Early-round play in the World Disc Golf Championships found several locals in the hunt as play continues this week at four courses in the Monterey Bay Area.
For the first time, the World Disc Golf Championships hosted by the Professional Disc Golf Association are being held on the West Coast of the United States.
More than 430 players from 14 countries and 33 different states are testing their mettle on the narrow and trying courses at DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz, Pinto Lake in Watsonville, Ryan Ranch in Monterey and California State University, Monterey Bay. A pot of more than $100,000 has drawn players from around the globe. Finland, Norway, Sweden, Australia, China, New Zealand and Japan, among others, have sent their best players to compete with the locals.
“This was really an adventure for us,” said Jonas Rudholm, who traveled from Sweden for the competition. “We have 10 guys from Sweden all living in a huge house down on the beach. It is pretty amazing.”
Rudholm, 40, is the only Swede of the 26 in the tournament who is competing in the Masters Division. On Tuesday, the first day of the tournament, he shot an 18-over-par 107.
“These courses are much tighter than we are used to in Sweden,” Rudholm said. “The European disc golf courses much more resemble regular golf courses. These all have a lot more obstacles than we are used to.”
Each of the competitors is in the midst of four rounds of disc golf — one to be played at each of the four courses over a four-day period.
After Day 1 on Tuesday, Aug. 9, Scotts Valley’s Jonathan Baldwin scored a 6-under 83 at Pinto Lake to lead the Masters Division. Tim Messer of Scotts Valley shot a 6-over 95 in the Masters; Jamie Tuckey, a former Scotts Valley High teacher, scored a 2-under 84 at the university course playing in the open division; and Felton’s Chris Edwards scored a 6-over 87, also in the open division. Edwards took home $30 in prize money for placing 13th in the tournament’s putting competition.
The tournament will continue through the weekend.