Too Close To Call
This afternoon marked the beginning the 4th event in the National Tour Elite Series, the Hall of Fame Classic presented by Prodigy Disc. This bi-annual tournament takes place all weekend at the infamous International Disc Golf Center in Appling, GA. For the first time in it’s history, it captured a spot on the PDGA National Tour Elite Series, making it even more special this year than ever before.
The IDGC is nothing short of surreal for a disc golfer. There are 3 pristine championship courses, all of which were designed by some of the best course designers to ever grace the game. The Jim Warner Memorial course was created and/or designed by Discraft legends Jim Kenner, Pad Timmons, and Ron Russell. It plays as a par 63 this weekend with a mostly wooded and technical front 9, and a back 9 filled with elevation changes and longer, but still technical holes that challenge even the best players.
The Steady Ed Headrick Memorial course was designed by Chuck Kennedy, long time disc golfer and the PDGA ratings mastermind. Although it is extremely challenging, it also is likely the most fun course to play at the IDGC for ams and pros alike. It is the only course of the 3 that plays several holes along Lake Thurmond, bringing the threat of lost discs and extra strokes to a half dozen or so of the holes. It plays as a par 67 all weekend long.
Last but certainly not least is the W.R. Jackson Memorial course, designed by one of the best course designers in the world, John Houck. It is a brutal 18 holes to say the least, with a par of 69 this weekend. Because of its difficulty, it will be the only course that the Open divisions play twice this weekend. It’s long, has wider fairway than the other courses for the most part, but the precision required combined with the physical and mental stamina needed to play well on it are what make it so difficult.
The Open division had a 3-way tie for 1st place today after playing the Steady Ed course. Climo, Gurthie, and Wysocki all shot a 14 under par and joining them on the lead card will be Nikko Locastro who shot only one stroke behind them with a 13 under. He chained out an ace on hole 6 that could have had him tied for the lead with the others.
Sarah Hokom holds a comfortable 4 stroke lead over Des Reading and Sarah Cunningham, and a 5 stroke lead over Elaine King. Whether or not she will be able to maintain the lead after playing the W.R. Jackson course and the Steady Ed course is unknown. But, that could be said about anyone’s score in any division. There are no easy courses and for the most part there are no easy holes here at the IDGC. The weather looks like it could be a factor as well tomorrow, with chances of rain, wind, and temperatures that are much lower than normal for this time of year in Georgia.
All divisions tee off at 9am EST tomorrow morning for their first round of the day. Head to www.pdgalive.com for live scoring and follow @PDGAlive on Twitter for hole-by-hole live tweeting of the lead cards. Tag your posts and pics with #HOFC and we’ll look through them during the day and try to share the best ones.