The 2012 Greater Milwaukee Open was a PDGA sanctioned B-tier event that was presented by Loper Financial and Legacy Discs, and held over the weekend of May 19-20, 2012 at two of Wisconsin’s premier courses, Dretzka and Brown Deer Park.
Don Loper of Loper Financial was present on both days, getting the players fired up and ready to compete. According to Terry Miller, The Disc Golf Guy, this was the second year in a row that Loper Financial has supported the event in a significant capacity.
Saturday, May 19, saw 96 competitors come out to the course, including six open women. Players were treated to unseasonably warm weather and winds that varied from moderate to heavy throughout the day, with Sunday’s weather bringing even windier conditions. Extra stakes and weights even had to be used just to keep the banners and tournament headquarters from blowing away, according to Miller.
Many had assumed that the open division title would go to one of Wisconsin’s hot shooters in Scotty “Too Hotty” Burtard, Chris Heeren, or perhaps the recently re-emerging Keith Warren. Instead, it was David Zimmerman’s crushing forehand drives that gave him the power and finesse he needed to navigate the challenging courses. He emerged the winner with a final score of 10-under par, just two strokes ahead of Hereen and Warren who both scored 8-under to finish in a tie for second place.
Zimmerman was sitting a few behind Warren who was leading after the first round but made his move at Brown Deer as he carded a 49 which was the single hottest round on that course either day.
Barrett White had to come from behind to claim her victory. With the suggestion of Miller, Holly Finley made her pro debut during the GMO weekend and faired quite well. She finished second to White, but chose to decline the cash winnings in order to retain her amateur status. Finley is quickly becoming a household name in the disc golf circuit as she continues to tour the country. After declining her cash in the women’s open division, she went on to win the women’s advanced division the next day, overcoming a three stroke deficit to Nikki Wayd.
Finley just started playing disc golf a little over a year ago, and is an international fashion model turned die hard disc golfer. After playing disc golf religiously for four and a half months she moved to Africa an was unable to play with no readily available courses there. Instead, she walked four miles a day to play in an abandoned field. When she returned to the states, in February of this year, she immediately started winning. Out of 11 tournaments, she had nine first places in seven different states. She’s certainly one to watch, and you can follow the gorgeous redhead on her journey here.
The advanced field started the day at the punishing Brown Deer course, with 51 the hot score in the morning. In the afternoon, they headed to Dretzka Park where players were treated to the long tees playing to a variety of medium and long pins. Matt Horsman, who just returned home from college, shot a 49 to force a playoff between himself and Mike Sale. Sale, who frequently travels from Illinois to play in Miller’s events, came out victorious in the playoff capturing another win ‘across the border’.
Two local masters players were all knotted up after regulation play. Johnny “Rumble” went on to defeat Mark Peterson in a playoff as well.
On Sunday, there was a huge field of 60 intermediate players battling it out as they first attacked Dretzka from the short tees. Skyline Am Series phenom, Casey Connors had the lead but relinquished it when David Olson bested Connors’ score by four in the afternoon. Olson was the only competitor from the 120 person pool of competitors on Sunday to finish under par.
Tyler Whitaker took down the 35 person recreational division by shooting a total of five over on the day, besting his next closest competitor by a margin of five strokes. Liz Murphy from Dimock, S.D. was one of our furthest traveled competitors, but she made the trip worth it by winning the women’s intermediate division.
Murphy was not the furthest traveled though as Lars Lau Jensen and Rie Rasmussen were visiting all the way from Denmark. The couple was visiting some friends in the Milwaukee area and decided to compete in the GMO while in the area.
Typical of Miller’s events, it was run smooth and efficiently and scores were even posted online between rounds. Before the scattered thunderstorms interrupted the awards ceremony on Sunday, Miller handed out Dilly Bars to all of the participants.
Miller said, “It was one of the most grueling weeks of my year and with nearly 220 people here for the weekend I think it’s only fitting we cap it off with Dilly Bars for everyone.”
The first time K.C. Dermody played disc golf was in the spectacular Black Hills of South Dakota. She has since become addicted to promoting the sport, and enjoys playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She welcomes comments and suggestions, with the goal of promoting the sport of disc golf throughout the world. Find her on www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter [email protected]
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