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Klein Ties His Own Course Record, Pulls Away from the Field at USADGC


Kyle Klein hits his par putt on 18 to tie his own course record. Photo: Matt Gregoire | PDGA

After lights out rounds thrown by Michigan's Kyle Klein and Tennessee's Noah Osbourne on Friday at the 2019 United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship (USADGC), including a course record 52 thrown by Klein and a 53 by Osbourne, all eyes were on the lead card on moving day. Playing in nearly perfect conditions for the second day in a row, there would be no excuses. Both Klein and Osbourne finished the front nine at 3-under par, keeping the scores close. However, by the end of the day, Klein would go on to match his 52 from round one, an 11-under par that included eight birdies in a row on 10-17 to widen his lead to eight heading into the final round.. 

Many great players have come and gone at the USADGC and only a select few have played the way that Klein has thus far. Not only is he destroying the rest of the field, averaging 1050-rated rounds, but he is doing so with a demeanor that comes off as "no big deal". Klein has yet to show any signs of nervousness or surprise while shooting the way that he has this weekend, playing with a pure yet humble confidence that is normally only exuded by the sport's top professionals.

As each hole on the back nine passed, the gap between Klein and the rest of the field got bigger and bigger. On a course like The Toboggan, there are no pitch-and-putt birdies. To put together a back nine with eight birdies in a row and a 45-foot chance to make it nine in a row on 18 is virtually unprecedented. Hole 12, for example, a tricky 534' downhill blind par three has seen only four birdies all weekend in the 300+ times it has been attempted. Klein did it with a birdie putt that was just a few feet outside the circle.

As his birdie march continued, he stepped up to the tee on hole 17, a 755' par 4 that finishes to an extremely steep uphill green. To get to the bottom of the hill that leads to the basket requires a throw of approximately 600-650 feet and deadly accuracy. It's the kind of throw you'd expect to see the likes of Simon Lizotte, Eagle McMahon, or Garrett Gurthie go for, but Klein made it look easy. He barely had to put any effort into his upshot that led to a tap-in for his eighth birdie in a row. 

Now with an eight-stroke lead heading into the final round, the idea of catching up to Klein seems a bit far-fetched, but this The Toboggan and the weather has finally a turn for the worse, so nothing is out of the question just yet. Klein will tee off on the lead card eight ahead of Osbourne, 10 ahead of Minnesota's Cody Parsons, and 14 ahead of Ohio's Billy Page. Page shares his fourth place position with three others, with a slew of competitors sitting within a few strokes. The leaders will tee off at roughly 2:30 p.m. EDT and the fight for the United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship will see one last battle. Follow the live scores on pdgalive.com. 

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