, 2022-10-12 12:40:04,
The trials and tribulations of the USDGC and TPWDGC.
October 12, 2022 by Kingsley Flett in Recap with comments
How do we unlock the mystique of Winthrop Gold? How does this course that winds around a college campus by a lake, one that seems so benign on the surface, wreak such havoc? The USDGC layout has had its critics over the years. Harold Duvall (and now his son Andrew) have creatively pushed the limits with innovations that haven’t always been popular. Yet you only need to scan the hole-by-hole scores of any USDGC to see more double, triple, and quadruple bogeys than you’ll see on any other disc golf event.
Talking to the press before the 24th running of this history shaping event, Event Director Jonathan Poole gave a clue when he explained how the new hole three, which connects the tee of the previous hole three to the basket of the old hole four, had come about: “That was an original gold course beta hole when it was just an idea. We had a safari loop that we played out here and when we finished the lake course we would go to that tee and play from hole three to hole four’s pin so it’s kinda neat to see that played in competition for the first time.”
Some of the most iconic holes in our game began their lives on safari courses; being shaped and refined through play. Then at Winthrop, year after year, some of the finest course designing minds have applied themselves to make a tightrope of risk and reward so fine that when the best players fall off it, they tend to fall a long way. Say what you will about this course, but you can’t deny that it has consistently served up some of our sport’s biggest moments.
The Big Moments
After the first three rounds, most of the field had slipped off that tightrope one way or the other: putts had skipped off baskets into OB, discs slammed by strange downdrafts on hole 11, or players had simply been eaten alive by hole 17. By Sunday, the USDGC lead card had a five-throw separation from the best of rest. Chances of a Simon Lizotte style victory bid off the chase card were remote.
There were two throws separating the lead card as they stepped onto the first tee. That didn’t last long. The foursome’s two youngest members – 17-year-old Iowan Gannon Buhr and 20-year-old Finn Niklas Anttila — drained 70- and 50-foot putts, respectively, to set the tone. That opened a gap that drifted…
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