McBeth Catches Fire Late In Semis To Close The Gap

Hobbled Wysocki nursing ankle, five shot lead heading into Final 9

Paul McBeth shot a 13-under at Jones East to narrow the gap heading into the Final 9. Photo: Juan Luis Garcia, Overstable Studios
Paul McBeth shot a 13-under at Jones East to narrow the gap heading into the Final 9. Photo: Juan Luis Garcia, Overstable Studios

Halfway through the semifinal round of the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships at Jones East Park, it looked like today’s Final 9 would serve as a victory lap for Ricky Wysocki, as he held a 10 shot lead over Paul McBeth with 18 holes to play.

Then McBeth caught fire on the back half, Wysocki found some bad luck and some pain, and we head into the finals at the Emporia Country Club with the gap down to five strokes.

McBeth’s 13-under par 48 included nine birdies in the last 10 holes after turning his fortunes after an out-of-bounds drive on Hole 8. From then on, he pushed the pace and combined parked drives with precise upshots to chip away at the lead.

“I just have to continue,” McBeth said. “I honestly have to birdie all of them [in the finals]. Nine holes, back five – there’s a lot of OB there, but I have to be aggressive and go for it. I’ve got some strokes on third, so there’s no reason not to.”

Wysocki, meanwhile, continued his conservative game, but was cursed by good putts spitting out on 11 and 16 and finding OB on Hole 13. Still, the South Carolina product said he was still comfortable with his cushion heading into the championship round.

“I had nine strokes,” Wysocki said. “[McBeth] played a good round, I played an OK round, but I’m not too worried right now. It’s really no harm, no foul for me.”

Wysocki did, however, come up hobbling after he planted hard on his sprained right ankle while driving on Hole 16. He walked away from the teepad with a nasty grimace on his face, then sawed off his forehand drive on 17 as he worked through the discomfort.

He was smiling after the round, though, and expressed confidence in his ability to play through the pain. He said the Country Club’s Final 9 layout features enough placement shots instead of power looks, so driving on the ankle would not be an issue.

“I’ve got nine holes left, and I’m gonna give it all I’ve got,” Wysocki said. “So it’ll be totally fine, I’m gonna make sure of that.”

Heading into the Final 9, Nikko Locastro sits in third place after his 6-under par 55 dropped him five strokes behind McBeth. Cameron Colglazier shot an 8-under par 53 to remain in the finals at a 41-under par 268 overall.

The rest of the Top 10 is locked in, with Cam Todd (-40) coming in fifth place, Eagle McMahon (-39) and Nate Doss (-39) tied at sixth, Nate Sexton (-36) alone at eighth, and Eric McCabe, Matt Orum, and Devan Owens tied for ninth at 34-under par.

The finals begin at 3 p.m. and will be streamed live on SmashboxxTV.

  1. Steve Hill
    Steve Hill

    Steve Hill is the editor of Ultiworld Disc Golf. He provides reviews from the perspective of a low-powered player at Noodle Arm Disc Golf, and in the past served as the associate editor for Rattling Chains. Contact him at steve.hill@ultiworld.com or on Twitter.

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