We're through 3 rounds of USDGC action and we're not done yet! Friday was another one of those lingering hot and sunny October days in South Carolina, with just slight breeze in the air. While the forecast does suggest we may see some rain showers tomorrow afternoon, that's nothing compared to the weather we faced one year ago on championship Saturday, when the tournament was cut short due to Hurricane Matthew.
Most likely at least partially thanks to the weather, we had a great gallery following the tournament play on the Winthrop Gold course today. The fans were expecting to see some exciting action and the players sure did deliver.
Video: Despite catching some nice birdies here and there - like this one on hole 5 - Devan Owens' game wasn't on the same level as yesterday. Find more videos like this here! The Moving Day lead card consisted of Nate Sexton, Jeremy Koling, Gregg Barsby and Devan Owens.
Owens did not have the start for the day he was hoping for, and despite racking up a total of 8 birdies on the course today, he seems to be out of contention for the victory with his -3 round today, that places him at -16 for the tournament at tied 7th place. Then again, this is Winthrop Gold, so anything is possible.
Video: Nate Sexton making the difficult par 4 hole 8 look easy. Find more videos like this here!
Nate Sexton however, was a whole other story today. While he missed the birdie opportunities on holes 2 and 3, he kicked his game to the high gear with a tricky straddle putt from the bushes on hole 4. After that, it was birdie after birdie after birdie all the way until hole 12, on which he decided not to attack the basket on his 2nd and played the safe par. He would continue to hit the birdies on holes 13, 14 and 16 setting him at a whopping -29 before the treacherous island hole 17.
Anyone who's ever played at the USDGC knows that the round sure isn't over before last 2 holes. Being the first to tee on the lead group, Sexton must have been painfully aware of that too. His sidearm drive looked good off his hand, but there wasn't enough power behind it to clear the hay bales. Nate was able to make the correction with his 2nd shot though, but he missed the putt from just outside the circle, resulting in a double bogey 5.
Video: Nate Sexton on hole 17. Find more videos like this here!
Sexton would opt play the safe par on hole 18, which was still enough to tie the hot round of the day (and the tournament so far), with Ricky Wysocki from the 2nd card. Sexton will go the final day as the tournament leader, with a 3-stroke advantage over Wysocki. Leading the event after 3 rounds is not a completely unfamiliar situation for Nate, who had the lead after moving day also in 2015. Back then, after the final 18, it was Paul McBeth who who earned the title of US Disc Golf Champion.
What a way to bounce back! #PlayByPlay of #GreggBarsby on #hole12 - you might want to watch this one all the way to the end! Follow the live scoring at discgolfworldtour.com/live #DGWT #USDGC #USDGC2017 #discgolf #Round3 Henkilön Disc Golf World Tour (@dgworldtour) jakama julkaisu
Video: Barsby finds OB on his 2nd on hole 12, but bounces back with a great putt. Find more videos like this here!
For the remaining members of today's lead card, Jeremy Koling and Gregg Barsby played decent rounds, -4 and -5 respectively, but weren't quite able to keep up to speed with Sexton today. Koling will be still on the lead card tomorrow on the 4th place with his total of -19 and Gregg Barsby will be leading the chase card with his total of -18.
Playing his controlled, focused style, Wysocki seemed dead-set on getting back on the lead card for the final round. The two-time World Champ had good momentum through most of the course and only slowed down toward the end with bogeys on holes 16 and 18, where he caught a tough break on his second shot that nearly came back in bounds.
Video: Wysocki with a solid birdie on 17. Find more videos like this here!
Producing 11 birdies, one eagle, and three bogeys, Wysocki did what he needed to get on the lead card. His round of (-10), the same as Sexton's, brought him to second place, three back of Sexton. “As a whole I did what I wanted to do to get back into the tournament,” said Wysocki, adding that he’d certainly take being down only three strokes to enter the final round.
Max Nichols, who emerged from the Monday Qualifier, is making the most of his USDGC invite with another solid round, this time shooting a 58 (-9). He said he’s pretty happy at being in 6th place after his lukewarm start. “My game is at a good spot right now. It seems to get better with each round. Bogey free and nine down, I can’t really complain about that,” said Nichols. The best finish by a Monday Qualifier was in 2012, when Josh Anthon finished 3rd. There’s no doubt that Nichols, who is nine back, would like to break that record for a Monday Qualifier.
Starting in 6th position, Philo Brathwaite had some ground to make up on Friday. Thanks to his smooth round with his only bogey coming on the final hole, he’s now in 3rd place and he’ll be making his first lead card appearance for the final round of the USDGC. He sits at (-20) for the tournament, six back of Sexton.
After two sluggish rounds by Paige Pierce, she turned in her first under par score of the event with a 62 (-5). It’s play that’s reminiscent of 2014 when she handily won the USDGC Performance Flight. We’ll see if she can turn in another solid round on Saturday and climb further up the leaderboard.
Seppo Paju of Littoinen, Finland played solid golf on the chase card, snagging a birdie where he could and keeping his discs in bounds. His bogey free round of -6 could have been even better without slight problems with his drives towards the end, where he had to mostly do his best to save pars, rather than shooting for birdies. Paju is currently on the tied 7th place with Paul McBeth, Devan Owens and Zackeriath Johnson, who also shot a bogey free round today.
Video: Gregg Barsby hits the Eagle 2 on Hole 10. Find more videos like this here!
During the 3rd round, our social media team was following mostly the 3 top cards. As a result, you can find a lot of photo updates, as well as hole-specific play-by-play videos on our instagram account. Make sure to check them out here!
We also have The SpinTV production crew piecing together play-by-play tournament coverage videos from today's lead card's round, to be released sometime in the coming days. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the lead card play-by-play coverage from the first 2 days of the Championship here: R1 Front 9 | R1 Back 9 | R2 Front 9 | R2 Back 9.
You can always find all of our official videos here. Check out also our facebook live recap show from after round 3 below:
If the facebook video player doesn’t appear on your screen, click here to watch!
We also highly recommend checking out the leaderboard and Metrix and course stats from today's round. The new feature we added last year, player- and hole-specific instagram videos on the scoring interface, is in place here at the USDGC too, so make sure to check those out by clicking the tiny camera icons where available.
Find the PDGA results page with preliminary round ratings here!
The US Disc Golf Champion and the DGWT Tour Champion will determined tomorrow on Saturday, so make to stay tuned! For ticket information visit usdgc.com