Round 1 Recap from Texas States
March 26, 2022 by Cameron Guidry in News, Recap with comments
TYLER, Tex. — Not even a sharp Thorn can slow down Paul McBeth.
The 16-time major champion put his trademark blend of power and accuracy on display at The Thorn to good use, setting the pace at 12-under after Round 1 and putting himself in pole position to compete for another DGPT win early in his season. His long jump putt on hole 9 was a definite scoring separator, one of just 7 birdies on the hole on Friday and only two from players in the top 10. McBeth’s 9-down through 10 was beginning to elicit comparisons to the fateful DGLO and WACO rounds where he finished 18-under par, which should tell you just how well McBeth is playing right now. He holds a two stroke advantage on the field and looks to be in a form that will be tough to track down.
With the wind and the woods, Texas States has long been a bruiser of an event, but the new combo layout — foretold to be very difficult — seems to be treating the pros well this year. With the wind down on Friday, scores were hot, with James Conrad and Calvin Heimburg joining McBeth at double digits under par. 14 player shot 7-under or better.
Conrad will make his 2022 lead card debut in Round 2, with a strong finish propelling him into a share of second place at 10-under. After only 3 birdies on his front 9, Conrad kicked into high gear, birdieing 7 of the last 8 holes. Fairway hits were at a premium due to the tight lines of many holes at The Thorn, and it’s no surprise that the lead card of McBeth, Conrad, Heimburg (-10), and course designer Gregg Barsby (-9) managed to hit 79% of fairways or better.
He’s on Fire!
Paul McBeth has gone 1st, 1st, 2nd at his three tournaments to start the season and won his only Elite Series tournament start so far (WACO). Check out his average ratings from the first three tournaments:
- The Memorial: 1074
- Waco Annual Charity Open: 1059
- The Open at Belton: 1054
His opening round at Texas States was rated 1086, his second best round of the year after his 1108-rated opener at The Memorial.
This is McBeth’s strongest start to the season since 2012, when he averaged 1064 golf through the first three events of his year.
Wysocki’s Texas Streak Still Alive, but In Jeopardy
Texas States has been Ricky Wysocki country, as he has won all five times he has played the tournament going back to 2013. Wysocki is certainly still in the hunt tied for 6th at 8-under, but his round was an up and down affair that may cost him if the course continues to demand high scoring. Wysocki was even through his first 5 holes but cobbled together a strong bogey free 8-under remainder to stay in the hunt. 2022 has yet to see the highs of Wysocki’s game; at last year’s Texas States he won running away from the competition with a 4-stroke victory and electric putting (100% C1X / 62% C2). Wysocki is well within range to still take down the Texas title, but he’ll need to recapture his 2021 highs to chase down the title in Tyler.
Much Ado About Backups
With the Thorn being a product of a safari-esque design across the three courses at Lindsey Park, there are several spots where fairways are close to each other or crossing, and that has been the cause for some slow play thus far. 13, 14, and 15 have all been reported as some of the slower holes, which could be cause for some intrigue down the stretch. As the pressure builds, that waiting time could create extra tension on some of the shots the players have to throw, and we could be in for a dramatic finish on Sunday if a tight battle is in play and the contenders are forced to wait on the tee to really think about their next shot.
Barsby Bounce Back
Gregg Barsby designed this year’s Texas States layout — maybe a little home cooking? After a DNF finish in Waco, the 2018 world champ has found himself in a tie for 4th at 9-under and securely in the hunt with some stellar long-range putting.
— Disc Golf Pro Tour (@DiscGolfProTour) March 25, 2022
The Thorn lines up well with Barsby’s game — tight lines with tough but reasonable distance, and open greens for his trademark lofting putt. He’s been through the course over and back, and he seems to be putting that knowledge to good use early thus far.
Shot of the Day
Paul McBeth from 74 feet! This birdie on hole 9 was one of 6 straight, a streak that helped him go 9-down through 10 holes.
Paul McBeth leads by 2 strokes after Round 1 in Texas.
Despite having 16 Standard DGPT Elite victories, this is only McBeth’s 6th time with the outright lead after round 1 in Standard DGPT Elite events. In those events, McBeth has a win rate of 60%.
— StatMando (@statmando) March 26, 2022
“I try to stay pretty analytical in my practice rounds, and I think the scores today were better than I expected, but the conditions were also much nicer today, and I was definitely able to take advantage of that. I’m somewhat of a fair weather golfer: when it’s nice out, it’s just easier to play my best. A little bit of a slow start today, but once we got toward the back 9, I was really able to catch fire and go 7 down on the back 9.” – James Conrad
“I guess I could be happier, because I left a few on the green. I had a putt on 18 to shoot 53, and I didn’t really perceive myself beating Iron Man, but shooting Iron Man (54) is a really good score when the winds are down…. McBeth came up to me and said “I love this course.” I said, “Well, yeah, there’s no wind!” When this place is windy it’s a whole different beast, all the scores I’ve seen today are really, really good, I might have to eat my words at the end of the week, these guys are really good out here on the Pro Tour.” – Gregg Barsby, on his day and how his layout is playing to his expectations.