After a break of three years on Saturday March 4th 2023, the 7th edition of the Mars Springs disc golf tournament was held in Varaždinske Toplice. This competition was also the first round of the Croatian Disc Golf League in the 2023 season, and 43 players from Croatia and Slovenia participated. Considering the bad weather conditions in the days before the tournament and the announced worsening of the weather after the tournament, we can say that the weather "kindled" the disc golfers because Saturday in Varaždinske Toplice was truly an ideal day for disc golf with sunny weather and almost no wind.
The competition started at 10:30, took place in two rounds of 18 holes each, and ended with the Winners ceremony at the Vila Toplissa restaurant around 17:15.
9 players participated in the MPO open category, and the members of Disc Golf Club Varaždin – Aleksandar Sudžuković and Nino Đurak – were in the fight for victory until the very end. Only three holes before the end of the competition, Sudžuković managed to separate himself from Đurak and record the victory with a total of -15 to par. Dinko Šimenc (Disc golf club Lagoda, Varaždin) made his way to 3rd place in the ranking with an excellent game in the second round and setting a new course record of -9 (round rating 999).
Six players participated in the FPO women's open category, and the victory was won by Ira Molnar Gorički (Flying disc club Zagreb), with a score of +8 and a two-shot advantage over Danica Pajtak (DGK Varaždin). In this category, Ira and Danica fought an uncertain battle that was also decided on the last two holes. Third place was won by Tina Šimenc (DGK Lagoda).
In addition to the elite open categories, the competition also took place in three lower categories according to the PDGA standard, which are open to players of both sexes – the highest red, the lower green and the lowest purple.
Seven players participated in the red category for players rated up to 900, and the victory was won by Danijel Belančić (Flying disc club Nova Gradiška) with a total of +2. The second place was taken by Matic Blaž (Slovenia) with +4, and the third by Tomislav Frković (FDK Zagreb) with +5.
In the green category for players with a rating of up to 850, 8 male and female players participated, and here the winner was not decided even after all 36 holes played. Namely, at that moment, the only local player Hrvoje Potrebica (Varaždinske Toplice) and Josip Magdalenić (FDK Nova Gradiška) were tied in the lead with a score of +6. They then started a playoff in which Potrebica was better after the first hole and thus won the first victory in his career. Tied for the third place were Adrian Liber (DGK Lagoda) and Nino Krvavica (Disc golf club Eagle, Rijeka) with +8.
In the beginner's purple category for players with a rating of up to 800, 13 male and female players participated, and the victory was won by Dino Harambašić with a score of +7 ahead of Patrik Grof (both from DGK Lagoda), while the third place with +15 was won by Igor Visinski (Sportsko rekreativna udruga Zagorje, Hum Zabočki)).
Hot rounds of the day were 46 (-9, unofficial rating 999) by Dinko Šimenc for men and 58 (+3, unofficial rating 870) by Danica Pajtak for women.
Side events to the tournament were Ace pool, Overachiever and CTP.
The Overachiever award is given to the player who played the tournament in the most average value of both rounds above his rating, with the fact that the competition includes only players who already have at least 20 rounds included in their rating, because it is a bit easier for those who have just started playing disc golf to play well above their own rating, unlike those who have been playing disc golf for many years. Third place in the ranking was taken by Aleksandar Sudžuković with +59, second was Davor Galic with +61, while the best was Mladen Šop with a game of 65 above his personal rating.
The money for Ace pool already amounted to €53 from previous tournaments, and in this tournament 30 players paid the registration fee, so the amount of the potential prize was €83. Since the ace was not scored, the stated amount is transferred to the next tournament organized by Lagoda, which will be held in Labin in April.
The CTP (Closest to the pin) game on hole 14 was won by Josip Magdalenić whose disc ended up 58 cm from the basket.
After the Winners ceremony for the best in all categories, a tournament raffle was held in which prizes with a total equivalent value of €160 were awarded. Players who were drawn in the raffle could choose some of the prizes (disc golf backpack, shirts and souvenirs with the tournament logo, etc.). The prize was taken by Marin Grbac, Jan Uršič, Andrej Kozic, Mladen Šop and Toni Denona, and they cannot win the raffle at the next Lagoda tournament.
The results of the competition can be found on the PDGA website.