Blame It On The Rain
All eyes were on the Doppler for most of the morning while preparing for day 2 of the Hall of Fame Classic here at the International Disc Golf Center. It wasn't a question of whether or not it was going to rain, it was when and how much. The first round started at 9:00AM (EST) with a field full of players carrying umbrellas, extra towels, dry socks, and a "maybe we'll get lucky and the rain will miss us" attitude. That optimism would only last a couple of hours, and it would never return.
All divisions played 2 rounds today, alternating between 2 of the 3 courses on the property. The Open division(s) started the day on the par 69 John Houck designed W.R. Jackson course. It's the longest of the 3 courses here and most would agree that it is also the most challenging. Every hole is a shining example of the designs he lays out in his "The Hole Truth" articles in DiscGolfer magazine. If you're a fan of those articles, there's nothing like seeing a course he designed in real life.
Two thirds of the way through round 1 the rain started coming down. The lead card of the Open division consisted of Nikko Locastro, Ricky Wysocki, Garrett Gurthie, and Ken Climo. They were lucky enough to finish right before the rain started coming down, but many other suffered through an hour or more of downpour. Wysocki finished the W.R. Jackson course with a 1 stroke lead over Locastro, who started the day at least 2 strokes ahead of everyone else in the division.
Meanwhile, on the Open Women's lead card Sarah Hokom, who started the day with a 4 stroke lead, would have one of the worst rounds in her recent history. On the card with her was Sarah Cunningham, Elaine King, and Des Reading. By the time they finished their 3rd hole Cunningham had already moved into the lead. Hole after hole of bad luck and missed opportunities would eventually lead to the salt in the wound on hole 10 where she carded a quadruple bogey. It should be noted that she kept her cool, continued to chat with the rest of the group, and finished the round with dignity. It was a great example of exactly how a world class touring professional can and should handle an extremely frustrating round of disc golf.
Sarah Cunningham finished round 1 with a 5 stroke lead over Elaine King and through the horrendous weather of round 2 she would open up the lead even more. She shot 6 under par, which ended up being better than some of the sport’s biggest names, Ken Climo and Will Schusterick just to name a few. She will start the day tomorrow on hole 15 of the W.R. Jackson Memorial course with a more than comfortable 11 stroke lead over 2nd place. Congratulations to her for shooting great golf all day long in the wet, windy, and rainy conditions.
Round 2 of the Open division started with the same lead card as round 1, except this time with Ricky Wysocki on top. They battled the Steady Ed Memorial course with sloppy fairways and slippery tee pads. Ricky has a history of playing well in the rain. At the Brent Hambrick Memorial last year, he set the course record on a cold and windy day all while rocking the same raincoat/jacket he was wearing today. It must be his lucky charm because he shot the hot round with a 55, also shot by Cameron Todd, during a round where the rain never stopped coming down. One advantage he had over any other player on the field...a caddy. Not just 1, but 3. His father, younger brother, and younger sister walked the course with him all day with umbrellas and extra towels, keeping his discs dry and his mind focused.
Dave Feldberg jumped from the chase card to the lead card after shooting a 9 under par that moved him up to 4th place. He sits 5 strokes down from the lead, 4 strokes from Locastro, and 3 from Garrett Gurthie. Sarah Cunningham has a commanding 11 stroke lead over Des Reading and Elaine King who are tied for 2nd place with a 6 over par for the tournament. The amateur divisions all tee off tomorrow morning at 9:00AM followed by the Open divisions at 10:30AM. The Open divisions will once again take on the WR Jackson course with the forecast unfortunately calling for rain all day long.
Live scores will be up and running for the lead cards of the Open division and the Open Women's division tomorrow. Live tweeting is scheduled, assuming we can safely do so without the risk of ruining our phones. Head to www.pdgalive.com tomorrow at 10:30AM to keep up with all the action of the final round!