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Kyle Klein lines up a shot on Sunday during the 2023 USDGC. Photos: Justin Anderson / PDGA

The final PDGA Major of the year came to a close as the best players in the world took to Winthrop Arena one last time for Championship Sunday of the 2023 United States Disc Golf Championship.

After three rounds at one of the most iconic courses on tour, the final round came down to a battle between Kyle Klein and Bradley Williams as they both sought to take down their first PDGA Major win.

Kyle Klein took control and leads the USDGC by three strokes with 18 holes to go. Photos: Justin Anderson / PDGA

The wind was howling as the best players in the world made their way through Winthrop Arena in Round 3 of the 2023 United States Disc Golf Championship.

Joel Freeman kept his spot at the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend at the 25th USDGC. Photos: Justin Anderson

The pressure was on as the best players in the world returned to Winthrop Arena for Round 2 of the 2023 United States Disc Golf Championship.

While most players were looking to climb the leaderboard, the lead card made up of four players with no PDGA Major wins — including one player in his first Elite Series/Major lead card appearance — fought to stay on top.

Eight players are within three strokes of the lead after a wild day to kick off the 25th running of the United States Disc Golf Championship, the final PDGA Major of 2023.

And we’ve got a few fresh faces at the top of the leaderboard.

Joel Freeman took off on the back nine, sparked by an eagle on the 10th to take a one-stroke lead as the only player to hit double digits on the USDGC layout at Winthrop University.

The strong start for Freeman is no surprise, given his success in Rock Hill. He’s finished inside the top 15 in his past four trips to Winthrop, including a fifth-place finish in 2021 and seventh place finish a year ago.

As the 2023 season enters the final stretch, the best of the best in disc golf has once again made its way to Rock Hill, South Carolina for the 2023 United States Disc Golf Championship and Throw Pink Women’s Championship.

The USDGC is the final PDGA Pro Major of the year while the TPWDGC is a PDGA A-Tier, and both tournaments will take place simultaneously at the Winthrop Arena. While most other tournaments offer divisions based on gender or age, the USDGC combines all players who qualify into a single division.

Gannon Buhr stood on the 18th tee box in 2015 after begging his mother to drive him to Winthrop to see the United States Disc Golf Championship

He stood on the 18th green on Sunday as the youngest USDGC winner in history and fully established that the future of the sport has arrived.

In a thrilling, dominant and absolutely clutch final round, Buhr — at 17 years old with homework to do — took down his first PDGA Pro Major and added yet another chapter to the illustrious history in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Paul McBeth is looking for his fourth USDGC title and 18th PDGA Major. Photo: Justin Anderson / PDGA Media

At a tournament full of history, no matter how Championship Sunday concludes at the 24th running of the United States Disc Golf Championship, there will be a new chapter added.

Four players, all with their own potential to make history, enter the final round at the Winthrop Arena looking to leave their mark and cement, or further solidify, their legacy.


Jake Monn finds himself with a share of the lead at the USDGC. Photo: Justin Anderson / PDGA

Jake Monn has the game to match his towering size.

Just a heads up: He’s 17 years old.

Monn turned heads on Friday in a day of big moves at the Winthrop Arena and is now a co-leader in his first trip to the United States Disc Golf Championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

“It feels really good,” Monn told Terry Miller of the Disc Golf Network after posting a 9-under round with a huge contingent of family and teammates in tow.

Niklas Anttila tees off on hole 18 at the Winthrop Arena. Photo: Justin Anderson / PDGA

From a distance, Niklas Anttila has watched the best of the best compete year-in and year-out at the United States Disc Golf Championship.

A rising — and young — star in Finland, Anttila, 20, arrived at the Winthrop Arena for the first time earlier this week and experienced the iconic, history-filled track for the first time.

“I’ve been watching this tournament for a while — six or seven years,” Antilla said. “Earlier this week, I was seeing all the holes that I’ve been watching for a while.

“It felt kind of unreal to be here to compete.”

Just twelve players have won a coveted United States Disc Golf Championship title in the 23 years that the PDGA Major has been running at Winthrop University.

That's it.

Beginning Thursday and running through Sunday — one of the many changes this year — the dramatic 2022 season begins to wind down as we wait to see if there will be a repeat winner or a new PDGA Major champion crowned in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The Winthrop Arena has a long history of testing the best of the best — those who earned their spot throughout the season — while delivering dramatic and passionate finishes as well as heartbreak.

