Paul McBeth comes into the final round with an 8 stroke lead. He has successfully made this final round virtually a victory lap calling off his phenomenal inaugural season with Discraft. He is first in Pro Tour points having won six of the eight events he has played. GMC will make it seven of nine. Over the course of the Season, he has birdied 57% of the holes he has played easily topping Eagle McMahon and Ricky Wysocki who are in second and third place at 52% and 51% respectively.
He leads most of the statistics categories that UDisc tracks, including Fairway Hits, Parked Shots, and Circle 1 and Circle 2 in regulation. It is clear, this season has been a runaway success on a career littered with amazing accomplishments. It seems fitting that he would wrap up the Pro Tour season with a victory lap final round at a tournament presented by his new sponsor, Discraft.
He played three of his four rounds bogey-free, including his final two rounds, making it very difficult for anyone to make a serious charge. Without his quadruple bogey on hole 18 to finish the second round, he would be leading buy a dozen strokes over his nearest competitors. Paul is one for the ages and his performance at GMC is also one for the ages. While the end result, his first win at Smuggler's Notch, was not in doubt oh, it was still a joy to watch and celebrate his final round with him.
"It feels good to win here. These were the courses we played for World's last year and it felt good to get four good rounds in. It feels good."
The battle today would end up being for second place and it would involve five different players. With five holes left to play on the lead card, all three players on the lead card (not including McBeth) were tied at 24 down. Ricky Wysocki had fallen off the pace and was sitting at 22 down but the story at that moment was Chris Clemons.
Chris started the day with six birdies in a row and through 14 holes he was bogey free, 10 down on the day, and 26 down overall. Clemons, who was two cards ahead of the leaders, finished the day at 11 down, setting the bar that Nikko Locastro and Chris Dickerson would try to catch. Clemons commented about his round, "It feels pretty nice. It was a really good day, for sure. The first day we played here I started with three birdies so I wanted to do that again. And then I just kind of kept it going. Getting a bunch of birdies makes it easy, you throw more free, you throw with more power, bogeys don't matter when you have a bunch of birdies."
Simon Lizotte on hole 13 had a very tricky putt to the elevated basket that tickled chains and then rolled 35 feet away. He drained the comebacker for par but the irritation he felt was clear. On hole 14, his disc kicked off a tree, spiked into the ground 5 feet from the pin and backspin 40 feet away out of bounds. His par save did not work this time and, if you consider a 70 ft putt, a putt, he three-putted hole 15. After this series of holes, Simon was out of the race for second.
Dickerson would get in trouble on hole 15, miss his Circle 2 putt for par, and fall four behind Clemons with three holes to go. This left Nikko as the only person that could catch Chris Clemons. With two holes to go he needed two birdies to tie for second. Nikko-parked 17 for the birdie and was left needing the birdie on 18. His drive was way left and hyzered to the OB. It magically stuck about one foot in bounds. His approach shot to the green was wide right and settled in about two feet from the OB on the right side of the green. His fifty footer would hit the basket low and he would settle in for 3rd place completing our podium.
Co-Course designer, Steve Brinster, shot the third hottest round of the day at 8 down. "Obviously I love a lot of the shots out there. I go into the round having a game plan, knowing the shots I can attack. Today was just a good opportunity to put it all together. I was happy to execute my shots. My game felt good."
James Conrad also shot a 8 down and told Madison Walker, "I feel good. It felt good to improve over the subpar rooms on this course in round 2. I definitely improved the round primarily through not going OB. yeah I was noticing that I was 7th place coming into the tournament and it looked like a 8th and 9th could possibly pass me so I was hoping to lock in the top eight so I could go to buy into the semi-finals at the Pro Tour championships."
Congratulations to the top eight in Tour Points who will be earning a bye to the Tour Championship: Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, Simon Lizotte, Kevin Jones, Garrett Gurthie, James Conrad, Eagle McMahon, and Calvin Heimburg. There was no movement out of the top eight as James Conrad and Calvin Heimburg secured their spots with strong finishes at GMC.
The players receiving a bye to the quarterfinals (9th-16th in Tour Points) are Adam Hammes, Alex Russell, Chris Clemons (who jumped 8 spots to 11th), Matt Orum, Seppo Paju, Joel Freeman, Austin Hannum and Reid Frescura.
Emerson Keith, who did not play GMC, finished one point behind Frescura and Drew Gibson finished 1.5 points behind Reid. They will both get to play in the first round of the 2019 Tour Championships along with the next 14 players that got their tickets punched.
