By P.J. Harmer – Rattling Chains staff
One day, Will Schusterick will be able to look back at the 2013 Memorial Championship and laugh.
Schusterick birdied the opening hole of a playoff with Paul McBeth to win $3,700 and the championship at the 25th Memorial in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Some 30 minutes earlier, a playoff was the furthest thing from Schusterick’s mind. In the span of about five minutes, things came crashing down.
Will Schusterick, shown competing at the 2011 Vibram Open, earned a victory in the first National Tour event of the year by winning The Memorial Championship on the first hold of a playoff with Paul McBerh. (photo by P.J. Harmer)
This almost turned out to be the tournament that got away.
Celebrating his win at the season-opening National Tour event, Schusterick broke away from friends and fans to make sure his scorecard added up. It added up to a 43 and a two-stroke victory over McBeth.
Moments later, while being interviewed, he got news that he said made him look white as a ghost.
Schusterick forgot to put the total on his card, resulting in a two-stroke penalty. That meant he’d have to go into a playoff with McBeth.
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By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains Staff
And so it begins…
With an off-season of sponsor-jumping in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to start looking ahead.
And there’s no true better way to do it than with the beginning of the 2013 PDGA National Tour, which starts today with the The Memorial Championship in Arizona.
This is the 25th running of the annual tournament.
The tournament also might give some light to how players are adjusting to new sponsors. And with many using different discs, it leaves the question of who the favorite is heading into the four-day tournament.
To go over every sponsor change would take up an awful lot of space. But consider this — six of the top 10 from last year’s National Tour standings have flipped teams. Those include Will Schusterick, Ricky Wysocki and Cale Leiviska, who finished 2-4 last year and all moved to upstart Prodigy Disc.
Reigning tour champion Paul McBeth stayed put with Innova. Could the stability of being with the same team be beneficial this year?
Or will it make a difference?
Prodigy, obviously, made the biggest splash in the market, putting together a team of former world champions and top-level players — both men and women. Time will tell if that move proves to be good for the players involved, but it has given fans of the professional tour something to discuss, argue and debate about since the announcement in January.
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