The 2011 PDGA National Tour Elite Series, presented by Vibram Disc Golf got underway today in Scottsdale Arizona at the Memorial Championship, presented by Discraft.One hundred and ninety six professional players began teeing off this morning under beautiful sunny skies at 7:30am at the Vista Del Camino course with the grandmaster division and ending with a special showcase group of a handful of the top Open pro players on the PDGA tour, who teed off as the final group of the day. The foursome consisted of current U.S. Champion Will Schusterick, current World Champion Eric McCabe, number one rated player in the world Dave Feldberg, and 2009 and 2010 Player of the Year Nikko Locastro. Will Schusterick had the best day amongst this showcase group with a -10 but the low round of the day came from Paul McBeth who carded a -13 to grab the lead. Joining him on the top card for Thursday’s second round at the Fountain Hills course will be Josh Anthon, Patrick Blazek and Jesse Au who all posted impressive rounds and sit one off the lead at -12.
In the Women’s Open division, Paige Pierce shot 63 points above her current 931 rating with a -2 to lead 2010 Player of the Year Valarie Jenkins by a single throw. They will be joined on the top card tomorrow by Liz Lopez and Sara Hokom who are 4 and 5 strokes off the lead respectively. With the exception of Jenkins, the Women’s lead card features a couple of new names and it will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure that comes with playing from the front.
Patrick Brown and Linc Morgan are tied for the lead in the Masters division at -8 with David Bihl and Dan Oleksy just one off of the pace. Jim “No Spin” Myers leads the Grandmasters division by four throws over Harvey Brandt with his -3 on the day.
The pro divisions will play the beautiful and challenging Fountain Hills course on Thursday for round two while the concurrent amateur SuperTour event with it’s one hundred and ninety competitors will move to the more technical Vista Del Camino course in Scottsdale.
Fans of the sport will be able to watch all the drama unfold live from the beautiful Fountain Hills course in Arizona by pointing their browser over to www.DiscGolfPlanet.tv. The broadcast will begin on Thursday at 11:15 am Mountain Standard Time and continue Friday and Saturday. Live scoring as well as articles and photo galleries of each day’s action can also be found at PDGA.com.