Today was moving day at the 2015 PDGA World Championship. After everything that unfolded, we may have to find a new name for it because “moving” doesn’t begin to describe what went on in the Men’s, Women’s, and Master’s divisions.
The fields have been cut and the semifinals and finals will be held tomorrow, but let’s take a look at everything that happened on what might figure to be the most surprising day of the tournament.
McBeth goes from 8 back of the lead on Thursday, to 8 ahead of the field
It seemed like only a matter of time before Paul McBeth made his move, but his course record 51 Deer Lakes on Thursday was even more than people may have expected. Starting off Friday at Moraine just one stroke back of the lead, it seemed like there was going to be a battle at the top with Will Schusterick, Ricky Wysocki, and Nikko Locastro. But McBeth didn’t quite see it that way.
McBeth followed up his course record at Deer Lakes with another course record, this time at Moraine. Shooting -15 (51), Paul McBeth absolutely torched the Men’s Open field. Many other competitors played fairly well at Moraine when the tournament opened with it on Tuesday. In Round 5, the Open field failed to keep up with McBeth’s crazy pace.
The lead card held a sizable lead on the field heading into the round, so let’s take a look at how they faired against McBeth’s course record. Will Schusterick started the day in the lead, but it was clear that his game just wasn’t on today. After starting off with a couple of birdies through four holes, Schusterick failed to finish the front 9 under par, as he bogied holes 8 and 9. By the end of the round, Schusterick only mustered a 992-rated 63. It just wasn’t his day, and he’s now 11 strokes back of McBeth, and seemingly out of the running.
Nikko Locastro didn’t muster up the effort to keep pace, either. After 15 holes, Locastro was just 4 under par and it was clear that he was falling far behind the lead. He finished strong with an eagle and a birdie, bringing him to a respectable 59 (1022-rated). He finds himself on the lead card still, but he’s almost an impossible 14 strokes out of the lead.
So Schusterick struggled, but what about Wysocki? Ricky Wysocki played a pretty strong round, considering the course record was 11 under par until today. With a 9-under 57 (1037-rated), Wysocki carded the second best round of the day. Unfortunately, he was already behind McBeth before the round, and he’s now 8 strokes back of the lead.
Paul McBeth mentioned some possible pulled muscles in his ribs during the round, and he’s still got the back issues from Europe. However, they don’t seem to be slowing him down in the slightest. We’ll see if the injuries start to get to him, opening the door for Wysocki to make a comeback. We’ve seen crazier comebacks, so let’s see how the semifinals go at Moraine again.
Drama ensues and leads to Catrina Allen and Sarah Hokom tied at the top
Sarah Hokom had been crushing it for the first three days of the World Championship. If you just looked at the live scoring for the day, you’d see she took two quadruple bogey 7’s on holes 7 and 8. The truth is that Hokom was in a car accident and was late to the start of the round, even though the group made attempts to wait. Starting the round at 8 over par is extremely damaging. However, she was still in the game because she entered the round with a 5 stroke lead.
Bruised and battered, Hokom still came ready to play (A fundraiser for Hokom has been started. Any dollar can help her out!). If you take away the two holes she missed, Hokom was able to shoot even par for the rest of the course. Catrina Allen looked like she was going to assert herself to the top of the leaderboard, but a triple bogey, double bogey, and bogey cost her. In the end, Allen regained the 5 strokes Hokom had on her heading into the round, and the two are now tied for the lead with a semifinal and final left to go.
One of the biggest movers of the day was Paige Pierce. After the first four rounds, it looked like Pierce was going to have a hard time contending for the title. Despite being 10 strokes behind heading into the round, Pierce was the only competitor to shoot under par, and positioned herself just one stroke out of the lead.
In the beginning, it looked like the men’s field was going to be the real nail-biter. Now, the women seem to have the most drama. We’ll see how things play out at Moraine on Saturday morning.
Patrick Brown stays ahead of the Masters division, but the field is staying close
Patrick Brown has proven that he can compete on any given weekend, even in the Open division. He’s been in the running for a Masters world championship, but hasn’t quite won it. After starting the tournament with an uncharacteristic sub-1000 rated round, Brown bounced back with three straight rounds well above his rating. At Deer Lakes, Brown had an opportunity to build upon a 5 stroke lead.
Through 15 holes on Friday, Brown looked like he was going to head into the last day of the tournament with a sizable lead. He was 8 under par after 15, and he had a 7 stroke lead over the next closes competitor. However, he took two straight bogeys on 16 and 17, opening the door for others. Ken Climo was in the cluster behind Brown, but he finished with an eagle 2 on hole 18, putting him just 4 strokes out of the lead heading into Saturday.
Will Climo be able to hunt down Brown for his second straight Master’s world championship? We’ll find out on Saturday!