Throwing for another gold

Sunday, July 31, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:54 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

Randy Slaughter smiled as he made his prediction about the final round of the Show-Me State Games disc golf tournament.

“I’m gonna tear this round up,” Slaughter said. “I got to see my son during lunch. He definitely pumped me up today.”

After the first round of Saturday’s competition at Albert-Oakland Park, Slaughter, 35, was fourth in the 30-39 age division. While most of the competitors ate bratwursts cooked on a portable propane grill, Slaughter went over to his mother’s house to spend time with his 21-month-old son, Nathan.

“Me and my boy sat down and ate some watermelon,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter said he took insulin before he ate. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at 22.

“I take insulin shots in the morning and before I eat,” Slaughter said.

For the final round, Slaughter played with the top three scorers in his age group. Most of the 38 competitors were from Mid-Missouri, with a few from as far away as St. Louis.

Slaughter said he and his friends discovered disc golf when they attended Oakland Junior High School. He said he started playing in 1984.

“We’d walk the (Albert-Oakland Park) trails to school and see guys playing,” Slaughter said. “We went on a trip to Oceans of Fun and played there. I was hooked after that.”

Slaughter said he plays in leagues with his brother, Travis, three times a week. On Tuesdays he plays in Jefferson City, Thursdays he plays in Columbia and Sunday he plays in Mexico, Missouri.

Travis Slaughter, 31, stopped by after work to watch the final round.

“He’s a much better player than I am,” Travis Slaughter said of his brother. “We’ve partnered up before on leagues.”

Travis Slaughter was chosen to manage the scorecard.

Disc golf is scored like traditional golf, and going into the final round Dave Kennon, 32, was leading by two strokes.

The final round was a seesaw battle filled with two-way, three-way, and even four-way ties.

Slaughter quickly began challenging for the lead despite starting behind by 3.

As the temperature rose to 94 degrees with the sun blazing overhead, the players began to wear the frustrations of bad shots on their sleeves.

The course itself provided plenty of difficulty to elicit their frustrations. Nearly every hole on the back 18 was hidden by numerous trees and the rest were over 400 feet away. Few baskets could be seen, and the rest were tucked neatly between massive trees, often with creeks, ponds, and small cliffs close by to further confound each shot.

Still, as easily as a bad shot and the heat could flare a temper, a good shot and ice from a cooler carried by Travis Slaughter cooled things down again.

The scores were tight on the 14th hole, and Kennon launched a beautiful throw off the tee.

Slaughter matched Kennon’s good throw, and finished the hole with the lead.

By Hole 17, Slaughter cemented his lead with a throw across a pond that hooked perfectly behind a large tree that blocked the basket. He holed-out for a birdie.

Slaughter finished 18 with a par and won his 6th gold out of 7 appearances in this competition since it was first held in 1998.

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