Van Patten Golf Club
The ALD™ Championship Series took its first trip to the Northeastern part of the USA this weekend and it was a great event. Van Patten Golf Club in Clifton Park, NY provided a venue that provided some incredible competition.
The grid was set on the par 5 19th hole and made for a spectacular visual for the hitters. The clubhouse provided a gorgeous backdrop for the elevated tee box and colorful tree-lined fairway / grid.
A feature in ALD™ Qualifiers, allows hitters to buy additional rounds if they feel they have more “in the tank”. A slight change to that rule for this season limits the “buy-in” to a 10 minute period following the final round of “scheduled” competition. Competitors, including the current leader must decide during those 10 minutes if they want an additional round.
Geared toward giving hitters more time on the tee, competition rounds in all qualifiers now include 2 sets of 8 balls with a 3 minute clock. The normal 2 sets of 6 with a 2 minute clock is still the rule for league events.
Also new for this season are the head-to-head rounds to determine transfers to the worlds. In all divisions with 4 or more hitters, the top two after all competition and buy-in rounds go head-to-head for the win.
The competition was intense, to say the least. Both the Open Women and Open Men required a tie-breaker playoff for a spot in the finals. The youth division saw young William Lokey hit a very impressive drive of 198 yards to earn his way to the ALD™ Worlds. Doug Downey from Stratford, Ont Canada will be returning to Myrtle Beach in the Super Senior Division with a winning drive of 271 yards. We had a Veteran qualify for the ALD™ Worlds also. Mark Rasieleski with an impressive 300-yard drive punched his ticket to Barefoot Resort & Golf in both the veteran and senior divisions.
Both Open divisions put on a great show. First up… the ladies. Kelly Rudney led the way through the first two rounds with a drive of 297 yards. After 2 rounds 17 year old, Kylee Dubroski was in 2nd place at 265 yards with Tina Gac just 3 yards behind at 263 yards. Both Tina and Kylee participated in the “buy-in” round, which made for some interesting results. Tina tied Kylee at 265 yards in the extra round, and they had to go to a 4 ball playoff to see who would advance to go head-2-head with Rudney in the final. Rudney chose not to buy additional sets as she watched Gac and Dubroski bomb drives one after another. Her risk….had both hitters bested Rudney’s earlier drive, she would be knocked out of the final head-to-head round without recourse. Gac edged Dubroski by a few yards to move on to meet Rudney. Gac hit her career-long drive in competition at 299 yards to earn the win over Rudney. The 2018 Open Women’s ALD™ World Champ will be returning to Myrtle Beach for her 3rd year in a row in 2020.
The 14 man Open Men’s division field was tightly contested right up to the end. Lucas Niimer led the way with a bomb of 342 yards. There was a pack of four hitters that were right behind him. Josh Dennis at 325 yards, Matt Kindou at 327 yards, current ALD™ World No.1, Zach Devotie at 331 yards, and Brian Crespo at 332 yards. Each of these guys took part in the “buy-in” round to try and catch Nimer.
The buy-in rounds took us to a tie and a 4-ball playoff for 2nd place just like we saw in the Open Women’s division. Josh Dennis came up with a 332-yard drive to equal Brian Crespo and then was able to top him in the playoff. That set up a battle of Ohio for the win. Dennis is from Kansas, OH and Nimer, is from Dayton, OH. Nimer (earlier) chose to not buy additional rounds, sitting on his 342 yard bomb in the competition rounds. The 2 went head-2-head in the final 8-ball set of the day with Josh Dennis taking the victory with a final round drive of 320 yards in his first-ever long drive competition.
Transfers to the Worlds
With this first major of the season, we filled the first 6 spots in the 2020 ALD™ World Championships at Barefoot Resort & Golf on August 14 & 15, 2020. A HUGE thank you goes out to Van Patten Golf Club and the staff for allowing us to hold the Northeast Regional at their fantastic facility. Also, thanks to J.P. Morgan from Travld Events Company for partnering with us and making this event the success that it was.
The Next Regional Qualifier
Our next Regional Qualifier is January 25th at Pompano Beach Golf Course in Pompano Beach, FL. Get registered today!