In the first-ever event of its kind, the World League FlingGolf crowned 2 World Champions over the weekend of May 21-22 at the 2022 New Swarm FlingGolf Classic. The 2 event tournament consisted of the New Swarm Open, a course-play event, and the Longest FlingShot Championship, a test of strength and technique to hurl a golf ball as far as possible using a New Swarm FlingStick. Both events were filmed for ESPN to be broadcast this summer.
The New Swarm Open - May 21
The New Swarm Cup
A field of 41 players representing 17 states and the Oneida Nation arrived at the American Classic Golf Club, whose staff and volunteers did an unbelievable job hosting both events of the Classic. With practice rounds complete on Friday, the contestants began with a shotgun start at 9AM Saturday morning for the qualifying 18 holes. Players vied for the top 5 scores in order to reach the 4 hole Final Round. Scoring was based on the "reggie" system, where players count their strokes, but deduct a stroke for each green that they hit in regulation (a reggie).
The American Classic Crew getting fired up for the New Swarm Open
With the temperature reaching 94 degrees during the day, and the sun a-blazing down, the qualifier was not only a battle of mental toughness and focus, but also one of physical stamina. By the time all the scores came in, we had our top 5 finalists.
WLF Officials Steve Bloom, Alex Van Alen and John Pruellage announcing the Finalists for the New Swarm Open
The 5 Finalists
Jack "The Irish Twin" Bovich, from Lewes, DE with a 68/11R = 57
Daniel "the FlingGolf Guy" Dillinger from Boise, ID with a 70/11R = 59
Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk, from Fort Collins, CO with a 70/10R = 60
Austin "Showtime" Ebersole, from Lewes, DE with a 66/6R = 60
Mike "Big Cat" Edwards, from Greenville, PA with a 74/8R = 66*
* "D-Day" David Day lost the Reggie tie breaker by 1 Reggie to Mike Edwards with a 73/7R = 66
Britt Morrison: Top Women's Player with a 84/4R = 80
Kendall Banks: Top Collegiate Player (Southern University) with a 77/9R = 68
"Dreamy Drew" Mangeluzo: Top Junior with a 84/4R = 80
With the New Swarm Cup on the line, the 5 finalists set out to play 4 holes, starting with the par 4 9th, the par 3 7th, the par 3 5th and to finish on the island green of the par 4 6th hole. Pulling into the last hole, the scores were
Ken P 11/2R = 9,
Jack B 12/1R = 11,
Mike E 12/1R = 11,
Austin 13/0R = 13 and
Daniel 13/0R = 13.
The island green proved no match for any of the players, with each scoring a reggie to get to the green in 2. From there, Kenzo used the mental toughness that made him a martial arts black belt and secured the New Swarm Cup and World FlingGolf Championship with a reggie-par. Congratulations Kenzo!
Winner Ken Pytluk, with Finalists Jack Bovitch, Mike Edwards, Daniel Dillinger and Austin Ebersole
New Swarm Open Final Results
1. Ken Pytluk 15/3R = 12 FlingGolf World Champion
2. Jack Bovich 16/2R = 14
3. Mike Edwards 17/2R = 15
T-4. Daniel Dillinger 17/1R = 16
T-4. Austin Ebersole 17/1R = 16
Champion Ken Pytluk interviewing for ESPN coverage
The LFC-2 Longest FlingShot Championship - May 22
The crowd revving up Austin "Showtime" Ebersole for the LFC-2
Sunday brought no relief from the heat with the mercury quickly climbing back to the high 80s at start time of the LFC-2 Longest FlingShot Championship and eventually back in the 90s. But that didn't dissuade the 31 players from giving everything they had to outdo each other on the LFC patch.
The WLF format gave every player 5 balls and a New Swarm FlingStick of their choice in the qualifying round to hurl as far as they could on the LFC patch, which in this case was the converted 3rd hole at American Classic. Signage at 10 yard intervals were laid out, and readings were taken/confirmed using a range finder.
Contestants ranged in age from 10 years old (Latham "FlingSlayer" Copeland) up to 65 (Jack "Irish Twin" Bovich), with contestants wanting to see where they ranked against some of longest flingers in the world. With the spectators roaring and crowding the tee box, flinger after flinger sent their golf balls flying into a stiff 25 mph headwind.
The LFC-2 Finalists with their choice of New Swarm FlingStick
The end of the qualifying round brought some familiar names as well as a couple of new ones in to the Finals. The Qualifying Results were:
1. Brooks "Big Country" Medford at 220 yards
2. Ken "Kenzo" Pytluk at 212 yards
3. Daniel "the FlingGolf Guy" Dillinger at 204 yards
4. Mike "Big Cat" Edwards at 203 yards
5. Brandon "Hook, line and flinger" Hammond at 201 yards
As the contestant with the top yardage, Brooks Medford got to carry his 220 yard score over from the qualifiers to the finals as the score to beat.
And it was a good thing he did. With the wind holding steady in their faces, each finalist alternated 5 FlingShots each, and after all was said and done, Brooks held off the field, with Ken Pytluk inching oh-so-close with a 216 yard bomb. But ultimately Brooks' 220 was too much to surpass and he went on to win the LFC-2 and hold the belt high in the sky!
The LFC-2 Final Results:
1. Brooks Medford: 220 Yards LFC-2 Champion
2. Ken Pytluk: 216 Yards
3. Daniel Dillinger: 205 Yards
4. Mike Edwards: 205 Yards
5. Brandon Hammond: 188 Yards
World League FlingGolf Champs Ken Pytluk holding the New Swarm Cup and Books Medford with the LFC Belt
The New Swarm FlingGolf Classic was a massive success. For the first time ever, the best players in the world met in one place to go head-to-head against each other on the course to determine a World FlingGolf Champion in the New Swarm Open.
And for the first time since Sean Lawton won the LFC-1 in 2019, top players again were able to battle it out on the LFC patch to celebrate a new Longest FlingShot Champion.
Congratulations to World FlingGolf Champion Ken Pytluk and to Longest FlingShot Champion Brooks Medford on your achievements.
And a final congratulations to American Classic Golf Club and the Morrison family for putting on a world class show and welcoming players and WLF with open arms. You will go down in history as the host course of the first of many New Swarm Classics!