Full house expected at disc golf event

TOURNAMENT READY: Mount Gambier Disc Golf president Mathew Weyers and vice president Mick Wilson eagerly await the 2022 Eruption event, with a capped field expected. Picture: JAMES MURPHY

James Murphy

THE Crater Lakes precinct is ready to overflow with disc golf talent, as preparation continues for the 2022 Eruption event later this month.

Mount Gambier Disc Golf president Mathew Weyers spoke to The Border Watch this week and said he expected a bigger and better event, following the pandemic border restrictions which hindered last year’s tournament.

At the time of print registrations sat at 140, with only a handful of spots available before the cut off.

“Our cap is 144, so we are knocking on the doors of an official sell-out,” Weyers said.

“Things are looking really positive.”

Competitors will travel from as far as Tasmania and Western Australia to compete, with the appeal of the picturesque Crater Lakes course drawing returning players from last year’s event.

In the pro divisions there is a strong field of entries, ready to put their skills to the test on the pro layout.

“We have 15 pro men and three ladies pros registered, which is really good for both of those fields,” Weyers said.

“They had the New South Wales Open last weekend and I think they had less than that.”

A tough battle can be expected in the men’s pro division, with reigning champion Blake Houston out to defend his title.

The Western Australian is only 16 years old, but with no shortage of talent.

However, with border restrictions not a factor this year, he will face some tough challengers.

“The NSW Open winner Luke Bayne is coming down,” Weyers said.

“He just got back from playing in the international teams event, representing Australia.

“We also have Patrick Robinson who is a multiple-time Australian champion.”

Geelong’s Dylan Feldman is another player who has been in the mix this year, while Tim Bohan recently won the SA Open, also from Geelong.

In the women’s pro class, Adelaide’s Sarah Lee was also part of the Australian team and has plenty of experience on the Crater Lakes course.

She will match up well against Cassie Sweetten, a multiple Australian women’s champion.

From a local perspective there is plenty of talent in the mix and Weyers expected a few players to be at the pointy end of their divisions.

“Alex Constales is in the Men’s Advance 1,” he said.

“He is a Mount Gambier export to Adelaide and he comes here to compete pretty much every league day.

“He is going to have some good competition there.”

The men’s amateur masters 40-plus class will see Justin Clarke test his skills.

Weyers said he was one of the most consistent local players to take to the course and expects good things from him.

Robert Marcato will tackle the over 50’s class and will hope to back himself after a good showing at the 2021 event.

“He is a bit of a dark horse in that field, he doesn’t actually have a PDGA rating, but he did really well at this event last year,” Weyers said.

The MA2 intermediate class has a couple of locals ready to compete.

“In the MA2’s probably our best hope from a local perspective would be Daryl Pearson and we also have Sean Coleman.

“Blake Nicholls is another player to watch our for, he is from Geelong and shooting very quickly up the ratings.”

Weyers also expected a tight battle in the FA2 women’s intermediate division.

“We have Amy (Weyers) and Kate (Eldridge) from here and they have been quite good locally, then you also have Georgia Caroll over from Victoria,” Weyers said.

The men’s recreational class has a strong field of 21 entries, with a handful of local prospects, including Weyers and Mount Gambier Disc Golf vice president Mick Wilson.

The men’s novice class is another large group, with 24 registered so far, while the novice women have five entries at this stage.

Across the boys and girls junior divisions, Mount Gambier’s Austin and Jessica Holdman will put their skills to the test.

Played over three days, from October 28-30, Weyers hoped to see a good turnout of spectators, with a keen focus on the social side of the event.

He thanked the support from sponsors and volunteers, as well as the care from Mount Gambier City Council to keep the course in top shape.

“We are trying to really angle this event at not just a playing event, but a social event,” Weyers said.

“It’s not just about playing the game, it’s about meeting people and having a good time.

“I think with a regional community such as ours, you can bring people to this area and they come to stay.

“It is great not just for our club, but for the area from an economy point of view.”