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Adams Makes Most of National Tour Debut

Jesse Adams leads the Las Vegas Challenge after a 10-under par performance Thursday. Photo: PDGA Media

HENDERSON, Nev. – Jesse Adams is playing in his first career PDGA National Tour event, and with that came an 8:32 a.m. tee time Thursday at the Las Vegas Challenge.

By 5 p.m., when all of disc golf’s biggest names finally exited Wildhorse Golf Club after a day of abysmal conditions, Adams’ unofficially 1075-rated 10-under par 48 still stood up as the top performance.

The 25-year-old Floridian holds a one shot lead after his bogey-free run around the Disc Golf Values course, most of which took place before steady 20 mph winds blew in for the afternoon rounds. He’ll be joined on Friday’s lead card by Colorado pro Joel Freeman, who landed in second place after a 9-under par 49, as well as Nikko Locastro and Jeff Renner, who tossed matching 7-under par 51s to tie for third place. Christopher Keseloff’s 6-under par 52 was good enough for a fifth-place start, while eight players – including Dustin Keegan, Eagle McMahon, and Seppo Paju – are tied for sixth place at 5-under.

Adams, who has only been playing in Open since 2016 and now makes his home in Utah, said he was happy to hit his goal of double digits under par. But he admitted that he didn’t expect it to hold up as the day wore on.

“I figured some of these bigger name guys would be able to put together some hot rounds, even in these conditions, but it’s ripping out there,” Adams said after he took in Paul McBeth and Paul Ulibarri’s 12:30 card. “Definitely looks like it sucks to be playing right now.”

Indeed, the wind was furious, at times gusting to 45 mph. And McMahon – even after managing only one out-of-bounds stroke and a 90 percent accuracy rate from circle 1 – confirmed Adams’ observation.

“It sucked,” McMahon said.

Defending PDGA World Champion Ricky Wysocki, who played alongside McMahon, Nate Sexton, and Simon Lizotte on the day’s featured card, said it was the worst sustained wind he’s ever experienced. Asked to sum up his thoughts on the weather, he kept it simple:


That doesn’t mean he didn’t know how to handle it, though. On the contrary, he adapted when needed, at one point flipping his putter upside down to convert on a 20-foot putt for eagle on the par 4, 585-foot 8th. That was one of two eagles for Wysocki on the day, but the wind hampered his putting – he said anything longer than 15 feet was shaky, and he usually gains strokes with his prowess from beyond the circle – and dropped him to a 24th place tie at 3-under.

Scores & Statistics: UDisc Live

Locastro, meanwhile, was able to ride the wind despite his placement on the second to last card. He saved his lone bogey for the final hole and said his accuracy from 200 feet and in saved him strokes.

“I mean, I believe that I could have gotten in the low 40s today if I would have been playing without the wind," Locastro said. "But then again, that’s a factor for all players. We’re all dealing with the different conditions at different times.”

The 992-rated Adams, though, was cognizant of his meteorological fortune and had a simple plan for managing any gusts on Friday afternoon, when they are again expected to hit 40 mph.

“Stable up, that’s all you can do,” Adams said. “Stable up and play low.”

He meant in relation to the ground, but it’d probably help on the scorecard, too.


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