San Diego Storm Proves No Match For World League FlingGolf Champions.
March 03, 20236 min read
New Swarm Tour Crowns New Singles, Team/Doubles and Women's Champions. Women's Division Grows.
All captured for ESPN Broadcast this Summer. Stay Tuned.
Top FlingGolf players from Hawaii to Maine arrived in stormy conditions Wednesday and Thursday to compete in World League FlingGolf's San Diego Open. By the time the sun came out on Sunday afternoon, the New Swarm Tour had three new Individual and Team Champions following play at JC Golf's Twin Oaks and Welk Resort Fountains Courses.
Singles Championship and Team Doubles
Sam "Scantron" Scannell made it clear over the weekend that he is the force to be reckoned with on the New Swarm Tour. After finishing a strong second in the Virginia Open in October, Sam used his athletic abilities and in two days, picked up two sets of hardware to take back to North Carolina.
On Saturday at a cold and wet Welk Resort's Fountains Course, Sam teamed up with the Virginia Open Champion Austin "Showtime" Ebersole to capture the Team/Doubles Championship, narrowly besting Mike "Maine Event" DeRusha and Shawn "SVL" Van Lancker by 2 strokes and Daniel "Public Enemy #1" Dillinger and Ryan "Soldier Boy" Stainbrook by 3 in a 3 hole playoff.
It was on a cool Sunday at JC Golf's Twin Oaks Golf Course that Scantron took on a field of 32 players in the Singles Championship, narrowed it down to a 5 player Finals (including Zac "Mountaineer" Mulvey, Jake "Island Hopper" Anderson, Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk, Austin "Showtime" Ebersole) then battled it out in an extra playoff hole to beat local favorite Island Hopper on the 18th hole. Scantron's reggie birdie from 12 feet sealed the deal in a climactic finish, beating out Jake's reggie par, all captured to be broadcast by ESPN this summer.
Since Scantron's arrival on WLF's New Swarm Tour last October, the Athletic Director at Durham Nativity School in North Carolina has grabbed a second (to Showtime) and 1st in the Singles Championship and a 1st (teaming up with Showtime) as part of the Apex FlingCrew's victory in the San Diego Team/Doubles.
Asked how he felt after taking home the dual crowns in San Diego, Sam replied:
"It's surreal. The feeling sank in on the plane ride home. I was thinking back to when I was watching the first airing on ESPN, I knew that I could be competitive with those finalists. Then, being the new guy in Virginia with eyes on me wondering if I was able to back up the expectations. Coming in second to my eventual teammate, Showtime, and then building the camaraderie to push and encourage each other to another top 5 finish for both of us.
I would have been happy if he had won, and he was happy that I won. That mentality is what powered us through the adversity of Saturday and helped us win the Team Doubles.
I am ready for whoever is going to be the next newcomer to make a splash on the New Swarm Tour like I have."
Austin "Showtime" Ebersole - Virginia Open Champion, San Diego Open Team/Doubles Champion on teaming up with Scantron and how they embrace their camaraderie and competition.
"Man, the San Diego Open was honestly a blast from start to finish. Sam's performance all weekend long was so impressive, and I honestly couldn't be any happier for him! 16 reggies on 18 holes during qualifying is no joke, and I can't wait to see what else he has in store for this year's tour. He's going to be a great champion for our sport!"
"To be honest, we were pushed to our limit on Saturday during the team event. Putts weren't dropping and we were struggling to stick the greens. However, we just kept fighting and eventually we went on a nice run in our first ever tournament together. When the dust settled, we were over the moon excited to know that we finished with the lowest score and that energy helped carry us through the playoff."
"To win the San Diego Open Team Tournament with Sam means the world to me. We started the Apex Fling Crew together with the support from Odin Golf, and it just feels amazing to kick off the year as the sport's best team. It's always a gamble to call yourself the "apex" of something, but we have now officially established ourselves as such. We are the last two individual champions and now team champions! You couldn't write a better script for our team's origins. I hope everyone's ready though because I feel that a big year is coming for Apex FC!"
In the growing Women's Division, Krysta "Birdies of Prey" Smith from Pennsylvania bested Brooke Ebersole (Delaware) by 2 and local rising star Rosie Flores (California) by 4 to take home the SDO Women's Championship. The competition was fierce as the women field made up 25% of the entire field, a new level for a WLF event.
Krysta "Birdies of Prey" Smith - San Diego Open Women's Champion discussed her take on the growing competition amongst women in the sport.
"It was a true honor to have won the Women's Championship in San Diego, especially since I played with some amazingly athletic women. They were all so encouraging and want to help/grow the sport as much as I do.
If it weren't for a few pointers from Britt Morrison (the Reggie queen herself) I may not have fixed my putting. She will always be the queen of FlingGolf as she was the first to play in a tournament and her sister Brooke is just as good as it went down to the wire between her and I.
Rosie Flores helped get this amazing tournament together and helped grow it locally in San Diego.
Women often have a more difficult time growing sports, but I truly believe this sport will take off and grow exponentially once all the other women see how much fun all of us have had competing!"
Britt "Reggie Queen" Morrison - First FlingGolf Women's Champion (Delaware and Virginia) was asked about her experience in San Diego and thoughts on the grwoth of the women's game.
"It was great to see how far WLF has come in just 9 months. From being the only woman playing in the first tournament in Delaware to now having more than 2 foursomes of women competing in multiple WLF events, it is both incredible and inspiring to see the quick growth of women in the sport.
Overall, the entire FlingGolf community has really embraced the growth of the women’s division. I am so grateful for the opportunity to play FlingGolf with incredible men and women from around the country. Krysta played an excellent round in San Diego, her game continues to improve every tournament and she is just so fun to play with!
Krysta always has a positive attitude and keeps everyone in the group laughing through the round with her humor. The women’s division will continue to grow and excel as more women learn about FlingGolf. This is just the beginning for women in the sport and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us."
Additional Prizes were awarded by WLF to the Top Military/Veteran (won by Mike DeRusha - Air Force) and Top Newcomer (Brian "Doc" Sanders).
WLF Singles Champion - Sam "Scantron" Scannell
2. Jake "Island Hopper" Anderson
3. Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk
4. Austin "Showtime" Ebersole
5. Zac "Mountaineer" Mulvey
Women's Division Champion - Krysta "Birdies of Prey" Smith
2. Brooke "Show's Over" Ebersole
3. Rosie "Mamacita" Flores
4. Britt "Reggie Queen" Morrison
5. Jacqueline Mercado
Team/Doubles Champions - Apex FlingCrew. Austin "Showtime" Ebersole and Sam "Scantron" Scannell
2. Mike "Maine Event" DeRusha and Shawn "SVL" Van Lancker
3. Daniel "Public Enemy #1" Dillinger and Ryan "Soldier Boy" Stainbrook
4. Zac "Mountaineer" Mulvey and Mike "Big Cat" Edwards
5. Brandon "Iceman" Hammond and Neil "Tinman" Little
Top Veteran - Mike "Maine Event" DeRusha (Air Force)