Every year disc golf events are added and removed from the PDGA schedule across the country. Some tournaments rise while others fall with new ones taking their place. One tournament in Central Ohio that has begun to find a following and continues to gain steam is The Buckeye Classic presented by Discraft.
What makes The Buckeye Classic so great? The Buckeye Classic is only in its second year but it is in good hands as Ohio legend Brad Schick continues as the tournament director as well as a competitor. This event, open to both professionals and amateurs, filled in a record 4 hours flat this year and shows the excitement surrounding this tournament. With a field of 41 Pro competitors including many notables such as Brad Schick, Sam Lee, Bart Kowalewski, Corey Ellis, and last year’s winner Tyler Horne, it is easy to see that The Buckeye Classic will soon be on the radar of many high-level pro players in the years to come.
But what sets The Buckeye Classic apart from other tournaments held in the region? I asked Brad Schick what entices great players to his event and he said, “I think it has to do with it being played on two of the best courses in Central Ohio, one (Brent Hambrick Memorial course) which we hosts an A tier (BHMO) every year and the other (The Players course, Alum Creek) hosts B tiers throughout the year. I think the added cash is also quite helpful.”
The highlights of the day were many as all the competitors fought it out and earned every stroke. Scott Carpenter played two consistent rounds in the Novice Men’s division to win by 8 stokes over his closest competitor Chris Acquista. Scott Carpenter finished the event with +14 (122).
The Recreation Women’s division saw Ashleigh Draughon take down her very first win in tournament play with it being her second tournament ever! She finished the event with +24 (132) to edge out Jadine Rafi by 6 strokes for the victory.
The Recreation Men’s division was the scene of one of the most heated battles in recent history as Kenan Ellks, Vic Theado, and John Bumpus finished tied after two rounds and with a playoff Kenan Ellks took home the victory with a final score of +7 (115).
Other division winners include:
Adam Ankrom (-4) winning by 3 strokes over Jason (Jump^man) Clemons
Chelsea Bazley (+14) winning by 4 strokes over Melissa Asher
Evan Hughes (+1) winning by a playoff over Ben Foster
Pro Masters 50+
Pete Caldwell (E) winning by 5 strokes over J. Gary Dropcho
Pro Masters 40+
Mike Randolph (-3) winning by 4 strokes over Jason Ninnemann
This year the Open Women’s division was one of the most competitive in recent years as top local players battled it out to the very end. After the first round at the Brent Hambrick Memorial course three players, Kristy Moore, Christine Jennings, and Ashleh Baumann all carded great scores.
Ashleh Baumann put up solid scores to keep her on the lead card going into the final round of the day. Ashleh, no stranger to the courses or the tournament, attempted to improve on her 2nd place finish from last year. Unfortunately, with the tough competition she was unable to keep pace with the leaders in the last round. Ashleh had to settle for 3rd place with a +4 (112). A bright spot for Ashleh is that she was able to average a 908 round rating for the day, well above her PDGA rating.
Christine Jennings is a player who has been exhibiting great disc golf for the past two seasons by pushing her PDGA ratings higher every tournament and this event was no exception. Christine averaged 913 for the event and narrowly took second place by 1 stroke over Ashleh Baumann and finishing the day +3 (111).
For the Open Women’s division there was only one name that stood above the rest and that was defending Buckeye Classic Champion Kristy Moore. With 31 career wins out 74, Kristy knows how to bring home a victory down the stretch. As one of the strongest female competitors in Central Ohio, she carded and extraordinary 52 (934 rated) the first round, and a 53 (958 rated) the second round to win by 4 strokes over Christine Jennings and finishing with a -3 (105). Kristy has won this event two years in a row. Can she make it 3?
The Open Men’s division was the most competitive field that the Buckeye Classic has ever seen. Although the final scores showed separation eventually, nearly every competitor finished less than a stroke away from each other on the scoreboard.
Shooting the hottest round of the day at the Brent Hambrick Memorial course, Cory Ellis took the early lead by carding a mind-blowing 49 (1052 rated) round. Just behind Cory was Sam Lee who shot just as an impressive round of 49 (1043 rated) to secure himself on the lead card. One of the highlights of the tournament was local favorite Ben Creger who shot an amazing 51 (1034) the first round to give him a chance to fight for a win the second round.
Coming down the stretch, three competitors inevitably pulled ahead and after two hard-fought rounds Corey Ellis, Scott Burnett, and Ben Creger faced each other for a playoff that would decide the winner of the 2019 Buckeye Classic championship.
On playoff hole #1 Corey Ellis found some difficulty maneuvering through the dangerous hole, while local favorite Ben Creger and Scott Burnett played the wooded hole perfectly to take the par and knock Cory out of the playoff.
On playoff hole#2 Scott found himself out of position for his drive while Ben drove perfectly straight down the fairway. With not many choices, Scott laid down an amazing roller to get himself within 100 feet of the basket. With a spectacular kneeling putt, Scott drained a 100 foot putt to tie Ben for the hole. With all things being equal, Ben nearly took the victory on the hole if it weren’t for a clutch throw-in from Scott. Sudden death was carried to the next hole.
On playoff hole #3 Scott threw a pure line with a forehand to leave him 20 feet from the basket. Unfortunately, Ben hit an early tree that ended his chances to take home the win. Scott Burnett made his final putt for birdie to become the 2019 Buckeye Classic Champion. Corey Ellis finished the day in 3rd place with -8 (107), Ben Creger took 2nd place with -8 (107), and Scott Burnett won the event by a playoff with -8 (107).
Congratulations to our 2019 Buckeye Classic Open Champions
Kristy Moore & Scott Burnett
Complete Tournament Results