Austin Hannum shoots the course record
April 16, 2022 by Cameron Guidry in News, Recap with comments
After a weaker showing on Day 1 of the Champions Cup, the crème de la crème rose to the top of the leaderboard. The lead card on moving day will consist of Ricky Wysocki (-21), Austin Hannum (-18), Chris Dickerson (-18), and Mason Ford (-18).
It was a high-octane day of disc golf during Round 2 of the Champions Cup, with hot rounds, long makes, and late charges abounding. The lead card has been completely shaken up, and headed into the 3rd day of play, we see familiar faces reclaim their place on top, for the moment at least.
Wysocki Surges into the Lead
Ricky Wysocki is back in the saddle, sinking long putts and putting a world class scramble game to good use to float to the top of the leaderboard. If not for an exemplary effort from Austin Hannum, Ricky would own a share of the hottest round this weekend at W.R. Jackson, shooting 11-under on Friday amidst a storm of wild swings from his fellow competitors. Wysocki is currently in 1st place in Birdie Percentage, Circle 1 in Regulation, and Scramble Rate, leaving him to throw freely and aggressively with confidence and trust in his recovery game.
His birdie putt on hole 11 dropped from nearly 80 feet out. Though it was far from the most spectacular thing that we saw today, Wysocki was the steadiest beat of the contenders on Friday. W.R. Jackson is a course without much artificial punishment, with few instances of water or OB lines to contend with, and that seems to suit the playstyle of Wysocki. Appling has treated him well in the past, and the trend looks to be continuing so far this weekend. Amazingly, he’s been able to put together two great rounds without being able to rely on his power sidearm, as he is dealing with some elbow issues.
Hot Round Hannum
After a brilliant performance at the 2020 Disc Golf Pro Tour Finale, we haven’t heard much of Austin Hannum’s name at the leaderboard. However, he’s back in another big moment, in a big way, shooting the course record1 with a sparking 12-under round that saw him put his cannon forehand to good use, weaving through the woods with impressive stretches of birdies throughout most of the round. He has set the pole position for what is possible, and it would seem that some of the more forehand-dominant players may have an easier time capturing some of the tougher birdies, something imperative to consider when names like James Conrad and Calvin Heimburg are in the hunt, and major winners like McBeth, Wysocki and McMahon are hampered by injuries in the sidearm department.
Too Many Highlights Becoming An Issue?
While it may be hard to believe, strong rounds all across the course are a double-edged sword for the coverage team for the Champions Cup. With players like Andrew Marwede and Hannum impressing from deep down the leaderboard, it can be a struggle to show players who are surging and also keeping tabs on the players on the lead card for the DGN team. McBeth started his round slow but caught fire like only he can at the turn, throwing in from 70, 96, and 101 ft in the back nine. However, with Paul’s lackluster start and placement on the 3rd card, the audience was not always able to see these moments take shape, as DGN sent its camera on McBeth’s card elsewhere after his sluggish start.
As the sport continues to grow, it’s likely that the media experience will only increase as holes are covered individually rather than cards, and more cameras are introduced, but for the moment, we certainly felt the growing pains, despite excellent coverage in a vacuum.
The Race Remains Tight
Wysocki currently sits with a three stroke lead on his next opponent, but this tournament is far from over. With two rounds still in play, it’s too early for Ricky to park the bus, and the necessary aggression he will need to play with could quickly turn south with some bad breaks. I would wager there are roughly 12 players still in contention, including some of the biggest names in the world attempting to chase Wysocki down, which should make for some fireworks. Don’t let UDisc fool you; it’s still anyone’s game.
“I mean, the spot that I’m in right now, I think that if I shoot another right in the range that I’ve been shooting is -10 or -11, I think that consistency is a huge, important factor out here, because there’s so many bad tree kicks, a lot of tough holes, and so you’ve just got to fight through that. When you get a bad tree kick, you’ve got to scramble to save par. I’m the Scramble Master, I’ve been throwing a lot of rollers that I’m flopping on the ground and trying to contort around a tree to make angles work that may not be there.” -Ricky Wysocki, on what round it will take to win this event.