. Surging on the second day both Graham Robbie(Paisley) and Dan Brown (Stroud / Gloucestershire) needed an extra hole to break the tie with Graham scoring a par on hole one to take 2nd.
The Advanced Amateur Division was 13 strong and after the first day we had 4 players earn a space on the lead card, Steve Cox (Truro)of Cornwall Disc Golf (136) over Rodney Weeks(137) from Azerbaijani, Philip Blount (140) from Warwickshire and Rich Wood (144) from Croydon. On the second day in the 3rd round of action steady play from Steve Cox proved to be the answer as he remained at the top of the Advanced division. Rodney W. and Phil B. also stayed in the hunt but couldn't keep the pace and dropped another 3 and 4 strokes respectively to the leader. From the second card of the Advanced Amateur division Neal Clifton (Kingston/ Surrey) found his groove and launched himself to the top card by recording a 65. In the final round Steve was too much scoring his lowest round of the event with a 62 to stay away from chasers Neal C (61) and Rodney W (64) to take the Amateur victory.
The Open Division saw three leaders over the four rounds as they vied for their share of the £500 purse. In the first round shooting a course par 60 were our co-leaders Hamish Blair and Liam Young both from Edinburgh followed closely by Seonaidh Charity (62) also from Edinburgh and Chris O'Brien (61) of 'Catch the Spirit' from Newcastle Upon Tyne.
During his charge back into disc golf after many years of not playing, Scotlands disc golf pioneer Liam Young needed to retire from the event due to a back injury. Liam returned the next day to Marshall the lead Open card and shoot some outstanding video as well.
The second round finished with Chris O'Brien as the new leader after a solid course par 60 himself shooting 3 birdies (holes 6,8,11) with his only bogie carding a 5 on the par 4 12th at 534'/163m. Seonaidh C. hit the clubhouse with a 61 (32 front, 29 back) and Hamish B. with a 67 getting the birdie on hole 6 but a few too many bogies and double bogies in the wooded section of the course. The second of the 5 Open cards saw steady play from National Champion Jester Wilson (London via Edinburgh), Matt Cutler (Bristol/Avon) of 'Catch the Spirit' and Sam Stevens (Southsea/Hampshire) but joining the lead card in round 3 would be London based Californian Dan Ryan who bounced back from a tough 1st round 68 to produce birdies on holes 6,8,9 and 11 with bogies on holes 5,7 and 16 to post an epic -1 under par 59 (29 front, 30 back) in the windy conditions. Also with a notable steady round of 62 was Paul Stoddart of Colchester/Essex.
After two Rounds
Chris O'B 121
Seonaidh C. 123
Hamish B. 127
Dan R. 127
The second day of the event saw Sunny Dunny live up its standards with beautiful blue skies but the wind kept the players in check blowing steadily from the west at 25+ mph. Seonaidh was able to strike first to get within one stroke dropping the birdie on the 366'/111m Hole 1. Then on the par 4 Hole 5 Chris O'B. caught 'early wood' and had to settle for a bogie 5 only to get that stroke back on the next hole when he took a par and Seonaidh had to lay up for a bogie. Chris found the space between the water and the fence to stay in bounds for the birdie on the treacherous Hole 8 but couldn't maintain his play on Hole 9 and his disc found the creek, carding an out of bounds circle 4 on the 468'/142m hole. After 9 holes of the third round we had a tie for the lead Seonaidh C.(151), Chris O'B. (151), Hamish B.(156) and Dan R. (159). The first hole of the back nine again saw Seonaidh take another stroke with a quick birdie at the end of the round found a place at the top of the leader board by 3 strokes, posting a equally blistering -1 under par 59. Chris needed to hold off the charging Scot but Foxlake was drawing discs like a Black Hole and he had to settle for a double bogie circle 6 on the 18th giving him a 64. Hamish (64) and Dan (61) played steady in the second round as did Matt C. (61), Jester (62) and Simon Luard (63) of London but it was a two horse race at this point.
