From big bombing hyzers to touch shots in and out of the woods, the Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Dynamic Discs is set to test a different set of
skills from the first Disc Golf Pro Tour event of the season, The Memorial Championship. Who has the touch to put up the birdies needed to capture a victory in Waco and can some of the game’s top names shake off some early season rust to put together a solid performance? We will dive into who could have a chance to have big performances in Texas.
Last year’s event saw James Conrad splash his way on the scene with his beautiful touch lines through the woods. After being on the chase card going into the final day, Conrad shot a scorching 15-under par performance to force a playoff with eventual champion, Jeremy Koling. Conrad is a name to watch again in 2018. Conrad was on the lead card on the final day of the Memorial Championship even though the Memorial courses seemed as if they didn’t quite fit his skill set. Conrad should feel back at home in the woods and will look to seek revenge on his second place finish from last year.
Jeremy Koling’s forehand led the way to victory in the 2017 iteration of WACO. Expect Koling to rely heavily on that shot again as he tries to recapture the magic from 2017. Koling has struggled out of the gate, placing 51st in the Las Vegas Challenge and 15th at the Memorial but Waco could be just what Jeremy needs to get his 2018 campaign rolling.
Simon Lizotte is coming off an impressive victory at the Memorial Championship and it is obvious that his extended offseason preparation has paid off. Although many do not think of Simon as a woods golfer, Lizotte played well in Waco in 2017, placing third. The only thing that might be able to slow Lizotte down is the weather. Lizotte posted on his Facebook that a snowstorm at his in-season home in Boston is causing travel headaches. It does look like Lizotte will be able to make to Waco but he will be doing so without any time to practice the course. Simon’s training partner, Eagle McMahon, is sitting this event out.
Ricky Wysocki finished tied for third, with Lizotte, at last year’s tournament and will look to improve on not only that performance but also on his early season performances so far. Wysocki hasn’t played bad, finishing third in Vegas and fourth at the Memorial but as the current two-time reigning World Champion, there are high expectations for Wysocki to compete for a title in every event, maybe WACO will get Rick back to his winning ways.
Another player that always has high expectations bestowed upon him is Paul McBeth. Like Wysocki, McBeth hasn’t performed poorly but his seventh place Vegas and fifth place Memorial performance are below what fans have come to expect of him. The main issue in McBeth’s game has been his putting, with an 86 Circle 1 percentage thus far this season. McBeth did not compete in last year’s event but if he has found his putting stroke within the past few weeks, then he’s obviously a threat to bring home the title.
Like McBeth, Nate Sexton was absent from this event last year. The Brazos East Course sets up well for Sexton’s style with plenty of opportunities for the 2017 USDGC Champion to break out his trusty forehand. On top of that, Sexton might be playing the hottest golf of anyone on tour currently. After a slow start to the Memorial, Sexton shot 36-under through the events last 54 holes.
There will also be plenty of Texans that would love to put together a solid performance in their home state. Bradley Williams, Nate Perkins, Addison Collins, Landon Knight and Emerson Keith are all Texas locals that will try to use the home-state advantage to put together solid performances.
The Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Dynamic Discs is setting up to be another great event for the early part of the 2018 Disc Golf Pro Tour season. The event begins tomorrow with three feature cards covered during the first round including: Central Coast will be covering Bradley Williams, Ricky Wysocki, Gregg Barsby, and Fan Vote Winner: Nate Sexton; Jomez Productions filming Landon Knight, Addison Collins, Miles Seaborn, and Paul McBeth; then at 4pm ET live coverage on the DGPT’s YouTube channel with defending Waco Annual Charity Open champion Jeremy Koling, event runner-up James Conrad, Eric Oakley, and fan vote winner Kevin Jones.
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