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Augusta University Gets the Early Lead at the 2016 NCDGC


Photo: North Carolina State during the opening ceremonies.

At the opening ceremony of the 2016 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships (NCDGC), each university is announced one-by-one, giving the teammates a chance to display their school pride as they make their way towards the mainstage. Some schools did it louder than others, but it was obvious that everyone that had that opportunity was more than happy to be there. The NCDGC is truly a disc golf event like no other.

After the ceremonies came to an end, it was time to get down to business. Some of the players split off and headed out to compete in the singles competition while others joined up for team doubles. The two permanent courses of the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex, Old Glory and Hogback, were taken over by the Championship Flight, ready to duke it out in the team doubles competition.

 

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The Championship Flight was divided into two pools, with each pool playing both Hogback and Old Glory by the end of the day.  The X Pool contained most of the historically more successful teams of the NCDGC, but that in no way meant that the teams from the Y Pool weren’t contenders. And that point would be proven by the end of the day.

As Round 1 came to an end, the overall College Disc Golf regular season champions, North Carolina State, were leading the X Pool by one a margin of just one over the returning champions, Ferris State University and the returning 3rd place finishers Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents-Augusta).

“The back half of the course was WAY better for us. We started the morning on Hole 2 and came out bogey-birdie-bogey,” said Alec Falzone #57550 after Round 1, Team Captain of NC State. “We finished with birdies on 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 1. “

NC State was paired with Ferris State for Round 2, a team that they have never competed against outside of the NCDGC.  NC State started their afternoon round on Hogback in a similar fashion to the first on Old Glory, getting off to a slow start with just one birdie on the opening five holes but finished strong to secure a spot in the top three by the days end. In that same span of the first five holes, Ferris State went five for five to move ahead of NC State, finishing two ahead of them on the round and one ahead of them overall.

Meanwhile on the chase card, the Augusta men were on a tear. Their round of 46 (-14) moved them into 1st pace overall at the end of the day, but there were still two teams that shot a better second round: California State University-Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and Liberty University, both with 45s (-15).

It’s fair to consider the idea of Augusta having somewhat of a home field advantage. However, Club President and Championship Flight team member John Baker #54600 would beg to differ. “We definitely practice the shots whenever we can and yes, we’ve played the courses multiple times,” said Baker. “But there is no advantage when it comes to tournament time. When the pressure is on and you have to make a tough putt, casual practice rounds don’t mean much. Performing in the moment is what it takes to win a national championship, and I think we have the team this year to perform under pressure, not just because we have some sort of advantage.”

Three teams emerged from the Y Pool into the top 10 overall: Wisconsin-Stout & Wichita State (T6th), and Kansas (T10th). The pools have since been shuffled with the top half of the teams now in the A Pool and the bottom half in the B Pool. The team competition will continue tomorrow afternoon after the first round of the singles competition finishes up tomorrow morning.

We’ll be covering the women’s team doubles tomorrow morning as the CSUMB Women's Team tries to make a move against North Texas. North Texas will begin the day with a lead of two over CSUMB as they take the tee of Hole 1 on the Shottmaker course. Coverage will continue in the afternoon with action from the men’s singles competition. Follow the PDGA and College Disc Golf on Twitter for updates, pics, and videos all day long. High resolution photos from the day are available for viewing and/or downloading on the PDGA Flickr page.

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