4 showed up to play in the first round of the payoffs, which resulted in a conditional advance straight to the final round. There is no longer a need to eliminate anymore combatants in a semi-final round. The finalists will play for the title sometime this month.
Vinny Piperato, Victor Millar, Will Parson, and Dan Harvey attacked Youth Park on a hot and muggy Saturday morning. Everyone came with their game face on with the course selection of the championship round up for grabs.
The front 9 played out to be an extremely close heat, making the back 9 an exciting fight to the finish. For the first time ever, a member was able to par every hole on the front 9. Kudos to Dan on that solid play. Vinny suffered a major hit to his arsenal as he shanks hole 7 and launches his champion groove right into the middle of the pond. Now he has to play without his trusted hyzer disc. Would he be able to keep pace with the seemingly unstoppable Dan? After 9 holes, the standings were:
#1 Dan Harvey E
#2 Vinny Piperato +1
#3 Victor Millar +2
#3 Will Parson +2
The start of the back 9 is where the pack began to separate from one another. Dan continued to pelt away a fine game with 3 more pars and a birdie, putting him at -1 after 13... and Vinny answered right back with 2 birdies and 2 pars, putting him at -1 as well. Will and Victor started to drift further away with pars and bogeys. Everyone bogeys on hole 14, resulting in no movement on the board. After 14 holes:
#1 Dan Harvey E
#1 Vinny Piperato E
#3 Will Parson +4
#4 Victor Millar +6
With 4 holes to go, it becomes a clear head-to-head match between Vinny and Dan, who are on the verge of breaking the +4 course record. Who will emerge victorious and have the opportunity to choose where the Championship will be played?
While Victor, Will, and Dan par hole 15, Vinny chokes with a bogey, setting him back a stroke. Vinny was able to answer right back with a par on 16 while Dan suffered a bogey. With only 2 holes to go now, there is still a tie for the lead. Will is not far behind and waits for the slim chance of a choke by both leaders down the stretch. After 16 holes:
#1 Dan Harvey +1
#1 Vinny Piperato +1
#3 Will Parson +4
#4 Victor Millar +7
Strong performances by both Vinny and Dan on the 17th hole with a par, while Will and Victor suffer another bogey. At this point with only the 18th to go, Will and Victor are now out of the competition. It comes down to Vinny and Dan going into the dreaded 18th hole tied for 1st. Dan had the honors of going first. Instead of putting major pressure on Vinny with a booming drive, he shanks to the right and lands on in an extremely tough spot. All Vinny had to do now is land a solid drive off of the tee, but instead hyzers way too far to the left and ends up in the woods. They both followed up bad drives with bad layups. Now they have par shots from 60 feet away. Dan plays it safe and lays up right underneath the basket, giving Vinny the chance for the win. Instead, Vinny plays the conservative role and gets close as well, forcing the game to overtime. After 18 holes:
#1 Dan Harvey +2
#1 Vinny Piperato +2
#3 Will Parson +5
#4 Victor Millar +8
Will Parson had the opportunity to choose the sudden death hole, and decided to pick hole 7... the same hole that Vinny lost his groove and suffered a bogey. It became clear that Will and Victor were intending on weakening the arsenal of Vinny and Dan some more. The coin toss went to Vinny and he chose to go first, trying for the pressure bomb on Dan. The plan backfires as Vinny launches way right into the woods, leaving himself about 150 feet from the hole. Now Dan has the chance to end this with a solid play around the pond. Dan gets aggressive and goes right for the basket, but the disc dies off midway through, hooks left, and dives into the pond. Dan had the hopes of finding the disc and playing right where it lies, but later preferred to take a 1 stroke penalty and a loss of his Star TL after discovering a water moccasin a few feet from his legs. Vinny, now with a break, lays up with the intention on 2 putting and forcing another playoff hole. That's exactly what happened after both combatants bogeyed. The next hole of choice belonged to Victor, and he chose another water hole in hole 2.
The coin toss was won by Dan, and he chose Vinny to go first. This time, Vinny was able to apply pressure after a beautiful tee shot that landed about 35 feet from the basket. Now it's up to Dan to keep pace. He launches a powerful shot, but the disc hooks hard left and into the drink. Luck was on his side as the disc was floating on top of the water about 25 feet from land. Dan dresses down to shorts and goes in to rescue his disc. He gets to it, turns around, and launches his second shot while keeping his head above water. The shot lands about 45 feet away. Now Vinny can win with a birdie putt. Instead, he pays it conservative, misses his birdie putt, but pars easily. Now Dan is forced to make a difficult shot for par to force a third playoff hole. Dan winds up.... launches.... the disc is heading right for the basket... but sails right over top.
Vinny wins the playoff round after a fierce battle on a fine Saturday morning. For the championship round, he now gets to choose a place where he would be able to have a slight advantage on his competition.