Several Close Battles Remain Heading into USJDGC Final Rounds
Saturday was not only National Disc Golf Day, but the second of three rounds at Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center for competitors in inaugural United States Junior Disc Golf Championship. While the sun was out to begin the day, Vermont summer weather patterns are notorious shifty, and play had to be suspended for approximately 3 hours as afternoon thunderstorms rolled through the mountains. That didn’t stop the field from completing their rounds as play resumed around 5:30pm and the final division completed their round around 8:00pm.
After two days on Brewster Ridge DGC, play now shifts to Fox Run Meadows for Sunday, an entirely different challenge! Well over 1,000 ft longer for all divisional layouts, Fox Run plays through more open terrain, much of which borders wetland area creating OB throughout much of the course. The players who fared well in the woods of Brewster, may not have the advantage as strategies and course management tactics are significantly altered on Fox Run.
So where do players sit in the standings? The MJ18 division saw some separation after a very tight day one, as Justin Gilbert threw another hot round to take a four-stroke lead over Alden Harris. Gilbert needs to stay focused on Fox Run, since there are three more competitors within striking distance, only
Evan Scott holds a similar lead in MJ15 with a 5 stroke margin over Zach Arlinghaus. Arlinghaus is coming off of a strong performance in the latest DGPT stop at Idlewild where he missed the Open division cash by only 2 shots. While Scott has a few strokes to play with, he also must be on his game if he plans on holding off Zach. In the MJ 12 Division, Luke Taylor has more breathing room as he holds a 14 stroke advantage over the field.
In the girls' divisions, the leaders have made it seem as if Sunday will be smooth sailing! Lily Marr has a 16 stroke lead in FJ15, Lilly Ruthen expanded her lead to 16 in FJ12, and Ava Meyer has the FJ10 division locked up going into the final round. Addison Lowery has also been playing very well in FJ8 and will be taking home the first ever championship for her division.
The closest battle of the event is certainly in the MJ10 division. With a tightly packed leaderboard after round 1, we saw Jai Badajos jump from the chase card into the lead with a 2 under par round two. Coming all the way from Homer, Alaska, Jai is taking full advantage of the trip as he tries to hold off Wyatt Mahoney who also jumped from the chase card and now sits in second place after a 4 under par 57 in round 2. With several other players within striking distance,
While MJ10 has a player from over 3,000 miles away leading, MJ8 has a homegrown leader, Finn Etter, from Shelburne, VT. Etter has opened up a 5 stroke lead on Landon Brooks after a 2 under 59 on his favorite course, Brewster Ridge. As play transitions to Fox Run, Finn hopes to keep it in bounds as he looks to keep the title in Vermont. In the MJ6 division Caleb Cilley is cruising towards a win after two good rounds on Brewster.
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