By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season for Will Schusterick.
After a dubious, dramatic playoff victory at the Memorial that found him in it only because of a scorecard error, he then posted an eighth place finish at the Texas State Championships, followed by 13th and 10th place National Tour showings.
Will Schusterick throws during this past weekend’s Beaver State Fling. (photo courtesy PDGA Media).
A couple of top-five finishes later, though, and as the season rolls toward the World Championships it seems Schusterick is peaking again at the right time.
The fourth-ranked player in the world took a share of the lead early at last weekend’s Beaver State Fling in Estacada, Oregon and never looked back, holding on for a two shot victory with a 35-under-par 209 to earn $3,600 in prize money.
Nate Doss shot a 33-under 211 to take second place and earn $2,300, while Ricky Wysocki and Dave Feldberg tied for the third place purse of $1,685 with 32-under 212s. Adam Hunt threw a 31-under 213 to round out the top five and take home $1,400.
Heading into Sunday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over Feldberg, Schusterick said his consistently long drives saved him on a day where he lost his putting stroke for the first part of the round.
“I actually missed seven putts inside the circle the last round, but they were all for birdie,” Schusterick said. “I was putting horribly the last round. Like, terrible.”
By Steve Hill – Rattling Chains staff
Sunday just seems to be Paul McBeth’s day.
After trailing Nikko Locastro by two strokes heading into the final day of play at last weekend’s Kansas City Wide Open, the reigning World Champion shot a combined 73 over 27 holes to leapfrog Locastro and secure the win and the $2,240 payout with a 47-under par 224.
Paul McBeth earned his second National Tour victory of the year this past weekend, rallying to win the Kansas City Wide Open. (photo courtesy PDGA Media)
Nate Doss notched his highest National Tour finish of the season, earning $1,715 for second place with a 42-under 229, while Locastro finished in third with a 39-under 232 to win $1,310. Paul Ulibarri (-37, 234) and Will Schusterick (-32, 209 without Final 9 participation) rounded out the Top 5.
For McBeth, his Sunday performance followed the pattern of his other two big victories this year at the “Steady” Ed Memorial Master’s Cup and the Copenhagen Open — play solid opening rounds to stay within a few throws of contention, then play lights out on the final day to blow past the competition.
The 22-year-old said the finality of a tournament’s last day motivates him to succeed.
There are times when you leave one tournament and don’t know what’s next. Though I wanted to play the Eric C. Yetter Tournament, I wasn’t entered. So, I thought I was going to be heading home.
Then I got a call from Darren Dolezel, who told me I could have his spot. He called the tournament director to tell him he’d give up his spot for me, which was awesome. But the TD didn’t go for it, saying it wasn’t fair for all the others on the waitlist, which is understandable.
I looked at the waitlist to see if it was worth going to the tournament or if I had a chance to get in. I noticed my name wasn’t as high on the list as I thought. It turned out the TD had forgotten to put me on the waitlist because of a miscommunication. He squared that up and I ended up getting in.
After all that, I headed out to Philadelphia for the Yetter, which I was pumped for because I like the tournament and the course. I played in it the year before and placed third. I was looking to improve on that.
In Philadelphia, I stayed with my buddy Dan Meers, who lives downtown. He was an awesome host. We got to see the Rocky statue and we also ate a famous Philly cheesesteak at a place called Gooey Looie’s. It was one of the best cheesesteaks I’ve ever had. It was 20 ounces of steak — so one of the biggest I’ve ever had!
The guy working at Gooey Looie’s told me the Food Network was coming the next day to film. That’s how you know you picked a special place.
Sorry to start writing in the middle of the season, but I’m just glad to be part of the RattlingChains.com blog and website.
The first tournament I want to write about is the DiscIthaca Open in central New York. I came to Ithaca after playing in a tournament in Manchester, Connecticut. I drove to Ithaca and had the chance to stay with my buddy, Pat Govang, which was very cool.
For people who don’t know Pat, he’s the one who created the National Tour series. I really appreciate him and his work, since I’m always playing National Tour events and making my living playing tournaments he created.
Anyway, back to tournament preparation.
I usually always take Monday off and try and do something fun – Monday Fun Day. So, I didn’t practice Monday.
On Tuesday, I went to a set of waterfalls in Ithaca and went cliff jumping. We were lucky enough to meet up with locals and find the spots to jump from. We jumped off a 50-foot cliff into the water. We also had the chance to check out the 215-foot-tall Taughannock Falls in nearby Trumansburg. The Taughannock Falls are one of the largest set of falls east of the Rocky Mountain.
Cliff jumping was very exciting and thrilling. The hardest part about it was the first jump and just getting yourself to do it, and trying to avoid thinking about it too much. It’s one of those things where if you figure if you do it once, you won’t be so nervous to do it again. But it’s just as nerve-racking jumping the fifth time as it is the first time!
Nate Doss takes a plunge into the pond after winning the Vibram Open last year. Will Doss repeat or will someone else claim victory this year?
By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff
This year’s Vibram Open is shaping up to be one to remember.
And for the first time, the pros and ams are each getting in on the action.
The Vibram is the final stop on the PDGA National Tour Elite Series. This year, the event expands to four days for the pros, running from Thursday to Sunday.
On top of that, the Vibram has added an amateur tournament, which will be held at other area courses with the final being shifted to Maple Hill to play the vaunted gold tees.
Some of the other major new items for this year’s Vibram include:
- The men’s professional open field is smaller, but has a larger payout. A cap of 144 players has been set (it used to be 160), and the cut will remain at 72. The payout has gone from $41,000 to $45,000.
- The women’s payout this year has also gone up — from $8,300 to $10,000. The Vibram also allowed any and all women to compete with the cut line being 15.
- The Vibram has also gone from three to four rounds.
The pro tournament will run from Thursday through Sunday at Maple Hill in Leicester, Mass.
One of the most scenic courses on the tour, the championship gold tees challenge the best in the world with tricky woods shots, long drives and creative water holes.
As the crowning — and final stop — on the PDGA Tour, more than just a victory will be on the line as the tour champion will be crowned at this event as well.