Paul McBeth roars after hitting the winning putt at Winthrop. Photo: Conrad Meyer / PDGA

Paul McBeth remembered the spot, literally and figuratively.

It came down to a playoff with a PDGA Major title on the line. He had been there before, earlier this year at PDGA Pro Worlds and earlier in his career at Winthrop.

Complete Coverage of the United States Disc Golf Championship

“There used to be a log right there and I missed the putt from there,” McBeth said of his 2014 playoff in Rock Hill. “It was a good spot to make that one.”

Paul McBeth is looking for his third USDGC title on Saturday. Photo: Kevin Huver / PDGA

Paul McBeth likes his position.

As the rain fell on Friday at the Winthrop Arena, the five-time PDGA World Champion rose to the top.

With the putter working and drives that avoided the daunting OBs in Rock Hill as the weather turned sideways, McBeth is eyeing his third United States Disc Golf Championship.

But Chris Dickerson is right there, one stroke back, looking to be the first player to go back-to-back at Winthrop since Ken Climo.


Chris Dickerson, the 2020 USDGC champion, leads by three strokes. Photo: Conrad Meyer / PDGA

There are no easy shots coming down the stretch in Rock Hill, both on the course at Winthrop and as the United States Disc Golf Championship hits the midway point of competition.

Both of those instances are when the already-high pressure amps up even more.

“There are no easy shots coming down the stretch with the wind, the slopes and fast greens,” Ricky Wysocki told the Disc Golf Network’s Terry Miller. “You have to focus on every shot until the road is completely finished.”

Nate Sexton avoided the OBs and is a co-leader after the first 18 in Rock Hill. Photo: Kevin Huver / PDGA

Gregg Barsby was facing the water carry to Hole 5’s green during the opening round of the United States Disc Golf Championship.

A little out of position, the 2018 PDGA World Champion made the decision to err on the side of caution on the approach and was left with a 65-foot look at birdie.

He cashed it.


Gregg Barsby lines up a shot during the first round of the USDGC. Photo: Kevin Huver / PDGA

2019 USDGC Champion James Conrad will be on Wednesday's feature card on the Disc Golf Network.

It takes every shot — hyzers, straight shots, turnovers, you name it — to navigate the Winthrop Arena.

But it doesn't just demand a complete repertoire, it demands precision.

"Winthrop, more than any other course, challenges you to stay in bounds, to throw accurate shots," 2020 USDGC Champion Chris Dickerson said. "All of those shots need to be in bounds."

It also adds an added amount of pressure as one the longest-running and prestigious stops on the disc golf tour as the final PDGA Major of the year.

Chris Dickerson is the defending United States Disc Golf Champion. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen / PDGA

This season has proven that — week-in and week-out — anything can happen on the PDGA Elite Series.

That sets up for what promises to be a thrilling week at one of disc golf's most revered locations.

The final PDGA Major of the year, arguably one of the most prestigious and anticipated events outside of a World Championship, the United States Disc Golf Championship kicks off on Wednesday. The inaugural Throw Pink Women's Disc Golf Championship, like its counterpart, will test the best in the sport on the hallowed grounds of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Story and Photo Credit: Disc Golf World Tour.

After 3 days of beautiful sunny weather, the USDGC Championship Saturday brought us a new kind of situation, with light to moderate rain almost throughout the day. As anyone who’s been to Winthrop Gold during the USDGC knows, the grass on the fairways and greens is cut short, which means that in wet conditions, your disc is probably not going settle as is it would on a dry and sunny day.


Story and Photo Credit: Disc Golf World Tour.

We’re through three rounds of USDGC action and this time we’re not done yet! Friday was another one of those signature hot and sunny October days in South Carolina, with just slight breezes in the air. While the forecast does suggest we may see some rain showers tomorrow afternoon, that’s nothing compared to the weather we faced one year ago on championship Saturday, when the tournament was cut short due to Hurricane Matthew.

Story and Photo Credit: Disc Golf World Tour.

Large crowds normally seen during the final two rounds of the USDGC were on hand on Thursday during Round 2. You can tell that there’s an excitement in the air that disc golf fans are picking up, compelling them not to wait to catch disc golf’s finest show. It was a good choice to come out to Winthrop on Thursday because it was another picture perfect day with a high of 83 and mild winds.