The start of the 2017 Memorial Championship presented by Discraft began in beautiful weather on the scenic Fountain Hills course. The featured card voted on by the
fans included, Ricky Wysocki, Paul McBeth, Eagle McMahon, and Simon Lizotte. From the very first moment Ricky Wysocki, fresh off his Gentlemen’s Club victory, faced down the always intimidating hole #1 and parked his drive next to Eagle McMahon to make an immediate statement to his worthy competitor. Ricky continued his onslaught the very next hole draining a water-view death putt that found its way into the center of the basket. His courage to run putts soon gave way to better judgment as he began to take what was given to him by the course and laid up multiple times intelligently at the end of his front nine saving himself costly strokes.
Another standout player early in the day was Will Schusterick with a -9 garnering that score with and astounding 100% scramble rate along with 100% from circle 1 but unfortunately joining a crowd of five other players supplying the same score. A notable highlight during round one was a heavy hitter from years past, Dave Feldberg showing us why he has the reputation as one of the smartest disc golfers to play the game. Known for seeing all the angles, Feldberg battled through a rough front nine carding two bogeys before righting the ship and stringing together a spectacular run of birdies late in the round to leave the grizzled pro with a respectable -7 to put himself in a great position for day two.
Poised to repeat his winning streak from the year before, Paul McBeth seemed tentative during his start, not really pushing his putt aggressively as he can confidently do when his “beast mode” is engaged. McBeth took back to back bogeys on holes 8 and 9, not showing the shot selection and commitment to his throws that he has during other rounds on this course. Paul found his stride as his round continued but came up a little short on the leaderboard. Then again, it’s still only day one and he his Paul McBeth after all.
The second round of the Memorial Championship, presented by Discraft looks to be a fierce battle between Nate Sexton, Eagle McMahon, and Simon Lizotte all carding a -11. Taking nothing away from Eagle, he seems to be growing wise beyond his age matching Ricky Wysocki shot for shot on a great many of the holes this day.
Simon Lizotte began this tournament round with the dreaded bogey. Although he didn’t start on the right foot, he played inspired disc golf going on to shoot 7 birdies on the front 9 and 6 on the back nine. There were some moments when the young player cracked a smile as his disc sneaked into several baskets to keep his great round alive until a bad hole 16 stopped his momentum. He quickly regained his composure to take a share of the lead.
Nate Sexton performed today the way we as fans have always seen him play, smart! Shooting -11 round. His game was reliable and he took advantage when he could, draining multiple putts from Circle 2 to put himself in position to have the hot round of the day. He grinds out the low numbers like the working-class player that clocks into work and work is what he does.
Down the stretch, our Memorial Championship’s top three co-leaders have the skills and perseverance that will likely ensure great disc golf for the fans, and with many great players lurking just below, round two live coverage will not disappoint.
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