On the third and final day of the Utah Open presented by Latitude 64 the fans witnessed the strongest push for a victory of the the 2017 DGPT season. The players on the feature card were not the only challengers that were in contention today as Anthony Barela and Dana Vicich, playing from the chase card, sparkled early to climb up the leaderboard.
Ricky “Sockibomb” Wysocki started his day with the outright lead by three strokes. In most cases when Ricky finds himself in the lead, he tends to build upon it. However, Ricky found himself in uncharted territory early in his round mixing in a few misfires and missed putts. His normally piercing, hard thrown putts were softer and almost dying at the baskets. This tentative approach to his short game allowed four other players to catch him. Unbelievably, for a brief moment, five players were tied for a share of the lead including Josh Anthon, Jeremy Koling, Anthony Barela, Ricky Wysocki, and Dana Vicich. With all the inspired golf that the Disc Golf Pro Tour has recorded in 2017, no last round has seen the amount of players jockeying for position as we saw today in Utah.
Josh Anthon began his third round as if he had never ended his second. He played aggressive early, throwing out his powerful flex shots to gain the much needed distance and keeping up with the long arms on his card. When Josh was asked to deliver, he did just that, canning long putts to stay along side Ricky and the rest of the pack. By the 11th hole Josh had caught Ricky and the two competitors were tied for the lead at -19. What made Josh stand out all day long was his tremendous putting range. He hit putts from every distance and every stance. Although he fell short in the final stretch, Josh Anthon is back and at the top of his game, finishing the tournament -23 and in sole position of second place.
Josh’s Round Three Stats
If you had a chance to play a final round on the Disc Golf Pro Tour you would wish for nothing more than to have the round Dana Vicich had here in Utah. His front nine was nothing less than brilliant. He birdied 8 out of 9 holes before making the turn and carding 12 birdies by the end of the day, the hot round of the tournament. Dana no doubt kept things interesting but just ran out of holes to get it done. He completed his final round totaling -21 for the three days, placing third in a strong field.
Dana’s Round Three Stats
Jeremy “Big Jerm” Koling may be playing the best disc golf of his life. As every fan knows, Jeremy has one of the longest throws in the game but now he can and should boast about having excellent course management. During the final round, he mixed Backhand, forehands and even a thumber or two just to put himself in the right position for a chance to score and score he did! Being the reigning winner of the 2016 Utah Open, Jeremy fell a bit short late in his round to end his day with -17 total for the event and finished in a tie for fourth place.
Anthony Barela, didn’t really know he wasn’t on the lead card today. Nearly snatching the hot round from Josh Anthon on day two, Anthony never missed a step taking absolute control of the Mulligan’s course and joining the leaders to stay in contention for a win. He unfortunately could not stay on pace and close the gap as the leaders were playing scorching hot as well. Barela ended the event -17 and tied for fourth place with Jeremy Koling and Austin Turner.
Ricky knows what it takes to bring home a win. Down the stretch, he played an amazing game of chess with Josh Anthon by draining big putts when he watched Josh drain them, and playing conservative when it made sense. More importantly, Ricky was unleashing his bombs when he knew he had the advantage. On the 15th Hole Josh took a very conservative line to the basket and that was all the edge Ricky needed. He pured a forehand close to the basket to take a one stroke lead. A mere win wasn’t enough for Ricky though! On the 18th hole, Wysocki threw a perfect forehand for an 207 foot ace and a win at the Utah Open presented by Latitude 64. He increased his final lead to 3 and a victory clenching -26 total for the event.
Ricky’s Round Three Stats
The final round was by far the most exciting finish that the DGPT has seen to date. Fans got exactly what they wanted as the number of players in striking distance was greater than any other tournament this year. The parity, at least for this day, made this tournament one that will not soon be forgotten. Disc golf stature didn’t matter, player ratings didn’t matter, and past championships didn’t matter, these men put everything aside and made a run for a victory that will be difficult to duplicate. We at the DGPT, want to congratulate Ricky “Sockibomb” Wysocki for becoming the 2017 Champion at the Utah Open presented by Latitude 64.