Chris Dickerson on the other hand, played consistent golf all day. Chris carded his first bogey of the day on hole 11, a 286-foot woods hole. Chris hit the first tree off the tee and was unable to scramble to save par. His only other bogey came from the island hole (15) where he came up short on his drive. Chris would follow up his second bogey with a textbook drive on the wooded hole 16 and finish his round with a birdie to card a -10 for the second day in a row. Remember, that’s a -10 round with two bogeys.
From the second card though Ulibarri and Nikko will be playing tomorrow. Ulibarri was one of only two players to keep the entire round clean of bogeys and OB penalties. Chatting with the pros, it’s clear that’s an impressive feat to accomplish. The only other player to join him in that was JohnE McCray. Ulibarri will need to collect a few more birdies if he expects to make it through the round tomorrow. 100% scramble will help him get there but he has got to score if he wants to get more.
Nikko Locastro almost joined the “clean disc” club if it weren’t for the persnickety par 5 known as hole 6. There’s a reason it’s the hardest hole on the course for the most hardened pros we have. Inside Circle 1 he did collect a 100% Circle 1 Putting token. With some of the wind blowing through today that is an impressive feat. He really needed to connect on the circle 2 putts though. Making only 2 of 8. For most people, that’s a good day. For Nikko, it’s less than he usually makes but just enough to keep him in the mix.
Colten Montgomery was in the hunt for most of the day but was unable to card enough birdies to turn on the pressure really. Colten coasted, and two bogeys late landed him at -4 for the day. On his first bogey (14) he needed a C2 putt to save the bogey. His bogey on hole 17 was the result of him trying to go for the eagle (in Simon fashion) and hitting some branches early to come up short of the landing zone barely.
The 2 pm card started the day jovial and excited to see who would be able to advance to the semifinals round. JohnE and Nate Perkins both started the round -4 through five with Nate paring hole one and JohnE taking the par on hole five after bouncing off the band for a birdie.
Hole six has been the hole players have struggled with the most throughout the event. Nate Perkins opted to play it safe and go for the par. He executed each throw to perfection and had a tap-in putt for par. JohnE played slightly more aggressive and was able to land his birdie from just inside the circle. Nate attempted to play the same par strategy for hole eight but failed to convert his putt from Circle One. JohnE again had a look at birdie but had a C2 putt that he was unable to stick.
On the back nine, Nate began to see things fall apart for him. On holes 10 and 11, Nate encountered some mid-round Championship pressure as the gallery started to build around him and distractions arose. This led to two bogeys which he was, unfortunately, unable to overcome.
JohnE however, turned on the heat and began pushing to try and match the -10 pace set by Chris Dickerson. JohnE did this by going for birdies when possible but playing safe when he needed to be safe. On 15 instead of going for the island, JohnE laid up safe and then hit the elevated basket to ensure an easy three. I caught up with him after the round to see how that hot round was feeling, “I started real good and seemed like I was right there. After six holes I was right there to make it into tomorrow. I let up in the middle, but I knew I needed one more birdie and I got 4 or 5.” And that’s how you relevant in a field of constantly improving players. He’s also just amped to make it to Saturday so all his local Floridian friends and family can be there and cheer him on.
Drew had an up down round where he never really had a chance to get things going. This is only Drew’s second round on the course. He said he played last year’s semifinals round without practice and also did not practice this week. It led to him asking for advice from card mates and not always being in a position to make a move. He ultimately finished towards the bottom today well out of a shot at advancing.
At this rate to move on to the finals tomorrow likely players will have to hit -9. Day 1 it was -3, Day 2, it was 6 under. The brackets have been updated and the cards are looking to be filled with some competitive fire. You can check those assignments out on our Bracket Page. New World Disc Golf is buzzing with excitement right now as the field is getting smaller and smaller. Each shot means more and more but the good news is no matter how well you do, you can only make more money. Now that’s a great deal.
Article Written by Zach Podhorzer & Seth Fendley.