CSUMB Otter Open Recap

by Desmond Knibbs

I’ve read the articles. I’ve seen the Scott Stokley video. I know the drill. Now, why won’t my putter do what it’s told? At this years Otter Open, ( my first year), the wind seemed to be present the entire four rounds. I practice windy putts, but even the ten footers were a challenge in most divisions. It was holes # 3 & 4 on the temp side that were most frustrating for me. On the short Island hole, the wind pushed my first drive down, then pushed it up on the second….2 shots OB, on my sixth hole of the tournament.
Good times…..Good times.

In the Intermediate Women’s Division, Virginia Toney takes 1st. place with a score of 292, improving on her 739 rating in the first round by 68 points. Five strokes back is Katie Beckett for 2nd. Place, and taking 3rd. is Kari Rose.
Winning the Rec division is Ryan Bertoncini with a great score of 230, +14 …great job!

The Am II group with 35 competitors proved to be the largest field. San Jose’s local course, Hellyer, had many players in attendance. Dan Carl wins with a score of 224, + 8. Way to go Dan. Just 2 strokes back in 2nd. Place is Jory Greene shooting 226, +10. Todd Farris edges out Chris Bobb for third place by only one stroke. Other notables were Max Amadore and Jeff Jones who were tied for 6th, James Pendergast in 9th, and “ Last Cash Ganz “ bringing in the 11th. Spot. Go to Hellyer !

Advanced Masters was led the whole tourney by Norcal’s Rodger Lowery with a score of 231, + 15 taking 1st. by 7 strokes over David McIntire. Dan Garland edges out Michael Toney for 3rd. place.

The first division to reach the red figures was Am I, with only four players under par. Hellyer’s own Michael Hanson wins 1st. place, shooting 209, -7. His rating going in was 948, and throws a 961 to take the basket. George Ross, in his most impressive event, takes 2nd place, only 2 behind Hanson, shooting a 211, -5. With a last round rating of 993, – 5, George throws a 955 rating for this tourney. John Baldwin beats Tim Messer by 2 strokes to take 3rd. place, finishing -3 , and -1, respectively . Norcal’s Evan Sjostrom finishes strong in 8th. Place, sidestepping friend and rival Desmond Knibbs who squeezed out 10th. Place. Not to forget an incredible talent, James Wood, ( aka Christie Love ), who finished 11th.

Senior Grandmaster, Stancil Johnson, graced us with his presence on the first day. Although he did not finish, his attendance reminded us all that sportsmanship and honor are the foundations that we should all strive to achieve. He moved slowly and gracefully on the course….always smiling ….an example for us all.

In the Grand Masters, Michael Travers beats TC Bare by 2 strokes to take 1st. place. Travers carded a 226 + 10 winning $ 170.00 .

The Masters group again was led by defending champ, Rob Harding, $ 395.00 Rob carded a 210, -6 . and wins the Masters division by one stroke over Geoff Lissaman. Kenny Lee was one stroke back with a –4 who edges out Johnny Lissaman

“ I jus lie to say……My wife,….and my Son !!…”

Translation = “ Thank you, First I would like say I wish my wife and new born son were here to see me win my first Pro tournament. I am very proud , and I did this for them!
Thanks so much,……Go to Hellyer!! “
This is what Manuel was going to say in his acceptance speech, however, emotions tend to get in the way….so all that Manny could get out without crying is…..
“ My wife and my son “ …………………need I say more?

In the open division, in his first Pro tournament, winning AM I last year, shooting a 200, – 16 taking home $ 555.00, is Hellyer’s own……..Manuel Fernandez . Manny led the pack the entire tourney, and never let any of the strong field catch him. Many big names tried in vain to equal the steady pace that Manny seemed to have in every round. “ I played strong and safe”, Says Manuel, “ They could all throw father than I, but I never let that get to me. I just played my safe game…..and the score took care of itself “ . Words to play by…if you ask me.

Tony Tran takes 2nd. in a playoff with defending champ, Myles Harding and John Child. John gets 3rd., and Myles in 4th. Nate Doss, with a first round score of 47, comes in at 5th. place. Matt Voorhes who just missed the last pay spot, continues to excel in the open division, shooting a 210, -6, for 8th. place.

I thought I was In Mexico. ……the wind at times was warm, and sweet. Sunburned necks, raccoon eyes , and parched throats, gave way to the frosty malt beverages at the Black Box Caberet, which were a perfect end to a excellent tournament. Merle Witvoet, Tournament director, did a fantastic job with the event. Because of Merle’s dedication and professionalism, it is no surprise why year after year, players flock to Monterey to compete with the finest Disc Golfers in Northern California.

I’ll see you at the Masters Cup.

Dezmon Knibbs
# 21725

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