Oct 7, 2011

Posted in Featured Articles, News

Charron Steps Ahead for Final

Charron Steps Ahead for Final

On the last round before Saturday’s final, Bill Charron of Pennsylvania is sitting in the driver’s seat with a 4 stroke lead over round 2′s leader John Key. After the round Charron was still trying to get used to the idea of leading the Performance Edition field.

When asked how it felt to be on top he said, “A little shocked at the moment, but it feels great,” said the 918-rated Charron.

A big part of Charron’s lead was credited to learning to accept OB as an eventuality.

“It’s a matter of knowing that it’s coming and then dismissing it as fast as you can after the fact,” said Charron.

After Key’s big round on Thursday, he hit the rocks on Friday, losing out to his projection by five strokes. He described round 3′s performance as “horrible”, but he’s still within another big round of taking back the lead for good.

930-rated Clayton Held of North Carolina and 922-rated Tyler Graham of South Carolina were both in the running for the Daily Performance Leader when they beat their projected by 7. Since Held had the lower score he took the prize. In a brief ceremony following the round, a check was presented to Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte in Held’s name.

Others still within striking distance of the Championship include: 955-rated Patrick May of Georgia (-4), 1002-rated Dana Vicich of Illinois (-3), 1046-rated Dave Feldberg of Oregon (-3), and 966-rated Charlie Coleman of North Carolina at (-2).

(Performance Edition uses highest rating.)

Charron said that playing with multi-major champion Feldberg on Friday was humbling, but he was still excited to be paired with him.

“I’m glad they are out there leading the way,” Charron said of the high-rated pros.

Thursday and Friday morning the course buzz was how 880-rated Key beat his projected by 13 strokes on Thursday. Some felt Key’s rating was undervalued and Key admitted after Friday’s round that he probably is closer to a 900-rated player. However, ratings are something that’s out of his control.

“I’m not here to make any enemies,” he said.

Key has only played two PDGA tournaments in two years, which is not against the Performance Edition’s rules. The first, in Atlanta in 2010, he earned an 850-rating through the four-round tournament mostly because a shoulder injury dragged him down.
And, this year his only PDGA tournament came in the two-round Pot of Gold in New Orleans,
which happened to be a USDGC Performance Edition qualifier – something he didn’t realize until afterward. His shoulder back in form, he shot 978 and 902-rated rounds.

Coming into the final round it’s definitely safe to say that no lead is safe at the Performance Edition. Scores have see-sawed as many believed. It’s anyone’s guess who will remain on top. Will it be a lower rated player? Will Feldberg take his second Championship? Like the rest of the tournament, Saturday should be quite interesting.

North Carolina resident Kevin Tritten can’t wait. He said he’s “living the dream” right now since his 81 on Friday beat his projected by four strokes and subsequently leveled him out to even against his projected.
Learning to play, he’s looked up to the game’s stars like Ken Climo, Dave Feldberg, and others; and now it looks like he’ll get to play with Feldberg on the second card for the final round. It might be hard for Tritten to sleep tonight.

“It’s like getting drafted to play football with Brett Favre,” said 900-rated Tritten.

The round, though, was not without its casualties. Shooting near his projected for the Championship, Ken Climo bowed out early when a throwing arm muscle injury that prevented him from playing the Worlds flared back up. He said at his clinic later that evening that it was the first time he quit a tournament in 24 years.

1028-rated Jussi Meresmaa of Finland, played most of Friday’s round in pain after injuring his back when he drove over the lake on hole 5. Meresmaa, who was clearly in pain after the round, said he would not be able to finish the tournament.

2001 World Champion Cam Todd said after the round that he was debating playing on Friday because a staff infection had swollen his foot and made playing painful the day before. However he played through it again on Friday. You might think that would slow him down.

“Actually, I shot my best round. That’s what it takes sometimes,” said the 1018-rated Todd, who was tied for 16th after Friday.

It was tough to watch Todd limp away from the PDGA scoring trailer. Playing the final round will most likely be out of the question for Todd as well.

Despite the format change, spectators were still in supply. New disc golfers Cliff Asher and Bob MacEwan, both of Rock Hill, were catching some late morning action along hole 1 and they were impressed with what they saw. MacEwan, who used to play ball golf, recently got bit by the disc golf bug. The men said they’re not ready for Winthrop Gold, but maybe in future years they’ll see it at the Performance Edition.

883-rated John McGinley of New Jersey was ready for the Gold Course today. Shooting only one over his projected, McGinley made a vast improvement over his prior rounds when he shot 15 and 16 over his projected the first two rounds respectively.

“The nerves were over. It’s the third round,” said McGinley.

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