Barry Schultz - 4X Master of the US Masters
The 2014 Tim Selinske US Masters Championships have finally come to an end after yesterday’s exciting finish at Mohawk Park in Tulsa, OK. Barry Schultz #6840 had the lead after the first round on Friday morning and would have to defend his lead all weekend with a target on his back. Out of the dozens of world class competitors at the event, only JohnE McCray #9852 would get close enough to potentially take the lead away.
By the end of the day on Friday, Schultz had expanded his lead to seven throws over then second place contender Ken Climo #4297. Schultz and Climo were joined by Brian Schweberger #12989, Ron Convers #9648, and local Tulsa pro Sam Nielsen #11175 for the Saturday morning round at Hunter Park. Schultz once again was playing nearly perfect golf and his seven throw lead would be opened up to double digits by the end of the round.
It was clear at that point that if someone was gaining ground on Schultz, it was taking place on a card other than the lead card. When the round three scores were entered and the shuffle was complete, Schultz would have two new faces to deal with. Patrick Brown #25713 and JohnE McCray both played equally as well or better than Schultz at Hunter Park, thus securing their spots on the lead card for the upcoming fourth round back at the Blackhawk course in Mohawk Park.
McCray fought tooth and nail to catch up to Barry during the fourth round, carding 10 birdies and an eagle to finish 12 under par, unofficially rated at 1082, the highest rated single round of the entire tournament. After a long day of golf in 25-30mph wind, JohnE McCray would tee off on Sunday morning for the final full round just three throws back on Barry Schultz.
McCray wasted no time during the final full round. By the time the players were walking to hole six’s tee pad, there was a tie for the lead for the first time all weekend. The tension was palpable. Schultz remained calm and kept his composure. He quickly put himself back in the lead by the time the front nine had ended.
At that same moment, a severe thunderstorm barreled into Tulsa and a heavy downpour began. After a lightning delay that lasted almost an hour and half, the players returned to the tee pad of hole 10 to play the back half of the course. The top four players of the Masters division would also play a final nine holes. When the round ended, Schultz had put himself up by four over Mccray. They would be joined by Patrick Brown and Ken Climo for the finals.
The finals played holes 9-17 of the Redhawk course. Redhawk is much more open and provided a much better way for the gallery to watch the competitors. McCray hit huge putts on hole 9 and hole 10 to put himself within two throws of Schultz, but that’s pretty much where the story of any sort of comeback would end.
Two of the holes at Redhawk play along a creek that had been a ruthless disc catching trap all weekend. Unfortunately for McCray, he would fall victim to it like many other players had in the days prior. On the par 5 hole 14, McCray would take a triple bogey. It was obvious by his body language alone that he knew the window of opportunity had closed. Schultz just needed to play smart golf to take home the gold. And he did just that.
When Schultz made his final putt, he raised his hands in the air in celebration and with teary eyes he yelled “Thank you Tim! I miss you!” It was an incredible sight to witness, as Schultz was good friends with Tim Selinske. This is the fourth time Schultz has won the event in the last five years, and after speaking with him after the round it was obvious that this win was just as important to him as any ot the others.
Congratulations to all of the competitors and winners of the 2014 Tim Selinske US Masters Championships. A huge thank you is owed to all of the staff, volunteers, sponsors, and anyone else involved in making this such an amazing weekend of disc golf. As always, we have dozens of high-resolution photos from the event on the PDGA Flickr page.