The inaugural Big Picture Classic disc-golf tournament, a benefit for Durango Big Picture High School, was held May 13 at Colorado Timberline Academy. Early-morning discers from all four corners of the region, plus some who traveled from as far as Albuquerque and Flagstaff, began to show up at the course by 7:45 a.m., ready to throw by 9 a.m.
Tournament directors Dreher Robertson, an advisor at Big Picture, and Jonathan Ray, a Dynamic Discs tour promoter, organized and promoted the event with special permission from Dan Coey, director of Colorado Timberline Academy.
CTA, a non-traditional, secondary boarding school for high-school students, is built on enough acreage to support a premier 18-hole disc golf course, which is open to the public on Sundays only and available for scheduled tournaments during the summer when school is no longer in session.
Coey approved Robertson’s request to hold the benefit tournament on a Saturday while school was in session no questions asked.
With a goal of raising $1,000 in donations, $10 of every $35 registration fee was designated to fund project materials and college text books for Big Picture High School students. A total of 48 participants in eight divisions, including open-pro mens and womens competed in two, 18-hole rounds of disc golf Saturday, in addition to the 18 who entered the doubles tournament at 5:30 p.m. the day before.
“Out of the eight divisions, the most competitive by far was the open pro womens,” said Robertson. “A woman with a broken foot even competed in the first round.”
Haleigh Sowerby took first in the open pro womens division, scoring 67 the first round and 64 in the second to finish at 131 overall.
Westside Discs-sponsored player Tanner Cumpton of Cortez, the only sponsored pro in the tournament, took first in open pro mens, scoring 48 and 49 for a two-round total of 97. Cumpton came back to win after a previous loss in April 2016 to Steve Lewandowski at the Peaks and Valleys tournament. Lewandowski took second Saturday, scoring 104 overall.
By 2 p.m., $870 had been raised for Big Picture, and no player had shot a hole-in-one yet. Per disc-golf-tournament tradition, an “ace pot” was started, meaning players would pool their money together until someone had a hole-in-one. Usually, the player to hit the first ace of the tournament will win the money from the pot. However, all the players Saturday who gave their money to the ace pot unanimously voted to donate all funds to Big Picture.
By 6 p.m., the ace pot allowed the benefit to achieve its original goal of $1,000 in funds raised.
“It never ceases to amaze me, the generosity of the disc golf community,” said Robertson. “I have high hopes that this tournament, the Big Picture Classic, will become an annual event for years in the future.”
Dynamic Discs was the primary sponsor of the tournament. Eleven holes were sponsored by Greg and Linda Thompson of Oak Ridge Disc Golf Course and local community members sponsored various holes for $25 each.
For tournament final scores, go to www.pdga.com/tour/event/31947.