The fourth and final round of the 15th US Disc Golf Championship is over and what a round it was. A close battle between the final two groups of four fought it out down to the wire. Steve Brinster, Steve Rico, Will Schusterick (two time winner), and Dave Feldberg played leap frog over the last nine holes with the final three deciding it all.
Unfortunately, last year’s champion, Will Schusterick, lost his composure, throwing several out of bounds shots in a row to finish his round. All of those penalty strokes knocked him out of contention blowing his shot at another win. As the final throws dropped at eighteen, the heart wrenching climax of the 2013 USDGC left Steve Rico (AZ) just short of the top spot. A great finish was just not enough to topple Steve Brinster (NY) who hung on to take the US Championship for the first time in his career. He bogeyed the final hole; his worst showing at 18 during this year’s tournament.
Even with the bogey, he had played so well the first three rounds, he was in the best position of his career to stay on top.
In his first words to the press and fans following his final putt he thanked the fans “Who have stuck with him,” Innova Discs, and the people who helped as staff to keep the tournament running.
In the end Barry Schultz (NC) and Steve Rico (CA) tied for second in the Championship. Max Nichols (CA) and Dave Feldberg (AZ) tied for fourth. Will Schusterick (TN) slipped from the lead all the way into a tie for sixth place with Nathan Doss (OR) who spent all week battling to stay in the top two spots. The final three holes compounded an up and down day today which factored too heavily on his finish.
See http://www.usdgclive.com/leaderboard/open/ for a total recap of the pros rounds, today’s final leader-board, and the rundown for the performance flight group.
Will Schusterick began running into trouble after laying his tee shot too far to the left on hole four before sending an unbelievable second shot through the foliage just passed the basket and into the guarding cypress trees out of bounds. A blown chance for sure. After eagling hole ten twice this tournament; he just didn’t put enough holes together with the consistency he displayed last year. Hole 17 was his kryptonite. He tossed two out of bounds after grazing the trees, unable to land on the green guarded by hay bails. His fifth shot landed the farthest from the basket, but he sunk a long putt to post a damaging six.
Battling with an unbelievable, record setting, -15 round today, Paul McBeth (CA) launched himself back into the mix. Just to prove winning three majors was no fluke, Paul put up seriously good numbers today. But it wasn’t enough to win a fourth major. It was worth a top ten, however, as he placed eighth, tied with Matt Orum (AL).
David Wiggins JR rounded out the top ten with a respectable -22 tournament for tenth place.
Fan turnout was sizeable and was clearly better than last year’s final round attendance. Which made the crowd at the podium and Distance Showcase a real mass. In a loud and ruckus celebration the close of the 2013 USDGC was a definite crowd pleaser. The Distance Showcase got everyone pumped up making Winthrop’s Gold Course as loud as it has ever been for a golf tournament.
In the Performance Flight Group, it was a great finish, resulting in the best tournament in the career of Charlotte native Kevin Tritten. He fell a bit flat with a series of out of bounds penalties that cost him the lead, but he had done the damage. He earned his first second place finish after giving up the top spot to Taylor Maslowski (MA) who was projected to shoot an 81 and shot – 13 today for the win.
The top five spots for the Performance Flight group was:
1) Taylor Maslowski (MA) -28
2) Kevin Tritten (NC) -22
3) Tommy Arianoustos (IL) -21
4) Nick Hanson ( SD) -18
4) Phillip Tyler Belt ( GA) -18
6) Austin Kris (PA) -13
The 15th US Disc Golf Championship was well worth venturing out into the unseasonably hot October weather. If you were watching DiscGolfCentral’s live coverage at home, you really missed a show. Hopefully all of you who missed attending the tournament in person this year will make it out next year, once again, the first week of October 2014.