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McBeth’s 52 a New Record
Winthrop Gold has a new course record after back-to-back World Champion Paul McBeth dismantled one of the world’s most demanding venues with a 52 (-15) during the final round of the USDGC.
After three rounds below his standards, McBeth, 23, of Clearwater, Fla., decided to go for broke the final round. Although he did not collect disc golf’s first Grand Slam, he did take home Winthrop’s lowest score ever.
“It feels good. Honestly, I would have much rather have won the tournament, but it’s a nice little treat to get out of it,” said McBeth, who finished tied for 8th at (-25).
Looking at McBeth’s scorecard it’s as if he was playing a pitch and putt course instead of the treacherous Winthrop Gold. When it was all over McBeth had accumulated 11 birdies, 2 eagles, and managed par on only five holes.
Before Saturday, California’s Josh Anthon, 2-time US Champion Will Schusterick, 2013 US Champion Steve Brinster, and Finland’s Jussi Meresmaa all shared the course record at 53.
McBeth’s game plan early in the week called for getting his birdies early then playing Winthrop’s back nine relatively safely. His first two rounds of a 62 (-5) kept him in the tournament, but left many wondering when McBeast would show up. Then he shot a 67 (even) on Friday, which prompted McBeth to abandon his earlier strategy and go after the course on Saturday.
“I was actually shooting good all week. The finishing holes were what got me,” said McBeth of the first three rounds.
Feeling disappointed in his leaderboard position, McBeth knew he could move up with a big final round and with so many more USDGC’s ahead of him, he wanted to prove to himself he could do it.
Making birdie on the first three holes, McBeth had to sink a 45-foot putt to save par on Hole 4. He then set his sights on the 1,053-foot hole 5 and like every round prior he threw a roller off the tee, but this time “… I really cranked my roller,” said McBeth.
A bomb over the lake for his second shot gave him a 55-foot jump putt for eagle, which he hit, making him the only one to eagle the hole all week. McBeast Mode, activated.
“It felt good. Once I made that, it made up for that par on Hole 4, and I was five under for five holes,” said McBeth.
Once he reached the back of the course, instead on dialing back he pushed forward. For the fourth time in a row he eagled Hole 10, then a foot slip on his second shot on Hole 13 prevented him from a closer eagle putt on Hole 13. He ended up short for his eagle, but he still scored his first birdie on ‘888’ for the tournament.
After going double bogey, bogey, triple bogey on Hole 18, McBeth changed his landing zone for the final round to the bottom left side of the fairway, which gave him level footing for his approach and a nice hyzer line to the green. He made birdie for the first time all week and as he stepped off the course he knew he’d taken the course record.
McBeth is starting to gain the reputation as Mr. Final Round after historic finishing rounds at the Memorial Championship (1132 rated), the Vibram Open (1121 rated) and now the USDGC (1094 unofficially rated). McBeth says having more on the line makes the round more enjoyable.
Of his big rounds this year he rated the Vibram as his biggest mistake free round, the Memorial was his biggest comeback round, and the USDGC was his biggest round he still managed with the most mistakes.
“I missed quite a few putts that final round,” said McBeth.
This offseason McBeth will be doing more than just enjoying his remarkable season. He said he wants to get better so he can generate more 1100 rated rounds throughout the tournaments, not just the final round.