Martin and Chris are very proud and happy to offer heart-felt congratulations to our team on their successful first few outings of the 2019 season.
Six of our eight team members made it up to Nationals in Tauranga, and they did spectacularly well the first time out of the gate. With two firsts, two seconds, a third, and a fourth – for five podium finishes!
Mario Cerniar was able to snatch 4th in the Open, after fighting back from a three shot deficit, from the chase card. Gaining 4 strokes in the final nine was a real achievement.
Jimmy Tu'itufu start was a clear indication of things to come with an awesome ace on hole 8 at the beautiful McLaren Falls Course with an Innova Nova XT during the National Doubles rounds – something few players can claim.
Jimmy, in his very first National Champs, was able to take some fairly large scalps considering his lack of tournament experience, playing the disc golf of his life! “....McBeast Mode was activated” for the final nine holes according to Jimmy, and he was able to throw 3 shots better than anyone else in the Advanced division. That was enough to pull him all the way from 8th place up into 3rd= in Advanced! What a tremendous first Nationals performance for him.
Dom “Silver Fox” Hayden finished 2nd= in Amateur Masters in a field of 23, and worth noting here, that the top 4 players in Amateur Masters were able to beat the scores of the Pro Masters winner.
Going into the final 9, Dom sitting in 3rd was on a tear chasing Wellington disc golfer Young Ha from three strokes back, and was able to ace the 3rd hole in the final nine gaining momentum. He finally managed to pull level with Young, and was able to get within two strokes of the highly capable Blair Joines who won the Masters. Thrilling stuff!
Anthony Rodgers in his second appearance at an NZ Nationals was able to exceed his player rating in the first round, by ten points – a cool performance. Second round he played as his rating would predict – and at the Nationals, that’s fine golf.
In the National Doubles mixed, sponsored partners Kyle Martin and Hayley Flintoft barely missed out on a title, coming second by just one stroke to Gemma Sullivan and Bodene Tutara. However, the weekend after, they made amends at the 'Southern Smash' in Invercargill, by smashing the doubles title in Open with a 17 under! That’s some serious disc golf!
Also back at Nationals, in the Open Doubles, Mario Cerniar teamed up with RPM’s full-timer, Jackson Sullivan, and together they blitzed the field – to take a nine-stroke victory with a stunning 17-under par and then 15-under. Well done those gentlemen!
Team Vortica Women's open player, Hayley Flintoft, had travelled from Wanaka to Tauranga intent on defending her National title. It was all square between Hayley and multiple National Champ Gemma Sullivan after 30 holes of gruelling disc golf. Hayley then dug deep and managed to strongly pull away in the second round. She further consolidated in the final 9 to win the National Women's title once again. Well done Hayley!
Just the weekend after Nationals, five Vortica players descended on Invercargill, to compete in the Southern Smash.
Kyle Martin won the Open with 42-under after 4 rounds, coming 2nd overall to Queenstown Master and Innova-sponsored player Hemi Te Awhitu. Kyle’s rating of 940 was not reflected in his 3rd round rating of 1023! Rounds of 962 and 996 also helped propel him the rest of the way to the top of the Open podium. That’s three Open wins for Kyle now – and he is continuing to improve and impress.
Grand Master, Dom Hayden, in an effort to take an Open victory, played his way into the co-lead (in 2nd= overall) along with Kyle after the third round. Dom held on to take 3rd overall, and 2nd in the Open. At age 50+ this is little short of incredible, and is a real testament to Dom’s commitment and talent.
Hayley May Flintoft was also playing very strongly, lying in 7th overall, after 3 rounds. She was crushing it and ended up with another solid women's open victory. You go, Hayley!
With performances like this from our players, and the camaraderie they share, along with the support they’re giving each other, we are simply delighted to be their sponsors. Keep it up, team!