That’s a wrap for the regular season.
As Paul McBeth told AJ Risley after the final putt here at Smuggler’s Notch, “Just three more to go. USDGC, Hall of Fame NT finale, and the Tour Championships in Charlotte.”
Hole 18 kind of summed it all up. Paul McBeth needs a birdie to tie the course record. He throws a perfect shot. The disc flies flat then begins to fade as it approaches the basket. It flies past, pin high how about a foot to the left. He was one foot away from breaking the course record. What happened next though, encapsulated the round perfectly. His disc, traveling fast, hits a tree five feet past the basket and stops dead giving him a park job. Of the shot, McBeth said, “Jeff pointed out that I needed the ace to break the course record and I said, maybe I just have to throw this one in. I knew there were trees past it as a backstop so I wasn’t too worried.”
It seemed as though McBeth was either playing perfectly or getting fortuitous bounces. Some days it just goes that way. With 100% C1X putting, two of four on C2 putts he was dialed. It was an amazing round to watch unless you were trying to catch him. His round tied the course record of 13 down set by Paul Ulibarri. If McBeth can keep this up, he will be our 2019 GMC champion.
McBeth, bogey-free and never carding more than two pars in a row increased his lead to three and four strokes to start off Moving Day. “I was able to get out to an early start. I got some birdies early and I think it helped out.” He was 100% in scramble rate, although there were very few of them. He was 100% in C1X and drained X from C2. No one really threatened him throughout the entire round, which is easy to understand when you're in the lead and you go bogey-free. on this Moving Day, McBeth merely rearranged the furniture.
Chris Dickerson, who started the round in second place one stroke ahead of Simon Lizotte, struggled early. In round one on this same course through the first five holes, he was five down. Today, through the first five, he was even. Meanwhile, Simon Lizotte parked holes 1 and 3, moving into second place early. Simon would end up playing very consistent golf, bogey-free with seven birdies to put him in second place, but way behind McBeth. Dickerson recovered from the slow start and ended up tying Simon for second place through three rounds.
Down the leaderboard, several players were making big moves including Calvin Heimberg and Garrett Gurthie. Gurthie did the same thing at the MVP Open on Moving Day. Both players moved up 12 spots and are currently in sixth place. James Conrad jumped 23 spots into sixteenth place, and Andrew Marwede jumped 21 spots, getting under par for the first time this tournament, both had hot rounds.
Nate Sexton continues to play Nate Sexton style golf. Bogey-free until hole 17 and carding birdies when they were available. Sexton jumped into fourth and will lead the chase card. When asked about his day, Nate replied, “Pretty solid. Kind of a slow finish. I had a feeling the bogey on 17 might cost me lead card. We will see how windy it is tomorrow. I’ll just make some shots and hit some putts. Nothing sneaky about it.” Regarding Paul’s lead and whether he would play differently with the significant deficit, Nate cheekly replied, “No need. Paul will probably come back to me.”
Ricky Wysocki sits one shot behind Sexton on the chase card after shooting a very solid 7 down. His putting was on, going 100% in C1X and draining two of his five C2 putts. Garrett Gurthie and Calvin Heimburg will join Wysocki and Sexton to round out an amazing chase card That will be filmed by Gatekeeper Media. The same cast of characters will be on the lead card tomorrow at 2:30 PM Eastern which will be broadcast live on the DGPT YouTube Channel and post-produced by Jomez Pro.
Tune in to watch!
McBeth moves up. McBeth moves down.
GMC is Chris Dickerson’s fourth Pro Tour event of the season. He needs to finish in the top five to qualify for the Tour Championship, which he won last year. He is a man on a mission. He started round 1 with six birdies. After a couple bogeys, he finished the round with seven birdies in a row. The 11 down was enough to put him in first place, two shots ahead of Paul McBeth.
Hole 1, round 2. Chris Dickerson goes OB and follows it up with a three putt. Meanwhile McBeth drains a thirty footer for birdie. One hole in, McBeth has the outright lead and, for the next 16 holes, he would not look back. McBeth birdied five of the first seven holes and opened up a lead. After going OB and carding bogeys on holes 8 and 9, McBeast mode was activated. He started the back nine with five birdies in a row and opened up a five stroke lead on Simon Lizotte, who had moved up to second.
