As is often the case, the disc golf schedule led the best players from the United States overseas after the Maple Hill Open. There had been a lot of buzz leading up to the third disc golf major to be held by Skelleftea Discgolf (2008, 2010), the Scandinavian Open. With a top prize of $7,500 and a pristine course like Disc Golf Terminalen, the event was sure to live up to expectations. The players were greeted by some chilling rain on the first day; and although the rain cleared up, there was plenty of standing water left to drench the course. The weather for Day Two wasn’t any better as it rained on the players throughout their round. Rounds three and four didn’t present much better weather, and the total times for rounds reflected it.
Through two rounds, multiple golfers fought for the top spot
It seems like this is a pattern with Paul McBeth. Sometimes he jumps out to an early lead at an event, but often the competition is able to stay very close or just ahead of the three-time reigning world champion. At the 2015 Scandinavian Open, Nikko Locastro was able to jump out to an early lead with a hot round of 55 (1065-rated). That may have been the hot round, but guys like Simon Lizotte, Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, and Jeremy Koling were sitting a just a couple of strokes behind.
With the rain picking up for the second round, many of the scores suffered. Despite the rain, Jeremy Koling shot an impressive 1072-rated 56, bringing him up into a tie for the lead with Nikko Locastro, who struggled a bit in the wet weather. Sitting right behind them, though, was Paul McBeth. With just a one strong gap, you just knew that the classic McBeast mode would soon be activated. Nate Doss was also right in the hunt, just two strokes off the lead. After two rounds, there was still a mess at the top of the leaderboard.
McBeth shows why he’s the best with a third round course record, goes on to win by 11
The gloves came off in the third round, and McBeth came out firing. With standing water flooding the course, the conditions were still not perfect, though they were better than the cold and rain for the second round. Many of the scores weren’t quite as hot as the first two rounds as the pros may have been letting the long and challenges Terminalen course get to them. But then there’s Paul McBeth.
While the rest of the leader card fell a bit short of previous rounds (Locastro 60, Doss 58, Koling 59), McBeth turned on the jets. How does 15-down on a part 67 course sound? That’s right, Paul McBeth took to the Disc Golf Terminalen course on Day Three and shot a 1086-rated 52. To be honest, there may have been a 16- or 17-down out on the course for him that day if not for a couple of misfires. On at least one of the holes that McBeth took a par on, 6 of the other top 10 finishers carded birdies. McBeth’s drive was slightly off, leaving him an awkward lie that forced him to lay up for par. With a new course record, Paul McBeth built a lead of 6 strokes heading into the final round. If you’ve ever seen McBeth play, you know that you definitely don’t want to be trailing him as the tournament reaches the final round.
As expected, McBeth shot another solid round to finish the tournament, with a 1052-rated 56. Somehow, McBeth managed to average a round rating of 1061, which is 11 points higher than his record player rating of 1050. He just seems unstoppable week in and week out.
Even though McBeth ran away with first place, there was still heated competition for the rest of the field as the players fought for nearly $1,000 extra per place on the leaderboard. Despite quiet performances in the first two rounds, Will Schusterick bounced back to take advantage of Nikko Locastro’s 1017-rated slip in the final round to a take second place by 1 stroke and bring home $4,500. Locastro still walked about with $3,000, but it’s clear that every stroke counts, even if the tournament is four rounds long on a tough course. Rounding out the top five were Nate Doss and Dave Feldberg, who tied to take home $2,150 each. While Doss kept consistent throughout the tournament, Feldberg had to take it up a notch in the final round, shooting a 1059-rated 55 to leapfrog a couple of players.
Paul McBeth is tearing through the 2015 disc golf season and is on pace to shatter the total money earned record for a single season. We’ll see if he can carry the momentum into the European Open for another Major victory.
Catrina Allen takes down the women’s field for another big victory
Paige Pierce wasn’t able to play in the Scandinavian Open, but there was plenty of competition in the field. Catrina Allen, Val Jenkins and Sarah Hokom were set to battle it out on the Disc Golf Terminalen course despite the grueling weather.
Catrina Allen dominated the field in the first three rounds. 968-, 974-, and 970-rated round, Allen jumped out to a huge 8-stroke lead heading into the final round. She seemed like a lock for first place, but 2012 world champion Sarah Hokom wouldn’t give up. With a 988-rated 65, Sarah Hokom shot the hot round of the tournament for the women’s field. However, the 8 stroke lead was just too much to overcome. In the end, Allen finished with a 4 stroke victory. Allen won the European Masters last year, so we’ll see if she can carry the European momentum through next week’s European Open for another big win.
If you haven’t heard, the European Open starts on Thursday, and the buzz is even bigger for this event. The best disc golfers in the world are going to take on “The Beast” course in Nokia, Finland, and the hype is huge. We’ve seen TV ads and Jussi Meresmaa is expecting upwards of 5,000 spectators on hand to watch the action. On top of that, the SpinTV crew will be presenting a live after show every night of the even starting with a preview on Wednesday. This even is going to be big, and it’ll be great to see if McBeth can continue his 2015 dominance.