If you didn’t know the name James Conrad before this week, you’re not alone. But you may not have been paying attention.
James Conrad lost the Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Dynamic Discs to Jeremy Koling in a sudden death playoff. His record-setting final round play from the chase card made for an exciting finish and is a milestone in his disc golf career. James was a regional pro until last year, but his inaugural season of touring brought him many successes.
James Conrad tied for 12th at the Vibram Open last year with Jeremy Koling and Paul McBeth in the first DGPT Tournament. This was his lowest Pro Tour finish of the season. Conrad was not outside the top 10 in the next 4 events. Only Cale Leiviska and Nate Doss had more top 10 finishes on the pro tour last season.
Incredibly, given his high finishes in 2016, Conrad never appeared on a lead card and he only twice made the chase card.
James Conrad knows how to finish tournaments. For the five DGPT events in 2016, James made major moves at the end, always posting one of the top scores for the final round and moving up the leaderboard. He was kept off the lead card, and out of the top few places, because he tended to struggle at the start.
At the WACO, Conrad shot just 2 strokes off Koling’s first round pace and earned his first DGPT Lead Card appearance for the second round. In the spotlight and the wind of the second round, James shot a few strokes worse. His 2nd round score was still a top 10 for the day and landed James on the chase card for the final round. Conrad set the course record in his final round and the lead card was chasing him until he was defeated by OB and a amazing final stretch for Koling.
To win a Pro Tour event, you need to play at a high level for every round. The winner of every tournament in 2016 always turned in a top 10 scorecard for each round. James Conrad proved last weekend he can play at the highest level and now it’s just a matter of time before he gets his first pro tour win.
James Conrad will be playing the Nick Hyde Memorial powered by Innova and Hyzerbomb next week. Make sure to watch and follow along!