4th Annual San Marcos Ace Race a Big Success
The recent Ace Race was a huge success on several fronts: most players ever for a San Diego Ace Race (130), most acs t a local Ace Race (16) and most money raised ($800). Nick Newton was the overall winner in the Ace Race, hitting one ace but then breaking the 16-way tie by having six metal hits. Yes…16-way tie! This was the closest-contested Ace Race so far at Montiel, with 16 different players hitting aces during their 36 holes of competition, then trying their best to get that elusive second ace. Nick’s six metal hits were two better than three other players (Jacob Kalmer, Jason Fitzgerald and Steve Wheeler) and earned him the first prize: a new golf bag from Discraft holding eight of their current release discs. Nick also walked away with $9 from the Ace Pot, but not as much as TD Mark Verocchi, who had plunked down $10 into the pot and walked away with $30 from his single ace. Other players with aces were Kyle Harrop, Scott Miller, Andrew Mills, Glen Sanson Jr., Phillip Jordan, Patrick Paramore, Chris Armacost, Steve Breuker, Keegan Sheets, John Bailey and Shawn Sheffield.
The Ace Race is always a fun event, but we found out this year that it’s even more fun with more players. It was a great sight to see over 100 players at one time trudging up and down the dusty hills of Montiel Park in San Marcos, firing away at the chains with little regard for the length of their follow-up putt (there are no putts in Ace Races). Montiel Park’s front nine is a rather short layout, but eight of the nine holes were shortened even more to make it easier for all players to have a shot at hitting an ace. Discraft’s yet-unamed Ace Race prototype was a wide-diameter putter, which was a new throwing experience for most players. Many players commented that this floaty disc would earn a trial spot in their golf bag, as they liked the way the disc allowed them to float a shot close to the basket. Oh, and speaking of bags, Discraft included a small “weekender” bag in the player’s packs to accompany the two putters and full-color mini that players receivd for their $25 entry fee.
Another big winner on this day were EDGE (Educational Disc Golf Experience) and the Escondido School District. The event raised $800 that has been donated to EDGE, a group that supports the integration of disc golf into school P.E. classes. Verrochi, a DGA-sponsored player and Team Innova member Allen Risley partnered together to raise funds for this cause, with another $300 raised at Goat Hill tournaments increasing the total EDGE donation to $1,100. Risley had worked with EDGE before, having raised $800 for the group through disc sales from the “Tour de Rizbee 2007″, money that was used to provide the City of San Marcos with portable baskets and discs that are used at city recreation centers.
Other side events added action to the day. Glen Swanson was the winner of the “Mini Ace Race”, with players playing nine hole of golf on mini baskets using the tournament-provided mini. Swanson’ 2 aces and one mini hit gave him the win over Colin Bailey and Chris Armacost, who had one ace each. Gabe Canales drove down from Orange County to win the long putt contest, with a 55-foot putt that won him a free pair of Keen “Milo McIver” disc golf shoes (provided by EDGE). San Diego Aces Vice President Randy Wylot was on hand to man the BBQ grill, cooking burgers and hot dogs for the hungry crowd.
While the total of 130 players is impressive, there’s a lot of work to do over the next year to get caught up to this year’s largest Ace Race – 303 players in Odwassa, WA!