After the 3rd Round;
Chris O'B. 185
Dan R. 188
Hamish B 191
After another amazing lunch cooked by Mrs ReBoot coupled with some driving blues on the deck at Foxlake on a beautiful Sunny Dunny day we needed to finish this Battle and set off for the final and fourth round. The foursome teed off 20 minutes after the field to allow the rest of us an opportunity to watch them finish. The gallery was in for a treat as the top card approached Hole 18 with a tie for the lead between Chris and Seonaidh. How they got there was a wild story for each of them Seonaidh and Chris were tied after Hole 15, Dan had clawed his way back and was only one stroke behind, while Hamish needed two strokes to catch the leaders.
Hamish led off the fourth round by scorching a path from Hole 1 to Hole 10 scoring birdies on holes 1,2,8, and 9 with a hiccup bogey 4 on Hole 3 leaving him at an amazing -4 under par (26) and in second place four strokes behind Seonaidh, one stroke ahead of Chris (33) and two strokes over Dan (31). Chris seemed to follow every misfortune with great success carding birdies on holes 2,4 and 8 paired with a 6 on Hole 3, 5 on Hole 6 and bogie on the downhill Hole 7. Both Seonaidh and Dan were playing steady but found their own highs and lows each at 31 strokes after the front 9.
After the front nine of the fourth round;
Seonaidh C. 213
Hamish B. 217
Chris O'B. 218
Dan R. 219
Chris opened up the back nine with a birdie on hole 10 only to follow that up with an impressive birdie on the 534'/162m par 4 Hole 12. Dan hit the birdie on Hole 11 with both Seonaidh and Hamish posting a bogey 4. The pressure continued to mount on Seonaidh, as he went on to bogey holes 14 and 15, Hamish also cooled off with bogies on Holes 11 and 15. Solid play from Chris and Dan had put them both within striking distance of Seonaidh. Then after bogies from both Seonaidh and Chris on hole 16 , Dan was within 1 stroke of a share for the lead.
After Hole 16 of the final round;
Chris O'B. 240
Seonaidh C. 240
Dan R. 241
On hole 17 Hamish and Dan both 2 putted to pick up the bogie, with our leaders both shooting a par. On the tee of 18 the gallery had all eyes on the pair tied for the lead, after 71 holes of disc golf it came down to a par 4 594'/181m hole that included an OB fence running down the entire right side of the fairway and an hour glassed section of Foxlake leaving little room for error, and how could anyone that played this hole forget about the brutal 25+ mph headwind.
After their drives it was Dan first who found the fence that shortened his drive, he stayed in bounds but was forced to play for the par 4, Chris threw his drive up the middle and followed that with two more fairway tosses up the middle and avoided any OB, he was left with a 40' for par directly into the wind. Both Seonaidh and Hamish have outstandingly powerful drives and were able to get within 30' of the pin with two throws taking amazing risks over the water and OB fence. Hamish drilled his putt scoring one of only two birdies on a hole that saw more 6's than par 4's. Seonaidhs' putt from the waters edge about 45' was knocked down with the tailwind and struck the basket with whats called a 'front rim banger'. Chris confidently stepped up to his mark and chained his headwind putt to force a playoff.
After a quick break we were off to Hole 1 and the playoff began with both men carding a par 3 in different styles, Chris with two solid throws and nice putt, Seonaidh with an amazing drive and missed birdie. Big drives from Seonaidh proved to be too much for the masterful putter style of Chris when he fell short on his birdie bid at Hole 2 and Seonaidh was able to tap-in for a three after crushing his drive 430'/120m on the hole that was just short of 500'/151m.
1. Seonaidh Charity 247 (Won Playoff)
2. Chris O'Brien 247
3. Dan Ryan
4. Hamish Blair
5. Jester Wilson
6. Matt Cutler
Congratulations to all of our participants in this years event, See you next year!!