By Steve Hill — Rattling Chains staff
That is the only word to describe the display Paul McBeth put on Sunday en route to winning the Vibram Open at Maple Hill and securing the PDGA National Tour Elite Series Championship.
Heading into the final round of play with a four-shot lead over Will Schusterick, McBeth got hot early and shot a course-record 14-under par 45, good enough for a 1119-rated round. The hot round left him with a 33-under 203 for the tournament, earning him the $3,000 purse with a 13-stroke victory.
Schusterick earned $2,400 and a second-place finish with his 20-under par 216, while Cale Leiviska and Cam Colglazier tied for third and $1,875 with 19-under 217s. Paul Ulibarri’s 15-under 221 was good for fifth place and $1,500.
The win marked the sixth major tournament championship in 2013 for McBeth, who recently won his second straight world championship.
Once he got locked in on Sunday, McBeth said it was only a matter of how far under par he would finish.
“I think once I was up nine, I knew I pretty much won the tournament,” he said. “I think I was at like 10-under with six holes to play, and I just looked over to someone I was following and I said, ‘Well, I guess it’s just time to see how low I can go.’”
And while the round represented a milestone at Maple Hill – known for its challenging technicality – McBeth said he actually thought his 1132-rated round at the Memorial this year was cleaner, despite being achieved on a more open layout.
“I missed a 35-footer at the Vibram and I missed a 50-footer, and I laid up two par threes,” McBeth said. “I didn’t even go for them.”
McBeth chalked up his performance on Sunday to taking the first few days of the tournament to really learn the course.
“I was able to play it three times, so I was able to find better lines and then just protect them and know how my discs on each hole flew,” he said. “So I knew by Saturday and Sunday the disc to throw and I knew how to throw them on those holes. It’s more just keeping a rhythm the whole time.”
The Vibram victory clinched the National Tour points series title for McBeth with 575 points. Ricky Wysocki finished in second place with 555 points, while Schusterick placed third with 546.5.
The NT crown was the end of six months of tour play, but McBeth said it was the culmination of even more time and training.
“Coming up I worked on my form, my style, and getting all that down,” McBeth said. “Then my distance and putting and all that. Now it’s just mostly about consistency. I’ve put years of work into all those separate points, and now it’s just putting them all together in the last two years.”
Jenkins takes women’s title; Allen squeaks out NT championship
Entering the final day of play with a three-stroke lead over upstart Kelsey Wilmerding, PDGA tour veteran Val Jenkins finished with a 14-over 250 to win the tournament by those same three strokes. She earned $1,500 for the win.
Sarah Hokom placed second with a 17-over 253 to earn $1,200, while Catrina Allen’s 24-over 260 paid $1,000 for her third-place finish.
With a difficult final round, Wilmerding ended the weekend in fifth place with a 24-over 264.
Allen’s finish was just enough to clinch the National Tour Elite Series Championship with 565 points, one point ahead of second-place finisher Paige Pierce.
Hokom ended the series in third with 559 points.
Steve Hill is the associate editor for Rattling Chains. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @OneMileMore.