We like big putts and we cannot lie.
December 29, 2016 by Alex Colucci and Steve Hill in Analysis with 0 comments
While the big distance drives and chain-seeking tee shots make for great Sportscenter highlights, there’s a reason for the old “putt for dough” adage. Indeed, disc golf’s best finishers are the ones who stand atop the podiums, the ones who bring home the hardware, and the ones who make the most cash.
With that in mind, we give our respect to the shots on the course that mattered the most in 2016: the 10 biggest putts.
10) Devan Owens Navigates The Foliage At The Vibram Open (Prodigy Disc Video)
One of the toughest greens in disc golf proved to be no match for Oklahoma lefty Devan Owens at this year’s Vibram Open. Hole 14’s basket is placed at the edge of a slope down to a pond. Owens went long on his drive and had to putt back at the basket with the water to the camera’s right. None of that matters though when you hit chains like that.
9) Jeremy Koling Sets The Tone During The USDGC’s Final Round (The SpinTV)
At the conclusion of this year’s United States Disc Golf Championship, “Big Jerm” noted his consistent putting as a big part enabling him to bring home the first professional Major win of his career. If there was any putt that embodied his solid, no frills run to the title, it was this putt on hole 1 to start off what would come to be the final round. It set the tone for his day and demonstrated his focus and determination in the swirling wind and rain – all the while bringing him to within one stroke of the lead and three strokes clear of third place.
8) Bradley Williams’ Texas-Sized Putt Gives Him The Lead Heading Into Vibram’s Final Round (Prodigy Disc Video)
While Michael Johansen’s chipmunk-impeded shot during the Vibram Open playoff drew plenty of attention, it was Bradley Williams’ 70-footer to close out round 3 of the event that stood in our minds. At the time, Williams said his motivation hearkened to his Lone Star State roots: “I was just thinking about all the people back home in Texas who support and root for me, and I was like ‘Do this putt for them, give it all that you’ve got.’”
7) Madison Walker Goes Long For Second Place At USWDGC (The Disc Golf Guy)
As Ultiworld Disc Golf’s Women’s Breakout Player of the Year, Madison Walker elevated her play due to great finishes across the season’s bigger events. Her second place finish at the United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship in Sabattus, Maine, was the highlight of her season. She casually drained huge putts during all four rounds of the event, like this one for birdie on hole 10 during round 3. That was her highest rated round of the event at 973, which tied for the second highest rated round of the tournament. Make sure you tune in next year to watch more nonchalant 60-footers from this up and coming pro.
6) Paul McBeth Finds A Window During Round 2 Of The Masters Cup (Central Coast Disc Golf)
The first of two McBeth performances on our list, this slight anhyzer putt through the trees at the “Steady” Ed Masters Cup was pure precision. Add in the roll-away potential that populates DeLa, and it was was also pure poise.
5) James Proctor, From Way Downtown In Spain (CRK Disc Golf)
We don’t see James Proctor on tour much – the 2015 Individual National Collegiate Disc Golf Champion is focused on his education at the University of Nevada-Reno and sticks primarily to the West Coast – but his potential is undeniable. And that was on full display during his study abroad session earlier this year, where he took part in the C-Tier Open de España and absolutely drained the shot above. Nothing but net.
4) Ricky Wysocki And Paul McBeth Trade Barbs During the Masters Cup Final (The Disc Golf Guy)
These two putts, landed in sequence at the DeLaveaga Golf Course’s ninth hole, typified the back-and-forth battle Wysocki and McBeth treated us to during Masters Cup final. Just when it seemed as if Wysocki had turned the tide with a massive 100-footer, McBeth answered in kind. Anything you can do, I can do.
3) Wysocki Drops Another Bomb For Majestic Playoff Victory (Prodigy Disc Video)
We won’t deny this could have topped the list. The drama of the playoff – which was in its sixth hole – combined with the huge distance made this another clinical, clutch shot from Wysocki. In a season of big putts, this was, without a doubt, one of the biggest.
2) Catrina Allen Launches A Beaver State Playoff Winner (The Disc Golf Guy)
The 2016 Beaver State Fling required a playoff to settle the score in the Open Women’s division. On the first hole of the playoff, with Paige Pierce sitting close to the basket for an easy look at a par, Catrina Allen stepped up to her 40-foot birdie look with confidence. Without hesitation, her putt hit chains just right of the pole, and that was it: game over. It was another win in a season full of them.
1) Wysocki’s ‘Master’ful Performance Gives Him Clutch National Tour Victory Over McBeth (The Disc Golf Guy)
While some may have argued for Wysocki’s Majestic winner over this Masters Cup triumph, we went with the Santa Cruz classic for its dragon-slaying significance. This was the first major step Wysocki took in silencing the criticism that he buckled under the pressure, and it was the first in a host of duels between him and McBeth that would play out during 2016. Plus, it introduced the world to Ricky’s raptor legs, which would become the nomenclature for his signature sprint toward the pin after clutch putts. We saw Wysocki demonstrate these heroics a lot this season, but this was the first and, in our eyes, most significant occurrence.