It seems like we’re still reeling from the massive 2015 Glass Blown Open, but the disc golf season rolls on. After the national tour stop in Emporia, KS, disc golf’s best players hopped in their cars, vans, RVs and more to trek out to southern California. Up until this point, we’ve had to wait weeks between NT events. After just one week off, disc golf professionals geared up for the daunting DeLaveaga course for the 2015 Steady Ed Memorial Masters Cup. Both the men’s and women’s divisions saw tight competition, but in the end Paul McBeth took home his fourth straight Masters Cup and Paige Pierce continued her 2015 dominance.
Nate Doss comes out strong, but McBeth keeps pace
There aren’t many courses in the world where shooting a round of even par is 1000 rated, but DeLaveaga is one of them. Unlike many of the courses on the national tour, “DeLa” is heavily wooded with dangerously tight fairways that have cliffs waiting to punish poor shots. Many players would be happy to shoot a 24 hole par of 72, but the top pros really raise the bar.
This past weekend marked the 30th annual Masters Cup tournament and Nate Doss‘ 30th birthday. Doss grew up playing DeLa, but the Masters Cup title has eluded him. The stars seemed to be aligning for a Doss victory, and he came out as such in the first round. It’s not often that you see a bogey-free round at DeLa, but Doss was able to avoid trouble and card 9 birdies for a 1069-rated 63. We’re used to seeing Doss on lead cards and finishing at the tops of leaderboards, but he often seems to quietly piece together solid rounds. At the 2015 Masters Cup, Nate Doss came out and made a statement.
Doss came out firing, but many other pros didn’t finish too far behind. As you may expect, Paul McBeth was able to match Doss’ hot round for a share of the lead heading into the second round. Even at 9-under par, McBeth and Doss were not safe from the likes of Gregg Barsby, Simon Lizotte, and Jeremy Koling who were just one and two strokes behind.
Terry Miller, the Disc Golf Guy, was on site taking in all of the lead card action. Check out McBeth’s and Doss’ hot round:
Doss continues to lead the pack, but the competition stays tight
The second round was a bit windier than the first, so scores took a bit of a hit throughout the 70-person field. McBeth and Doss were able to keep up some solid play, but Doss’ 6-under par was good enough to secure a one stroke lead over the three-time defending world champion heading into the final round of the event.
The second round really belonged to James Procter. While many of the pros struggled with the wind at DeLa, Procter was able to make up for his first round 71 with a 1066-rated 63. He dug himself a hole in the first round, but his hot second round was good enough to land him a spot on the lead card for the final round of the event.
With the tougher conditions, many of the scores created a bit of a log jam on the leaderboard. Heading into the final round, there were so many pros in contention for the lead. Check out the Disc Golf Guy’s coverage of McBeth, Barsby, Lizotte, and Doss from the second round:
McBeth dominates to win his fourth straight Masters Cup
Paul McBeth has historically dominated in the final rounds of tournaments. It seems like we talk about it every week, but Paul McBeth is cementing himself as one of best, if not the best, players of all time. The final round of the 2015 Masters Cup was no exception. After taking birdies on 6 of the first 9 holes, McBeth was in the driver’s seat for the final round.
Doss did everything he could to keep up with McBeast. He played a fairly clean round with just one bogey, but just couldn’t manage all of the birdies that McBeth took. Heading into the final few holes, Doss was down just two strokes. With just two holes left to go, Doss was able to take a birdie and cut the lead to one. The stage was set on Doss’ birthday for some major drama, but on the iconic Top of the World hole, McBeth shut the door with a huge birdie to finish the tournament.
When McBeth turns his level of competition up a notch and shoots a 1069-rated 62, the best round of the tournament, it’s almost impossible to keep up with him. Doss gave it his best, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. Rounding out the top 5 were Devan Owens (who was helped by his ace on the Gravity hole), Gregg Barsby, and Simon Lizotte.
Paige Pierce powers past the field to win the 2015 Masters Cup
The buzz around the tournament for the first two rounds was the possibility of a husband-wife duo winning a national tour event. With Nate Doss leading the pack in MPO, Val Jenkins spent the first two rounds at the top of the FPO leaderboard.
First round scores for the FPO division weren’t quite what the pros were hoping for. Val’s and Catrina Allen’s 981-rated 76s were good enough to take a two stroke leader over Paige Pierce and Jessica Weese. The name of the game for the women, and all divisions playing at DeLa, would be consistency and limited trouble holes.
Val was able to improve by 3 strokes in the second round and retain her lead. However, Paige Pierce brought her score down to a 1005-rated even par to pull within one stroke of the lead. Much like Paul McBeth in MPO, the last thing you want in the FPO division is to give Paige Pierce an opportunity to mount a comeback.
As has been the case so many times already this year, Paige Pierce’s consistency just couldn’t be matched in the final round. She replicated her second round score, shooting another 1000-rated even par. No one else in the field was able to stay close to Pierce throughout the second and third rounds, leaving Pierce with another huge 2015 victory, this time by 7 strokes.
Marty McGee of McFlySoHigh Videos was on site filming the women’s rounds for Prodigy Disc. Check out the great FPO coverage here:
Next week, we’ll be taking a look at one of the most anticipated events in disc golf history, the St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational. For months, the disc golf community has been raising money for the St. Jude Children’s fund, leading to the inaugural invitational event in Seaside, CA. This is such a unique opportunity for disc golf to receive some national recognition while helping out an extremely worthy cause. If you’d still like to donate to the cause, head on over to the St. Jude Disc Golf page.