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  There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to day one of 2017’s BSF, as this NT packs two rounds into the first day. There was a lot of golf, a lot of rain, and a lot of frustration. While June typically brings sunny skies to the rest...

The 2017 Beaver State Fling - Let's Recap Day 1

 

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to day one of 2017’s BSF, as this NT packs two rounds into the first day. There was a lot of golf, a lot of rain, and a lot of frustration. While June typically brings sunny skies to the rest of the country, Oregon is known for its temperamental weather. We experienced absolute downpours with gusty winds only to be greeted with blue skies twenty minutes later. All throughout the day, spectators could be heard saying “Welcome to Oregon.”

 

Confidence Prevailed During Round 1

At 9:00 am the air horn sounded with the men’s open division excited to get the show started. Media coverage was spotted filming a stellar card, featuring Philo Brathwaite, Pacific NW players Kyle Crabtree and Nate Doss, as well as Dude ambassador and Oregon local Dustin Keegan. All four players matched each other shot for shot, even when it came to the more challenging and tightly wooded holes.

But trouble started to brew just after hole 5, as those under the thick tree cover could hear the rain beating down around them. This weather seemed to take players by surprise, as the live scoring showed a bit of a momentum shift across all cards. However, once everyone’s umbrellas were out and mindsets were changed, the pros seemed to move into “rain mode” and finished the round strong.

The leaders going into round 2 included both Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki, who shot the hot score of -9 and were closely followed by Anthony Barela, Nate Doss, and Eagle McMahon who were each at 8 down.

 

Did A Little Rain Ruin The Party?

It seemed that everyone couldn’t wait to eat lunch in their car and warm up for a bit after round one’s offerings. As the second round began, the gallery increased sizably, as did the wind gusts. By the time the men’s lead card was half way through the Milo East course, rain was pelting the players and winds blew strong enough to change the trajectory of their discs in mid-flight.

The scores reflected this shift, as many players carded at least three or four strokes more than they did during the morning’s round. Far fewer birdies were seen during the afternoon, and no eagles were to be had unlike what spectators saw previously in the day - Wysocki, McMahon, and Ulibarri had all carded threes on hole 6 West’s par-5.

 

Let’s Hope We Make It All Three Days

Now here’s the concern on many people’s minds: we’ve seen far too many events this year become severely affected by weather, so much so that it has sparked a discussion about inclement weather policies moving forward.

Are we about to see a repeat of GBO? While it’s not the final day of the tournament, Saturday’s forecast calls for thunderstorms and a steady rain will make itself known through the rest of the weekend. How will the players perform on these long and grueling courses? Stay tuned to the live scoring and see what happens!

 

Written by Courtney Elder

 

Dustin Keegan ended his round on a solid note with a birdie on hole 18. If you looked at everyone’s faces at the conclusion of yesterday’s round at Fiesta Lakes you’d see one thing in common: despair. Although the weather in Mesa was sunny and bright, an unpredictable wind caused...

Round 2 of The Memorial Brings Tension You Could Cut With A Knife

Dustin Keegan ended his round on a solid note with a birdie on hole 18.

If you looked at everyone’s faces at the conclusion of yesterday’s round at Fiesta Lakes you’d see one thing in common: despair. Although the weather in Mesa was sunny and bright, an unpredictable wind caused players to throw their game plans out the window and fight just to get through the course. The mood of the day was somber and tense, as this almost pitch-and-putt style course put player’s mental games to the test with random spit outs and roll aways.


That’s not to say that hot rounds weren’t present, as Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki both carded 12 down, putting them on today’s lead card. The ladies also saw some action with Madison Walker shooting an unofficial 1001 rated performance, and Paige Pierce moving ahead of the pack with a five stroke lead on second place. Despite these successes, most players were disappointed with their day, and are looking forward to redemption at Vista del Camino.


Not Such A Gimmie Course After All


When you walk up to Fiesta Lakes, it seems like a course that most anyone would excel at. With two holes under 200’ and the bulk of the rest viewed as easy birdies by professional players, one would think that our top pros would completely shred. Yet with some strong and unstable wind, just the opposite happened. Dude ambassador Dustin Keegan commented that his card had a tough time navigating certain holes because of the weather conditions: “We just spent most of our energy trying to figure out what the wind was doing because it was spinning 360, so within a person’s shot it could change completely. Most of that is just mental strength to try to stay inside yourself and not let it affect you, and figure out your best shot possible.”


Aside from uncontrollable weather, the layout of the course fooled players into thinking they wouldn’t have a tough time carding two’s left and right. With it being one of his home courses, Paul Ulibarri felt the pressure yesterday to execute every shot as best as he could. “It’s that type of course where, like I said, one mistake is so huge. The holes are so gettable that if you mess up somebody else is getting it. There’s all kinds of stroke separations; I think everybody’s kind of on edge,” he said. While he put in a solid performance and carded a respectable -7, he still felt like he could have played better.


Tomorrow Is Another Day


For those who didn’t perform as they wished, players got to rest their head last night knowing that tomorrow will bring new opportunities. Struggling in particular on hole 10, Zoe AnDyke had to look deep within herself to maintain composure after carding a 10 on this par 3. “I took a 10 and I turned around and I 2’ed right after it. I had an 8 stroke swing in two holes, and that’s unheard of,” Zoe said.


