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Finals at Water Works Crowns Five New Masters World Champions in Kansas City

2018 Pro Masters 40+ World Champion, Dave Feldberg, carrying his trophy basket. Photo: PDGA

After a week-long disc golf endurance competition in Kansas City, the 2018 PDGA Pro Masters World Championships have finally come to an end. The fields were cut after the end of the preliminary rounds on Friday and all that remained were the semifinals on Saturday morning followed by the Final 9s shortly after, both of which took place at the legendary Water Works Park.

There was little movement at the top of the leaderboards during the semifinals, but the coveted fourth place position was highly contested in each of the three divisions that were on the course. Mike Moser finished with a bogey-free eight under par 48 to snag his spot in the Masters 40+ Final 9, ousting Brian Schweberger. In the Masters 50+ division, Roger Reyes did much the same, shooting well enough to earn his spot and ousting Kevin Couch. Playing from the chase card in the Masters 60+ division, Randy Beers earned his Final 9 spot by defeating Mike Cloyes in a sudden death playoff.

Little did we know, there would be more playoffs to come... 


Jon Graff with an approach on the last hole of the Final 9. Photo: PDGA

As Jon Graff tapped in to win by four against Michael Conger in the Masters 70+ division, Dr. Rick Voakes and Kenny Lee were going throw-for-throw in the Masters 60+ finals. Voakes and Lee were tied after their semifinal round and had pulled away from Dave Greenwell and Randy Beers. The race was on.

Lee gave the lead away with a bogey on the second hole but tied it back up on the eighth when Voakes uncharacteristically missed a birdie putt from inside the circle. When they both hit their par putts on the ninth, it was time for sudden death, and they returned to the first hole of the Final 9 loop. For Voakes, the win would be historic, as it would mean he would be the fourth player in PDGA history to earn 10 world titles as a professional. For Lee, it would mean redemption, as he finished in second place at the 2017 Pro Worlds, losing to Greenwell by one.


Kenny Lee releasing a jump putt during the Final 9. Photo: PDGA 

After already having played 27 holes up, down, and across the steep slopes of Water Works in the heat, Voakes and Lee went throw-for-throw for another six holes and were still tied up. Finally, on the seventh hole of the playoff, a mistake was made off the tee by Voakes, and Kenny Lee made his putt to become a world champion for the first time.

The foursome with the slimmest chance of a playoff consisted of Patrick Brown, Ron Convers, Eric Raniey, and Roger Reyes. in the Masters 50+ division. The chance of anyone catching Patrick Brown was virtually zero. Brown led the event from day one, slowly but surely pulling away from the field more and more each and every day. By the time he finished his semifinal round, his lead had increased to 13. In his first ever event as a Masters 50+ competitor, he had all but guaranteed himself a world title before the Final 9 even started.


Patrick Brown with his Masters 50+ World Champion trophy basket. Photo: PDGA

Not long after Brown tapped in for the win, and while the Masters 60+ playoff was STILL going on, Courtney McCoy and Kimberly Giannola were teeing off for a sudden-death playoff of their own for the Masters Women 40+. This came after Courtney McCoy, having never played Water Works during any of her preliminary rounds and without a semifinal round in the morning, shot four better than Giannola on the Final 9 loop to tie it up. But, Giannola led throughout the entire week and was not about to let a wire-to-wire win slip through her fingers. 

McCoy nearly ended the playoff on the first hole with a long and slightly uphill putt that missed an inch low and hit the cage. It wasn't long before Giannola had a chance to end it in much the same way. From roughly 40 feet and putting uphill on one of the steepest greens, she nailed the putt that would earn her the title of PDGA Pro Masters Women 40+ World Champion.


Kim Giannola smiling while doing a post-round interview. Photo: PDGA  

The cheers from the playoff-ending putt could be heard on the tee of the ninth hole, where Dave Feldberg, JohnE McCray, Barry Schultz, and Mike Moser of the Masters 40+ division were putting on a show for the gallery. Feldberg's lead of four after the semifinals might not seem like enough of a cushion to go into the Final 9 without worry, but Feldberg was playing with true confidence and faith in his game. If he was nervous, he certainly didn't show it. 

He opened the Final 9 with a birdie on hole one and three holes later he would card a solo birdie three, increasing his lead to five with only five holes to go. No one was going to catch him, and he knew it. He was elated as he hiked up the fairway on the ninth toward his driver, which he quickly pitched to right under the basket. Almost exactly 10 years to the day after becoming the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Champion at the 2008 Pro Worlds in Kalamazoo, Dave Feldberg dropped his putter in to earn his second world title, this time to become the PDGA Professional Masters 40+ World Champion at the age of  41.


Dave Feldberg happily marching up the fairway on the last hole of the Final 9. Photo: PDGA

Congratulations to each of the 2018 Pro Masters World Champions listed below and thank you to Scott Reek and the Kansas City Flying Disc Club for putting on a fantastic event. 

2018 PDGA Pro Masters World Champions

View full results »

Division Name PDGA # Score Par Margin
Masters 40+ Dave Feldberg 12626 273 -47 3
Masters Women 40+ Kimberly Giannola 76910 291 +27 playoff
Masters 50+ Patrick Brown 25713 283 -37 12
Masters Women 50+ Tavish Carduff 23043 254 +18 29
Masters 60+ Kenny Lee 14204 308 -12 playoff
Masters 70+ Jon Graff 31145 292 +28 4
Masters 75+ Pete May 12700 271 +35 36

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