Climo Wins Shootout
Climo Saves Best For Last to Capture Sunshine State Shootout
by Dr. John G. Duesler, Jr.
While many in the disc golf community are looking back in awe at the legendary career of Ken Climo, "The Champ" continues to look forward and add to his incredible achievements in the biggest events disc golf has to offer.
This week, Ken Climo welcomed the PDGA National Tour to his home state of Florida at the Sunshine State Shootout, but he was not completely accommodating to all his friends and competitors. Playing from the second card in today's final round, Climo saved his best for last and rode the strength of a record-setting 20-under par round to win a one-hole playoff over Nate Doss at this second stop of the PDGA's 2010 National Tour in Ocala, Florida.
"This win was pretty special," Climo said after winning the $1250 first place check and celebrating his 43rd birthday yesterday. "I was kind of in awe of the way everyone was playing around me," The Champ noted, referring to Feldberg's 12 birdies on the first 15 holes, Doss's birdying seven of the first nine, and Nikko Locastro scoring on nine of the first ten holes. But if Climo was in awe of his competitors' performances, then his competitors must have been just as impressed with him, as he began his round by birdying the first nine holes.
Despite the impressive starts by these disc golfers, any rhythm Climo and the others gained at the start of their rounds would be challenged by a two-hour rain delay during the early afternoon, which is commonplace in Florida. Indeed, everyone except Feldberg, who continued his incredible birdie run after the delay, needed a few holes to regain their early round dominance of the Pine Oaks course. But once Climo and Doss got through hole 12, their birdie runs ramped back up. Climo played 11-under par on the final twelve holes; Doss went 12-under. Neither player bogeyed any of the 48-holes they played at Pine Oaks, which helped them keep the rest of the field at arm's length over the weekend.
Still, Climo's record-setting 20-under par performance at the newly developed Ocala course was not enough to win the tournament outright. Nate Doss is clearly gaining his championship form again, as his 19-under par, including two clutch birdies on the last two holes, forced a playoff with Climo.
But it only took one hole for Climo to gain the 2010 Sunshine State Shootout title. "I threw the best shot I've ever thrown on that hole [the par 4, hole 3]. My drive went about 420 feet and landed on the good side of the fairway," Climo beamed, clearly pleased to win this event in his home state.
Perhaps it was the impressive rip from Climo that got Doss's attention, as he stepped up to the first tee of the playoff. After digging in just a little extra to stay apace with Climo, Doss slipped on the still damp tee-pad and unfortunately threw his drive into the water. That left only a routine upshot and 20-foot putt for Climo to gain the win. Doss claimed $900 for his runner-up performance, and Feldberg finished third winning $700.
In the women's open division, Valarie Jenkins reasserted herself on the PDGA National Tour cruising to a 14-throw victory over Carrie Berlogar at the Sunshine State Shootout. Jenkins cashed in $625 for the win, while Berlogar won $425. Liz Carr overcame the rigorous travel schedule she's been on for the last month to gain a third-place finish and a $300 payday.
The next stop of the 2010 PDGA National Tour will be in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Carolina Clash, April 23-25.