With Vista del Camino boasting the longest total footage out of the three this tournament, Zoe feels confident about her upcoming performance today: “I do need to put a little extra on tomorrow, I gotta dig deeper because I need to lick my wounds from what happened today. I also need to play smart and even maybe more conservative at some points, and then I need to look at the points where I could go ahead and be a little bit gutsy.”


It seems that many of the players look forward to their rounds at Fountain Hills and Vista del Camino far more than the one at Fiesta Lakes, so much so that they wish the format would be changed. Ulibarri shared with us his thoughts on the matter: “My opinion has always been that the pros here should always just play three to four rounds at Vista. I think that’s more [of] a gallery friendly [course] and kind of more of a professional course for the top players in the game.”


Keegan also echoed Paul’s sentiments about Vista saying, “I kinda wish we played twice at Vista. This course is not quite up to NT caliber in my opinion with 4 holes under 200 feet.” He went on to suggest that in future years, it might serve players better to scale back the amount of courses played during The Memorial Championship: “It’s hard to learn 3 courses. I feel sorry for the people [where] this is their first time and they’re coming from Vegas; they had two days to learn 3 courses and it rained both of those days! It wasn’t really that forgiving for them.”


Ending on a positive note, we love how Zoe described her mindset for today’s round: “I have control over my confidence.” Today’s forecast brings the hottest weather of the tournament so far, and hopefully we’ll see some hot rounds this moving day.


Written by Courtney Elder
Thursday was a tough day for many top players as they carded rounds much higher than anticipated. With a new sense of determination, competitors came into round 2 with the mindset of playing safe and smart. Conservative golf became the theme of the day rather than players putting on the...

Scores Improve As Wind Calms Down - Gentlemen’s Club Challenge Round 2 Highlights

Thursday was a tough day for many top players as they carded rounds much higher than anticipated. With a new sense of determination, competitors came into round 2 with the mindset of playing safe and smart. Conservative golf became the theme of the day rather than players putting on the show we’re used to seeing. All in all, Dude’s ambassadors had solid scores and mixed feedback for Vegas’s inaugural NT.


A change in weather helped a great deal as the wind had calmed down considerably by Friday morning. The men and women open fields completed round 2 on the Innova course, which boasts lengthy par 3’s and a decent amount of par 4’s along with more water hazards than the other two layouts. Avoiding OB and keeping a positive attitude helped players with their mental game, as prolonged backups of over 45 minutes occurred several times.


The Ladies Focus on Smart Golf


While performances improved yesterday over round 1’s action, the pro women’s cards saw a more concerted effort to avoid repeating past mistakes. Dude ambassador Melodie Bailey noted a change in her mental game, attributing her steady progression to slowing down: “The reason I got my 5’s was because I didn’t quite take the time. I did that ‘I don’t feel ready but I’m just gonna go anyway’ shot.”


Similar sentiments were echoed from Paige Pierce and Tina Stanaitis, who found themselves out of bounds more than they would have hoped for. Their game plans for moving day? “Play it safe no matter what, even if I have to take off 100’ or something like that, just whatever I have to do to stay in bounds,” says Pierce.


Dude Men Plan To Fire On All Cylinders


Saturday’s round on the Adidas TERREX course promises to bring smoother sailing for some of our ambassadors. After recovering from a lengthy rehabilitation, Simon Lizotte is approaching the GCC with a realistic goal: “I’m not expecting much of myself right now, I’m just coming back after 8 months of not throwing, so angles are slightly off, timing is slightly off; being slightly off on these courses can hurt.” His mindset for tomorrow? “Keep smiling. Stay warm and keep smiling.”


A similar story can be said of Gregg Barsby, who is playing his first Gentlemen’s Club Challenge in six years. Hoping to get fully in the groove by day three, Barsby says: “I haven’t really been able to get into the zone all the way. I’m throwing the disc pretty well, I’m just trying to find some fluidity and consistency.” Barsby is currently sitting at 3 over par after two rounds.


How Is Vegas Living Up To Its NT Status?


Having experienced two rounds so far with the inaugural National Tour title, Gentlemen’s Club Challenge players seemed to settle in one of two camps when it comes to how the tournament is playing out. Ever the optimist, Paul McBeth had nothing but good things to say about the 2017 GCC noting, “I think it was a long time coming for them. It’s always been an NT quality type of event.”


Although others weren’t completely disappointed, there was some constructive criticism to be found. “The only thing I didn’t really dig was [that] there’s no water jugs out on the course,” said first time GCC competitor and Dude ambassador Kona Panis. About half way through her round yesterday she ran out of water, and would have liked the option to refill.


Several grumblings were also heard regarding the condition of many of the tee pads, and extreme back-ups created frustration for most players. Despite these challenges, tournament director Jeff Jacquart kept an open mind: “Right after the round the TD asked what they should fix for tomorrow, so they’re very receptive to critiques and feedback,” said Paige Pierce.


It’s Moving Day!


Day three promises to entertain, as players are focused on tightening up their mental game and making their rounds count. The men’s lead card features Dude’s own Eagle McMahon, while Jessica Weese will be on the ladies chase card. As long as the wind stays at bay we should see some real movers and shakers as we enter into the second half of the 2017 Gentlemen’s Club Challenge.

Written by Courtney Elder

Photo Cred: Disc Golf Life

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