The final round of this year’s Gentlemen’s Club Challenge included some household names on both the men’s and women’s lead cards. As usual, the cream rises to the top in the game of disc golf, and competing on what has been called the most challenging course at Wildhorse Golf Club, the Innova layout created the perfect landscape for some exciting shots.
Sunday’s rounds began with both Paige Pierce and Ricky Wysocki leading by at least a handful of strokes each. All that was really needed from either of them was to play safe and steady, and to walk in their victories. As veterans of the game with countless wins under their belts, both of them stuck to their game plans and were rewarded as champions.
A Fivesome To Lead
Yesterday’s MPO lead card held five exceptional players and exhibited some aggressive pressure when it came to who was taking first place. Many will say that going into this final round, the real race was between Ricky Wysocki and Paul McBeth. The remaining three men, Jeremy Koling, Eagle McMahon, and JohnE McCray were just far enough off of the lead to be in true contention.
Despite starting a handful of strokes behind, McBeth wanted the win badly, and believed he could surpass Wysocki: “I knew from the beginning that I had a chance but I had to convert all 18 drives in order to make that happen. I did for most of them; for some of them I went a little too hard and some of them were just a little too short. But I never felt like I was out of it at any point.” Even with an eagle on hole 7 and an ace on hole 13, Paul finished the round in second place, having closed the gap to only two strokes.
Dude ambassador Eagle McMahon put together a very solid round, and with only one bogey and numerous birdies, he was able to secure the number three spot. We also saw consistent and steady golf from JohnE McCray, who chose to play in the open field rather than masters for this event. Yesterday he shot an even round, and just squeaked into fourth ahead of a three-way tie for fifth place.
Unfortunately, today was not Jeremy Koling’s day, despite having a solid game plan and great attitude after Saturday’s round. He couldn’t quite convert his drives and ended up taking a double bogey on hole 14 after a missed putt rolled outside of the circle. Big Jerm’s performance pushed him down to 11th place.
Pierce And Wysocki Are Two For Two
Coming fresh off wins at the Aussie Open last month, both Paige Pierce and Ricky Wysocki have created exceptional momentum with the start of their 2017 touring season. During Sunday’s round, Pierce could relax and have fun, playing smart shots that allowed her to take the win. It was obvious that Catrina Allen wanted to dominate, as she unofficially shot over a 1000 rated round, but it just wasn’t quite enough to take the lead.
There’s no doubt that Wysocki was feeling the pressure from Paul, as they often battle back and forth during final rounds. By hitting his ace, McBeth was able to close the gap and come closer to Ricky’s lead, but a strong mental game kept Wysocki in check: “ It was a great shot, but I couldn’t really let it rattle me. I had two choices: to either let it rattle me or to keep on focusing even more after that. I chose to focus and I’m glad I did.”
With the Memorial starting in only a few days, players are feeding off of this weekend’s energy and carrying it into what is one of the most prestigious events of the year. Having spent his offseason in Arizona, Wysocki is really going to give it his all. “I’m looking to have a good performance, I don’t think I’ve had a top five finish there in a while. I’m looking forward to starting the Pro Tour off strong,” he said.
He’ll have some tough competition from McBeth, who seems to be desiring some closure despite wins in previous years: “I’ll be ready, I’m excited. I don’t feel like I’ve had a complete tournament there yet with the four rounds. Even though I’ve won it a few times, I still don’t feel like I’ve put [it] together.”
We look forward to watching our Dude ambassadors compete this week at The 2017 Memorial and wish everyone luck!
Written by Courtney Elder