October 17, 2021 by Cameron Guidry in Recap with comments
With nearly half of the field in contention in round 3 for the semifinals at the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, it was a tense affair that forced the best to the top.
Adam Hammes advanced into the DGPT finals with the hot round of the day, shooting an 8-under par and, by and large, making the Hornets Nest track look easy. He started his day by parking his first two holes, including the tough island on hole 2, and rode that confidence toward a strong day off of the tee. His 68% fairway hits and 71% Circle 1X percentages may seem like a pedestrian day, but his scramble game mitigated his driving misses, and his excellent drives made his putting day only punish him with pars, not bogeys. Hammes cooled off during the back 9, only shooting a net 1-down, but his stellar front 9 should be a target to be replicated, and the back 9 has the potential to yield more strokes.
Coming in on the last card of the day, Paul McBeth was able to see his target score develop, and heading into the treacherous hole 17, he needed a birdie. He took a costly bogey on 16, putting him back into the fire, as several competitors had finished their rounds at 7-under. The par 5 that requires multiple well-placed shots isn’t the ideal place to earn back a must-get birdie, and McBeth did so with flying colors, parking the upshot, and taking the stress out of the final hole. As owner of the higher seed (no. 3), he played 18 safe, and coasted into the final day at 7-under par.
McBeth continues his end-of-season hot streak, and it looks like his putter is back to its old form. McBeth only parked two holes on the day, requiring 20-30 footers throughout the round, of which he only missed 1. His 88% C1X percentage should be a telling sign that he is getting it done on the greens right now, and so long as his drives stay clean, he can score with the best of the field.
Drew Gibson advances once again largely due to a great driving game and a hot putting day. It was a complete performance for Gibson, converting 100% of his C1X looks, hitting 79% of fairways, and 67% scrambles to get out of trouble. But enough about the hard numbers, let’s talk about the eye test. Gibson’s blend of power and accuracy is unmatched right now, the woods at Hornets Nest are causing havoc for the rest of the game’s best, and he is lacing drives with straight discs again and again. The highlight of the day was a 231-foot throw in, which turned out to be incredibly necessary as he tied for a spot in the Championship. Gibson was clutch all day, hitting a pair of 40-foot putts to keep the pace, including a bogey save on 17 that kept him from losing his chance to stay in. Unlike McBeth, 18 was a pressure cooker for Gibson, as he was forced to play it for birdie, and play it he did. With a powerful turnover shot, he put himself at circle’s edge, and cashed it to give himself a chance to stay in it as the no. 12 seed. Looking forward, Gibson is obviously the most mercurial of the players in the field, but his highs are unmatched by almost anyone. Don’t be surprised if he takes down his first win of the season.
Nathan Queen’s Cinderella run as the no. 28 seed continues! It was a case of “same game, different day” for Queen, who executed great drives in the woods, and kept his putting game going. Overcoming a double-bogey to advance in a field that is scoring hot, and wins any tie-breaker against him is no easy feat, and he put away many champions on his route to the final. While Gibson provided the flash, Queen provided the consistency, getting inside C1X in regulation on half of the holes at Hornets Nest, and converting his putts at a 90% rate. He did run through a par streak on the tough back 9, but his play through the rest of the course has been fantastic, giving him the strokes he needed to survive a stretch of no scoring. It’s anyone’s tournament in a one-day format, and Queen has proven most consistent of the remaining players. Can the North Carolinian pull off a Dickerson-esque run? We’ll find out.
No. 1 seed Ricky Wysocki only played one hole over par and had nine birdies. Unfortunately, the over par hole was a quadruple-bogey 7 on the island hole 2 with a couple OB strokes and several missed putts. He put in a good shift to try to chase down a qualifying spot but those extra four strokes proved too costly leading to a 5-under par final score. No. 2 seed Calvin Heimburg was 2-over on the day and never got anything going.