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Disc Golf in Australia: At Look at the Top Players and Australian Disc Golf Championships
Disc golf courses can be found on every continent on our planet, and the sport is spreading quickly in many countries, including Australia. While in America we're at the start of our winter season and chillier weather, Australia is kicking off their hot summer months, and that means more opportunity for disc golf.
The Australian Flying Disc Association currently has 3,000 members and the nation is home to 15 disc golf courses.
The top rated disc golf professional in Australia is Martin Ryland-Adair of West Ryde, Australia. Ryland-Adair was the winner of the Sydney Disc Golf Open in June and the Victorian Disc Golf Open in April, as well as the Sparks Summer Sizzler back in February.
Following Ryland-Adair is Kurt Karlsson of Miranda. He placed second at the Sydney Disc Golf Open behind Ryland-Adair, and had a victory at the Prison Break tournament in October, held in Sydney, Australia. The third ranked player in the country is Rick Kapalko of Sandgate, Queensland. He had a second place finish at the Queensland Disc Golf Championships.
The big event of the year was the Australian Disc Golf Championships held in Tasmania at the end of November. Disc golfers came from all over the world to participate, including some of the United States top players.
The win, however, went to Finland's Jussi Meresmaa in a dramatic finish at the second hole of a sudden-death playoff on the Poimena Reserve Disc Golf Course in Hobart, Tasmania. Meresmaa, Jay Reading of Wimberley, Texas and Juho Rantalaiho, also of Finland, were tied after the final round of nine between the four top players. The trio played the long and challenging eighth hole to determine the winner, but Reading and Meresmaa tied yet again.
The pair had to play another long and difficult fifth hole that included both trees and elevation variations, and it was Meresmaa who ended with a spectacular shot down the centre of the fairway to capture the championship. Possibly cushioning Reading's loss a little was the fact that his wife Des, a three-time world champion, won the women's championship by a 35-shot margin.
The other Finnish player, Juho Rantalaiho took third place in the men's open division, while the United Kingdom's Derek Robins finished in fourth. Australia's Rick Kapalko had an eighth place finish.
With the expansive land in Australia, it's likely the country will see lots of growth in the sport of disc golf, and the Australian Disc Golf Championships' director, Richard Sampson, commented, " It has been the biggest tournament we've had here for many years, possibly since the early 1990s."
Sampson added there has been a lot of interest in disc golf, especially after the great finale the men put on.
The first time K.C. Dermody played disc golf was in the spectacular Black Hills of South Dakota. She has since become addicted to promoting the sport, and enjoys playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She welcomes comments and suggestions, with the goal of promoting the sport of disc golf throughout the world. Find her on www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter.
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