Rally at Blue Valley
Day 2 of Grip Equipment presents the 31st Kansas City Wide Open was hot, humid, windy, and that was only the beginning. For many players, the day's round would eventually be interupted and delayed by violent thunderstorms and gusting winds strong enough to break large limbs off of trees, collapse tents, and blow over trash cans, Some were able to finish before the lightning and rain delays were called, but unfortunately not everyone. Many of the divisions did eventually get to finish their rounds in the rain after the lightning faded away, but the C Pool took the worst hit. A power line fell over on the fairway of hole 1 at Rosedale Park and anyone who wasn't finished the round now has to finish it tomorrow morning at 7:30AM. As frustrating as that can be for those involved, everyone understands that the safety of the players, staff, and visitors to the park has to and always will come first.
The FPO and MPO divisions played at Blue Valley Park, one of the longest and most scenic courses in the country. The layout for the round today was just under 11,000 feet in total length...for only 18 holes. The park itself is located in one of the highest parts of the city and at the top of the park the view is spectacular. The cement tee pads are shaped to mimic the fairway as well, which makes it even more unique. In 2009, Avery Jenkins set the course record with a 54 during the final full round of the PDGA World Championships. Today, 2 different players shot that same score, with an even longer layout.
Nikko Locastro and Paul McBeth played lights out disc golf both carding unofficially rated 1072 rounds with their 10 under par 54's. Locastro didn't seem too happy with the way he started the day, but an amazing eagle on the par 5 hole 9 lifted his spirits. He used that momentum to pull away from the other players on his card (who all took pars) and continued to gain strokes on the group for the rest of the day. Paul Ulibarri and Paul McBeth were on the chase card together and they battled each other all day long. Ulibarri would finish with the second best round of the day with a 57. Both of their efforts were good enough to move them up to the lead card.
Locastro sits atop the leader board at -28 for the tournament but he still needs to play perfect golf tomorrow to stay where he is. McBeth, Ulibarri, Doss, and Schusterick will all join him on the elad card for an epic 5-some battle at the beautful, and likely wet and sloppy, Swope Park DGC.
Meanwhile in the FPO division, Paige Pierce went hole-for-hole against Sarah Cunningham and Val Jenkins. They were joined by Catrina Ulibarri and Sarah Hokom, both of which also shot good rounds today at Blue Valley Park. Pierce and Cunningham both have a distance advantage off the tee over Val Jenkins but they both finished only a stroke beter than Val for the round carding unofficially rated 976 rounds with 68's. Catrina Ulibarri started the day in 2nd place alone, but she now shares that spot with Cunningham both at +5 for the tournament. Paige will start the day tomorrow at Swope Park DGC with the same exact group as today, but now with a 7 stroke lead over 2nd place.
The final full round is set to tee off at 9:30AM (CST). The top 4 players from the MPO division will gang up with the top 3 players from the FPO group to play a final 9 holes for the title. The weather forecast is less than ideal but hopefully we won't have to deal with any more delays. As usual, head to pdgalive.com for live scoring for both divisions. If the rain holds off, we'll also have throw-by-throw coverage on Twitter via @PDGAlive. With the conclusion of the Kansas City Wide Open tomorrow, only 2 more events will remain in the National Tour Elite Series!