Paul McBeth has just won the World Title. He took a few minutes to answer a few questions for All Things Disc Golf.
First off, congratulations. A world title is pretty special but three in a row. That’s incredible. Now that you’ve had some time, how does it feel to be known as 3x world champion Paul McBeth?
It’s an honor! There is only one person ahead of me with more World titles and that’s the man himself, Ken Climo. Also to have three titles along side with Nate Doss is incredible, whether he knows it or not he has taught me the most about winning a title without truly attempting too.
Worlds ended on a mound, which was incredibly iconic in its own way. But prior to that you were engaged in what many people are calling the greatest spectacle in disc golf history. Walk us through those last few holes; You pick up a 7 and it seems like everything might be slipping away, then suddenly you’re in a playoff, Ricky is playing well, you’re hitting thirty footers under pressure, then you’re on top of that mound, The World Champion, again. Tell me about that.
“Hole 8 in the semifinals I took a 7 to drop 7 back of the lead with only 19 holes remaining. Most people would have given up at that point but I never once panicked, I knew if I kept fighting I’d still have a chance. I got the deficit down to two going into the Final 9 and finally for the first time in the tournament I had the lead with two holes to play.”
“I knew Rick would eagle-birdie to finish so I just couldn’t make a mistake on those final two holes. Going into the playoff I knew whoever made the first mistake would ultimately lose. The first hole Rick allowed a slight opening by hitting an early tree, that allowed me to run at my long putt which nearly went in. The 2nd hole Rick absolutely parked so I had to play to my strengths and at least give myself a putt to move on. I converted the drive and hit the 30 footer. Hole 3 & 4 were fairly easy holes and we both birdied and moved on to the long par 5. Rick and myself both threw good drives, his may have been a bit more left than he wanted but I was able to throw my approach first and put it in an absolute ideal spot. This inevitably put the pressure on Rick to match. He unfortunately hit the first tree and could online get up and down for 5.”
“I knew I still had two shots ahead of me before I could celebrate, I threw my 3rd shot into the mound hoping it would stick and stay close but unfortunately it rolled to about 20 with a 7 foot mound ahead of me. I knew if I made the putt I would be a 3x world champ but if I missed it would most likely Roll away and that’s it. When I released my putt I had instant relief knowing it was great speed and height to prevent any chance of a spit out. When I grabbed my putter I went straight to my best friends, family and girlfriend to celebrate before I even talked to anyone.”
Now you’ve won and people have patted you on the back and congratulated you. Where do you go from there: Do you just go out for dinner… Go back to your room and sleep… Did you go see a movie… Or did you start driving home… What do you do when it’s over?
“I went out to dinner that night, took my girlfriend and caddy to the airport at 5 a.m. and once I got back slept some more until I had to check out of my hotel. I stayed another night in Portland at my friend Cody’s house and went and thanked RedBull for their support they gave me and the World Championship. I ended up driving straight to Oklahoma to rest for the Brent Hambrick and Rochester NT.”
What did you do to prepare for Worlds? You skipped the NT in Seattle and came to Portland early only to discover the courses weren’t ready yet. What did you do and what were you feeling?
“I tried my hardest to still practice and not complain. I was very surprised to not see the courses set up until a few days prior to the event. I ended up playing Trojan and Blue lake the most at least four days each I could only play Milo once because how late it was set up.”
There is a Michael Jordan/LeBron James like comparison floating around about you and Ken Climo. How does it feel to be mentioned as one of the greatest all time players in the world? And when will enough be enough for you?
“I’m pretty sure Climo and I both won our first titles at the age of 22 so in order to catch him that’s many, many more years….. In a row. It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same line as Climo, but honestly, I’ve never seen a video of a world championship or a tournament in general so I’ve truly never seen Climo play before 2008. I feel I’m not even near my prime so I excited to see how much my game and this sport will grow.”
Thanks to McBeth for taking a few moments out of a very busy schedule to talk with us!
Photo: Stuart Mullenberg (Facebook.com/stuart.mullenberg)