In the World League FlingGolf's final National Tournament of the 2022 season, fans and players witnessed an epic performance from a familiar face, saw several more players lift their game to capture the first WLF Team Championship, the Women's top player continue her dominance, and took notice of a new player on the scene making a strong push for The Bluestone Trophy.
The individual segment of the Virginia FlingGolf Open was hosted on Saturday by the City of Harrisonburg's Heritage Oaks Golf Course, a par 70 layout. The shotgun start was delayed for an hour due to frost, but once the sun came up and melted away the frost, the players were off and running, all gunning for one of 5 spots in the 3-hole Final.
The Shenandoah's blue sky and green grass proved an excellent backdrop for one of the best performances in FlingGolf's history, with New Swarm Athlete Austin "Showtime" Ebersole landing 13 reggies to score a 59, a full 6 strokes ahead of the next competitor, Sam "Scantron" Scannell with a 65, who was playing in his first WLF Tournament. Following Sam to reach the Finals were some familiar top WLF players, Mike "Big Cat" Edwards (66), Brooks Medford, current LFC-Longest FingShot Champion (68), and the winner of the New Swarm Classic, Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk (68).
Virginia FlingGolf Open Finalists: (L to R) Austin "Showtime" Ebersole, Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk, Sam "Scantron" Scannell, Mike "Big Cat" Edwards and Brooks Medford.
A change to the format from the New Swarm Classic meant that Austin was able to start the 3 hole Finals with his 6 stroke lead from the morning's round, making it a daunting task for the other competitors to best him. When all was said and done, however, the rookie Sam Scannell, with incredible play, was able to close the gap to just 2 strokes to place second, but Showtime held him off to win and raise the inaugural Bluestone Trophy.
In an interview with WLF's Kevin Hurly after his win, Austin let the emotions of the moment catch up to him and recognized the fierce competition that is brewing with the top players.
"I'm feeling all the emotions right now. I'm feeling good. Honestly excited, a lot of hard work. Thrilled to be here with the coolest people in the world. The guys were great today. I'm highly impressed with Sam coming in, this being his first tournament. That guy's gonna be good. I felt the pressure and it was awesome. They are all amazing competitors. I would have to say that it is the 5 best right now."
The 2023 Virginia FlingGolf Open Winner and New Swarm Athlete Austin "Showtime " Ebersole with WLF's Kevin Hurly and CEO of New Swarm/WLF, Alex Van Alen
In a battle for the Top Women's Player, a foursome of Britt "Reggie Queen" Morrison, Krysta "Birdies of Prey" Smith, Brooke "Show's Over" Ebersole and Rosie "Mamacita" Flores fought it out. In a repeat performance from the New Swarm Classic, the Reggie Queen proved unbeatable and took home the honor by shooting an 87, besting second place competitor Krysta Smith by just 2 strokes, followed by Ebersole and Flores.
"This one was a lot harder, because the first tournament I got to play on my home course, American Classic, so I understood the greens." Morrison said. "It was a lot more difficult but more fun because I got to experience the camaraderie of having more women play in the tournament."
Top Women's Player Britt "Reggie Queen" Morrison with Krysta 'Birdies of Prey" Smith, Rosie "Mamacita" Flores and Brooke "Show's Over" Ebersole.
On Sunday, the tournament moved over for the Team Championship to the Woodstone Meadows Golf Course at Massanutten Resort, a long time favorite resort and course for FlingGolf players with thousands of rounds played each year. The team format was alternate shot, with each player starting alternate holes.
Another beautiful fall Shenandoah day was the backdrop for a competitive outing, with team strategy being the driving force for successful scoring. The shorter course meant reggies were going to play a strong role in determining the top teams, and that is the way it played out.
The winning team of Zac "Mountaineer" Mulvey and Mike "Big Cat" Edwards nailed 8 reggies for a score of 65, three strokes ahead of Mike "Maine Event" DeRusha and (subbing in for an injured Shawn "Scratch" Van Lanker), Alex "the Founder" Van Alen, and 4 strokes ahead of the teams of Pytluk and Ebersole and Scannell and Jason Ballenger.
"We know how we play", said Zac Mulvey. "We play together almost every day. I know where to put him, he knows where to put me, so that helped us in the long run."
WLF sportscaster Kevin Hurly interviewing the Virginia Team Champions, Zac "Mountaineer" Mulvey and Mike "Big Cat" Edwards.
A FlingGolf Skills Challenge followed the Team Championship, consisting of 2 parts: accuracy on the range and a 9 hole short game course on the putting green. Once again, Showtime's months of preparation was too strong for the rest of the field, as he went home with the Skills Cup to settle in right next to the Bluestone Trophy for his case.
"It is another phenomenal WLF tournament in the books. On behalf of New Swarm and the World League FlingGolf, I want to thank Adam Copeland and Michael Alexiou for spearheading this first annual Virginia Open", said Alex Van Alen, Founder and CEO of New Swarm.
"More than anything I want to recognize the players for coming out and putting on an extremely entertaining show, while continuing the spirit of camaraderie and competitiveness that WLF events have become known for. I am especially proud of Austin's dedication to the sport and his performance this weekend. I'm excited to have him, along with our Delaware Champion Ken Pytluk, as New Swarm Athletes and WLF Pros, represent both the sport and New Swarm as we grow the game even more in '23."
Kevin Hurly interviews the Virginia FlingGolf Open hosts Michael Alexiou and Adam Copeland
World League FlingGolf Tour '23 dates coming soon.
World League FlingGolf will be expanding the WLF Tour to at least 5 tournaments in 2023, spanning the US from coast to coast, and the mountains in between. These events will feature the top players in the game competing for cash prizes and rankings. Additional ESPN coverage, as well as a possible international event showcasing FlingGolf will bring the sport to a global audience.
Click on the Pic to Checkout Showtime's Signature Series FlingStick from New Swarm