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Wind, Rain Pummel Competitors During Masters Worlds Opening Round


Most of the scorecards were so soaked that they were turned in ripped in half. Photo: PDGA

“That might have been the worst conditions I’ve ever played through in my life,“ said David Greenwell while turning in his scorecard on Tuesday afternoon.

That’s a serious statement considering that he’s competed in nearly 400 PDGA events, including every single world championship since the inaugural in 1982. Despite the gusting winds and sheeting rain, Greenwell finished eight or more ahead of the field in the Pro Masters 60+ division to kick off the 2019 PDGA Pro Masters Disc Golf World Championships, putting himself in a good position early in the quest for his 10th world title.

Because the two courses at Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center are so vastly different, it’s more than fair to say that the divisions that took on the open-air Fox Run Meadows, especially the ones with early morning or early afternoon tee times, had a tougher round to deal with it than the divisions playing through the heavily wooded holes of Brewster Ridge. That’s not to say that the conditions on Brewster were ideal by any means, but they certainly had more protection from the wind.

While feather banners and pop-up tents tumbled across the fairways, the players pushed on through the chaos. No one dropped due to weather, but the Pro Masters 40+ division nearly lost 2016 world champion JohnE McCray, who fought off the urge to withdraw from the event after spending the morning fighting a severe stomach bug. The staff waited for the message that no one wanted to hear, but instead of seeing him head towards tournament central to drop out, he grabbed some putters and headed over to the practice putting baskets.

When McCray finished his round on Brewster Ridge, he did so with a smile, and despite still not feeling 100 percent, it was obvious that he was simply happy just to be fit enough to still be there competing. And in true world-class competitor fashion, he not only played, but he also finished in a four-way tie for 6th place, just three strokes off the lead.

That lead belongs to the defending champion David Feldberg, who was very excited to turn in a 2-under par at the end of the road. “I shot bogey-free in that,” said Feldberg as he pulled a soaked scorecard out of a ziplock bag. That he did, and he was the only one to do so in the entire field of 163 players.

Coming all the way from Switzerland, Natalie Holloköi finished tied for the lead with Georgia’s Courtney McCoy in the Pro Masters Women 40+ division, with Elaine King and Susan Stephens right on their heels tied for third place one stroke behind. The women will get their shot at Brewster Ridge this afternoon, with the lead card teeing off at 1:15 p.m. EDT, the same time that the Pro Masters 40+ will take the tee on Fox Run Meadows.

Of the 11 divisions competing here in Vermont, eight of them have players at the top of the leaderboard that are either tied or within one stroke of each other, with many of their second rounds well underway. Follow the scores at pdgalive.com and stay tuned for video coverage later this week from Central Coast Disc Golf.   

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