One for the ages is McBeth’s birdie putt on hole 13. He had a wooded right to left hyzer lane to throw through that an e-bike would have had trouble navigating. But McBeth’s putter is not an e-bike and it flew straight through the lane, stalled, and dove left to the basket. Nate Doss exclaimed that it was a Top Five shot of the year. It was not just his putter doing the work. Watching the round, McBeth’s driver was working to start and, as the course tightened up on the back six holes, his putter took over, going 3 for 3 from C2. Again, Nate Doss was almost bored calling for the ZUCA Replays. McBeth said, “Putting has been the solid point for the two rounds.”
Meanwhile, on a few cards ahead, Lizotte birdied 18 to get to 13 down. Chris Dickerson, through the first 14 holes, was even par with a double bogey on the first hole and two birdies. At that point, he was six shots behind McBeth. Dickerson carded the birdie to get to 14 down, sole possession of second. They both watched McBeth, who came into the final hole with a five stroke lead, throw two shots in a row out of bounds. Stunned silence fell over the crowd as McBeth eventually tapped in for a quad bogey seven, losing four strokes to Dickerson and Lizotte, who are now one and two behind respectively.
A visibly irritated McBeth said of hole 18 in the post round interview about his game plan on hole 18, “It was the wrong game plan on hole 18. I tried to lay up. I should have just played aggressive. I need to throw cleaner drives as I made too many mistakes off the tee and hope to do a little better than a nine (down).”
Looking down the leaderboard, Simon Lizotte has put together two solid workman rounds. He hit one C2 putt and missed one C1X putt. He finds himself in a good position and has moved up to the lead card for Round 3. Simon told Madison Walker, “It was a good round, birdied the first six right out of the gate. I fell into trying to lay up playing too safe. I hung in there and finished at five down. All in all, it felt good. Out in the open on holes 16, 17 and 18 the wind.”
When asked about playing too safe on a few holes, he quickly replied, “Never lay up. That’s a life lesson. Laying up and going OB is the worst feeling ever.” When asked about Brewster Ridge for Round 3 tomorrow, “If I can shoot another 8 down like I did in Round 1 I think I will be pretty happy with that.”
Ricky Wysocki made the biggest move today carding the hottest round of the day. He birdied nine of the first twelve holes and finished at nine down for the round. Interestingly, he missed three C1X putts and bogeyed hole 16 so he did leave a little out there. The amazing round allowed him to move up over 40 spots. He will be on the chase card in Round 3 and is ready to attack Brewster and get back on the lead card.
Gregg Barsby, who won the World Championships here one year ago, made a charge until hole 16, where he carded a quad bogey. With a par on that hole he would be in second place. If there is anyone that can bounce back from a devastating hole, it is Barsby. In fact, he followed it up with solid birdies on 17 and 18. He sits in a tie for ninth place. Look for him to move up the leaderboard.
Alex Russell and Nikko Locastro went five down in round 1 and six down in round 2. They find themselves in a multiplayer tie for fourth. When asked about his day, Nikko said, “I’m feeling very good about my game. As far as the round goes, there were a few holes where I misjudged distances. Going into tomorrow I will make adjustments from the first round. I love being in Vermont. I feel confident and good about my game. I’ll try to execute for the next two rounds. I’m excited to play better than I did the first round and move up the leaderboard.” Nikko is playing hot and went 7 for 8 in C2 and 100% in C1X. That is letting the putter do the work.
Alex Russell is also feeling good in Vermont and said, “I feel great. Kept it much cleaner than I expected. I got the first three to get a hot start and finished at six.” When asked about the course, “The courses are pretty even in my book. They are attackable but with the breeze today, I played many holes for pars and wanted to just keep clicking along.”
Nate Sexton, Tim Barham and Chris Clemons also sit at -11 and are part of the tie for fourth. Sexton struggled, carding three bogeys and a double bogey, as well only hitting 67% in C1X. He finished birdie birdie on 17 and 18 to pull his round back to a respectable three under and find himself on the chase card. Tim Barham was the epitome of controlled golf, playing bogey free until the final hole. Chris Clemons was in between them both, starting hot with birdies on five of the first six holes and following it up with a double bogey on seven. He was 100% in C1X and will be looking to get onto the lead card.
The third round of Discraft’s Green Mountain Championship presented by Grip EQ goes live Saturday at 3:00 Eastern. This could be one for the ages with McBeth, Dickerson, Lizotte and Locastro on the lead card.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.