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Record number play in Sask Open disc golf event

Event attracts disc golfers from three Prairie provinces
MELVILLE - The 16th Annual Saskatchewan Open Driven by Innova has proven to be the most successful, at least in terms of participation. 

The two-day disc golf tournament co-hosted over the weekend by the courses in Yorkton and Melville attracted 125 to register for the event coming from as far afield as Winnipeg and from Alberta in the west. 

The 125 participants made the Open the best attended disc golf event to be held in Saskatchewan to-date, said organizer Duncan Holness. 

When the final round was held Sunday in Melville for the men’s pro division Chase Samuel of Saskatoon emerged the victor. 

“It feels great,” shortly after finishing #18. “It’s my first win of any kind at any level. 

“There were a lot of really good players out there.” 

In the women’s pro division, it was Marina Aspen of Saskatoon topping things. 

Aspen said she has won some events in the past but the Sask Open was sweeter because it was a tougher field to top. 

“The competition was a lot better for women here,” she said, adding “. . . everybody played pretty-well.” 

For Aspen the key was staying positive no matter the situation on the course. 

“I’m pretty good at staying as cool as a cucumber,” she said, adding when something does become mentally challenging “I can play through that and stay focused.” 

Samuel, 27, said consistency was his greatest strength on the weekend, and especially Sunday. 

“I didn’t make any boogies, and I made the putts I should have. I stayed in my head and what I was trying to do.” 

Samuel, who was competing in his 6th Sask. Open, said things weren’t actually going that well Saturday in Yorkton, where he found the course a challenge with all its trees and mandatory features. 

“I couldn’t pull off the shots I was trying,” he said, adding he wasn’t feeling overly confident coming off the round at Patrick Park Disc Golf Course. 

Sunday things went Samuel’s way leaving him raving about the course. 

“Melville is excellent. It’s incredible,” he offered. 

Aspen too liked the local courses. 

“I really like them. I’m a big fan,” she said. 

Samuel said one secret Sunday was not to focus on what other players were doing, at least not early in the round, noting he never checked the scores online until the 15th. 

From the 15th Samuel said he stayed focused on what he was shooting as well as the other top players in the division. Marshall Toews would finish second, with Brian Freese third, both disc golfers from Winnipeg. 

Marshall Toews would finish second with a minus-9 153, with Brian Freese third at minus-7 154, both disc golfers from Winnipeg. 

Following Aspen was Regina’s Kadie Hozempa in second with a plus-4 178, and Saskatoon’s Wendy Chapman in third with a plus-9 183. 

In the Pro Masters 40+ Braden Walters of Calgary topped the field with a plus-4 166, with Scott Chapman of Saskatoon at plus-6 168 in second and North Battleford’s Evan Zimmer third with a plus-7 169. 

Pro Masters 65+ Division had only one participant Murray James Gordon of Watrous. He shot a plus-56 218. 

Ace Holt of Calgary topped the Advanced Men’s Division shooting a minus-11 151, with Joshua Istace of Moosomin second with a minus-7 155, and Mark Kienle of Wadena and Nicholas Donauer of Saskatoon tied for third with scores of minus-3 159. 

Emma Olson was the lone participant in the Advanced Women’s Division shooting a plus-15 189.