By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff
And then there were two.
The 2013 PDGA National Tour has but two events remaining this season and this weekend’s Beaver State Fling could truly set the tone for the season-ending Vibram Open, which is set for mid-August.
The Beaver State Fling, which is being held Friday through Sunday at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon, has a total of 159 players registered, as of Thursday morning. Of that total, 79 are in the men’s draw and 24 in the women’s. The rest make up the masters’ divisions.
Adding more to the storyline are those players who are still contending for the National Tour series championship are all signed up.
That includes the top five in the men’s — where five players are within 65 points of one another. In all reality, though, if nothing catastrophic happens, it’s a two-man race between current leader Paul McBeth (475 points) and Ricky Wysocki (463.5).
Should those two falter, Nikko Locastro (453) is within striking distance, with Will Schusterick (424.5) and Dave Feldberg (410) as long shots.
Take into account, however, that of the first seven NT events, only the top five will count toward the final standings. Those totals will be added to the Vibram Open finish to decide the final NT champion.
McBeth took the lead in the standings by winning the Kansas City Wide Open, where he rallied on the final day to overtake Locastro. Wysocki had pulled out of the tournament because of a leg injury.
Wysocki said on his Facebook account this past Monday that he was on his way to Oregon and healed up.
That could make for an interesting weekend.
Milo McIver State Park is split into two 18-hole courses — the East and West — for the Beaver State Fling. The course is ranked 18th of all courses listed on the site Disc Golf Course review with a rating of 4.56 out of 5.
The East course is 8,696 feet long with a par of 61. The par is the same on the West course, with the distance being 8,546 feet.
So a great course with top players? This one will be one to pay attention to for fans of the professional tour.
The tournament gets underway Friday with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. local time. The second round is also Friday, with a shotgun start at 2:30 p.m.
Tee times begin at 11 a.m. Saturday for the professional third round, with final-round tee times slated to start at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Tour leader Catrina Ulibarri heads a strong women’s field, which includes many of the top players in the world.
Ulibarri is at the top of the tour with 474 points, two points ahead of Paige Pierce. Sarah Hokom is in third with 464.
It’s basically a three-player race as Des Reading, who is fourth in the standings, is at 353.
This tournament is drawing more than the contenders, however, as three-time world champion Val Jenkins and Sarah Cunningham are also in the field, along with the four already mentioned.
There are plenty more, too, making this one of the most interesting women’s tournaments of the season.
Weekend at a glance
The amateur version of the Beaver State Fling will be played this weekend as well. The ams will play three rounds — two on Saturday and one on Sunday.
It also looks like the golfers will get pristine playing conditions, though it will be quite warm.
According to the National Weather Service, Friday will be mostly sunny with a high near 88. Saturday is sunny with a high near 86 and Sunday is sunny with a high near 88.
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P.J. Harmer is the founder and executive editor for Rattling Chains. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.