, 2023-05-02 14:13:01,
May 2, 2023 by Kingsley Flett in Analysis, Recap with comments
“Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper, or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.” — Miller Williams, Arkansas poet
It might be because disc golf is still young. Perhaps it is because the sport tends to welcome folk with open arms, picking up stragglers from all walks of life. Or maybe because a large part of the flying disc culture still exists on the fringe. Who knows? I do know that when I heard Kat Mertsch say “disc golf saved me” in a disarmingly frank Jomez Pro profile piece, it felt like she was speaking for many people.
There might come a day when the rising tide of professionalism in our sport picks up the flotsam of image consultants, media coaches, and PR firms. Players might speak in carefully crafted quotes designed to offend no sponsor and appeal to the broadest demographic. Last Thursday’s pre-tournament press conference wasn’t that day. Mertsch fronted the press in an orange bandana and mirror shades, channelling Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage, offering sound bites that will echo through social media for the rest of the season and beyond, like the confidence Mertsch said she was “was trying to channel every single week of my life until I die.”
“I think if you think you have a home state advantage you might have a mistake, you might overcompensate for something,” she said. “I think you’ve got to come out here and tear it up every weekend. You gotta believe in yourself. In all seriousness, that’s the first step in success. Knowing that you can do this. I’m just going to come out here and try to shred to the best of my abilities. If it’s great, it’s good; if it’s not, I learn.”
After round one, Mertsch was one throw back from Hailey King and one throw ahead of Texan Aria Castruita, the same three that would share the podium two days later. Mertsch’s only blemish for the day was a bogey on hole-8 when she attempted a left-handed shot that was released high and early. King, who has credited working with strength coach Dr. Derek Wilcox for her recent improvement, had 13 birdies to go with 2 bogeys to card 11-under-par.
“I don’t want to say the course is…
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