A couple of college disc golf’s highest-ranked players took home singles crowns
March 10, 2020 by Baker Helton in Recap with comments
As we inch closer to April’s College Disc Golf National Championship, the action heated up outside of Clemson, South Carolina at the Tiger Town Throwdown as schools tried to secure spots at the big dance. More than 100 players from 30 programs battled in a weekend that included a three-way playoff in the men’s team final.
On the men’s side, Liberty University and the University of North Alabama were knotted up going into the final doubles round of the event, but it was North Carolina State University that made a late push. The Wolfpack, who were down by three strokes, birdied the first six holes of the final round to put themselves in prime position to have a shot at the title. As NC State was lighting up the scoreboard, North Alabama and Liberty were fighting to keep up. Going into hole 14, it appeared that NC State was in the driver’s seat to take the title. North Alabama sat one stroke behind the Wolfpack and Liberty needed to do something special to make up a three-stroke deficit with just four holes to play.
NC State birdied two of its last three holes to finish the event, putting pressure on the other two squads. Both North Alabama and Liberty were able to birdie hole 15 to keep pace. On hole 16, however, the momentum shifted.
On the 500-foot par 4, North Alabama was able to secure the 3, but Liberty, knowing they needed a push, went for the eagle opportunity and cashed in the 2 to give themselves a chance at NC State. Following a North Alabama bogey on 17, Liberty kept the pressure on, birding the hole. Both schools needed a birdie on the par 4 hole 18 to force a three-way playoff with NC State and both executed to deadlock the scores.
The playoff started with the easy hole 1 where all three schools secured a birdie to stay alive. On the par 4 second hole, Liberty parked its approach shot to put the pressure on NC State and North Alabama. After putting their approach shot to 150 feet out, NC State knew they needed a throw-in to stay alive. Wade Benton stepped up and took a run at the basket, missing just left and eliminating the Wolfpack. North Alabama now needed to make a 34-footer in order to stay in the playoff. Clint Wright stepped up and sank it, pushing the playoff to a third hole.
North Alabama’s tee shots on hole 3 both found the rough, leaving the door open for Liberty’s Justin Rosak. Rosak put his drive to 20 feet to set up Stephen Curry1 with a chance to win the tournament. Curry drained the putt completing the improbable comeback win for Liberty.
With several of the top teams already owning bids to the College Disc Golf National Championship, the tournament’s four available qualifying spots went to North Alabama (2nd), Kennesaw State University (6), University of Georgia (9), and Mississippi State University (17).
The women’s team tournament featured Kennesaw State, Clemson University, and Liberty. Kennesaw State won convincingly, 20 strokes over Clemson and 38 strokes ahead of Liberty. Clemson’s Alex Lambert, College Disc Golf’s no. 3 ranked women, won the singles title by nine strokes over University of North Carolina’s Ashtyn Wastchak.
The men’s singles title went to no. 4 ranked Michael Jordt from NC State. Jordt, who won the Wolfpack Cross County Classic IV earlier in the year, beat East Carolina University’s Adam Durham and Clemson’s Jacob Madsen by four strokes.