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Middle Fork Open: Professional disc golf at it’s best in Westfir

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By CHAELA CARLSON/for The Herald  —  The Oakridge Disc Golf community is growing fast.  The Middle Fork Open had 37 registered players and 10 divisions.  It was hosted by the Oakridge Disc Golf Club and held at the Westfir Office Bridge Disc Golf Course on Saturday, June 29th and Sunday, June 30th.  The total amount of money awarded to the winners, also known as the Pro Purse, was $504.

 The Tournament Director, Jason Nehmer, is an Oakridge local and has organized more than a few of these events

Johann Tuckler with his Disc Golf On Demand discs.

before.  He had this to say to encourage new disc golfers to join, “pros get dough, amateurs get scrips.”  Scrips are a form of payment that winners in smaller divisions can trade in for prizes.  Discs were provided as prizes by Johann Tuckler, owner of Disc Golf On Demand.

 Some of the aforementioned “dough” was awarded to the Mixed Pro Open (MPO) division winner, Scott Menan, who walked away with $200.

Scott Menan (right) stands with Jason Nehmer (left) holding his MPO prize after the tournament.

Larry Meltzer, another local, competed in the Mixed Amateur 60 (MA60)

Jason Nehmer (left) presents Larry Meltzer (right) his prize for winning the MA60 division at the Middle Fork Open.

division and won first place.  Playing steadily for 2 years, this event was his first Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) sanctioned competition.  

“I’ve always loved throwing the frisbee, threw it a lot in high school,” he said.  He wasn’t daunted by his first true tournament though, saying, “Don’t take it too seriously, have fun, keep practicing.”  

Meltzer’s friend and fellow competitor, Rich Nellis, joked that Meltzer’s go-to frisbee, the ‘West Side Hatchet,’ “still didn’t have enough sharp edge for those blackberries.”

Brambles were indeed part of the challenge of the course, but apparently so was the wind.  “It was calm in the morning, but as the sun kept going, it kept getting windier which made it harder to throw,” said Tuckler.

Left to right) Jules Jividen, Jerry Oldridge, Scott Jividen

There was a huge headwind, giving players special difficulty on Basket 16 where there was a large slope to overcome.  Despite this, Nellis said the course was beautiful and the mountain views were his favorite.  

Nellis has seen many mountains in his day, as he has competed not only locally, but also in the Nationals in Austin, Texas, against about 900 other players.  He claimed to have performed “averagely” there.  At the Middle Fork Open event however, he managed a second-place tie in the MA60 division.

 

A typical disc golf basket at the Offices Bridge Disc Golf Course Chaela Carlson photo

One person commented, “Eugene doesn’t have enough tournaments as it should.”  As it seems, the event had a variety of players from Bend, Eugene, Central Oregon, and other areas.  Oakridge locals hope the disc golfing community continues to grow.  The Oakridge Disc Golf Club is on Facebook and meets every Sunday at 10 am at the Old Mill Disc Park, adjacent to the Oakridge Industrial Park, at the saw blade kiosk.  

Perhaps Oakridge is becoming even more than a mountain biking town.  It’s becoming a town of diverse sports and recreational activities.

 

Chaela Carlson is fresh on the Journalism scene and excited to be joining us at the Highway 58 Herald. Born in Eugene, she moved to Oakridge at the age of 9 and graduated as Valedictorian of the Oakridge High School Class of 2024. She’s looking forward to getting more involved in the community. You might see her around town or down at the river going for a dip.

 

 

 

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