Coming into the final round of the La Mirada Open, Paul McBeth held a five shot advantage on the field. That lead quickly shrunk and the story turned to the final nine holes of the tournament. If McBeth wanted to walk away with the win, he needed birdies to keep a handful of competitors at bay, and that is exactly what he got.
Birdies on four of the final five holes was enough to finish the round at 57 (-6) and stake claim to the first win on the Disc Golf World Tour.
“I let a few go early. My putt was really bad today,” McBeth stated. “I had an airball from about 20 feet. I was driving well though and throwing my upshots well. I knew I needed to keep giving myself opportunities and sooner or later I’d start making them. I was never worried about the competition today. My sole focus was my game.”
“This has been a great experience. From all the media before the tournament, the showcase card for Round One was fun. I never get to play with Catrina Allen, except for some finals from time to time. Karl Johan Nybo and Andreas Gertsch rounded out a great card,” McBeth reflected. “Day after day the crowds got bigger and even in the rain yesterday they were here. I’m excited to see the Disc Golf World Tour grow on future stops. I can only see it getting bigger from here.”
Schusterick making moves up the scoreboard
As McBeth was even par for the round through Hole 8, Schusterick was further ahead and sat at six-under-par for the round as he began the back nine. Soon the birdie-well dried up for Schusterick as he could only muster par on the next seven holes. It wasn’t until Hole 17 when he could grab another birdie and finish his round at 56 (-7) and ultimately in a tie for fifth.
“I actually felt great on both the front and back nine,” Schusterick said after the round. “While I didn’t score as well on the final nine holes I had some great shots to save par. I went bogey free during the round which was the goal. I gave myself a chance and that is all I can really ask for.”
Earlier in the week, McBeth stated he feels as if he is at home at the La Mirada Disc Golf Course. For the man known as the “La Mirada Legend,” this course is literally home for Musick as he grew up across the street from the course.
Musick was playing on the chase card and hit a groove early on which propelled him to second place midway through the afternoon. Musick birdied seven of the first 11 holes en route to a 55 (-8). The 55 put him in second place overall as he waited for the lead card to finish.
Musick and Wysocki battle for second in a playoff
Meanwhile, Ricky Wysocki missed a birdie attempt on Hole 18 which would have given him sole possession of second place. As Wysocki and Musick would officially be listed in a tie for second place, a playoff was used to determine the trophy and DGWT points distribution.
The pair returned to Hole 17 where Wysocki threw out-of-bounds twice which allowed Musick to claim the second place trophy on his home course.
Musick said he caught fire early, “I came out swinging and by the time I got through 10 I found out I was on Paul’s heels. I got a few more birdies, but had a few missed putts toward the end and just couldn’t catch him.”
When asked about having the first Disc Golf World Tour event at his home course, Musick couldn’ help but smile, “La Mirada is the center of where it all started. This is where I got my career started. It’s been great seeing all the delvopment and all the world class players coming to have a great time.”
Doss finds his groove, rides hot round to top-five finish
After round one, Nate Doss stated he believed the course was playing against him. He experienced many bad breaks and wasn’t happy with how he began the tournament. In round three, Doss had full control of the course and shot the best round of the day with a 54 (-9).
Doss said he kept with the same approach and it finally paid off, “This was the one round where I had no penalties and no bogies. I didn’t do anything different than in earlier rounds, but the course was with me on this one.”
With McBeth in first, a tie for second between Musick and Wysocki, Dave Feldberg worked his way to a solo fourth finish. Schusterick and Doss tied for fifth.
Simon Lizotte and Karl Johan Nybo, who both played on the lead card going into the round, struggled at times as they slid down the leaderboard. Lizotte’s 62 (-1) and Nybo’s 61 (-2) moved the pair to a tie for seventh with Paul Ulibarri who carded a 56 (-7).
While the tournament payout was one motivator at the La Mirada Open, the chance to qualify for the United States Disc Golf Championship was also at stake. The crowning event of the Disc Golf World Tour takes place this October in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The ten athletes earning their spot at the USDGC are: