McBeth rumbles to another win, Ulibarri and Allen victorious in New Mexico

We’re starting to gear up for a massive national tour event, the Glass Blown Open. With some of the biggest fields we’ve seen in disc golf history, payouts are big and the competition will be intense. Disc golfers of all skill levels took to various A-tiers this past weekend to prepare themselves for the Kansas battle that they’re soon to take part in. While Paul McBeth battled Gregg Barsby for another win, Paul Ulibarri defeated Dave Feldberg in dramatic fashion. Paige Pierce was also in action again, but her magic run of 8 straight wins was finally ended by long-time rival, Catrina Allen.

Paul McBeth runs away with The Rumble

If ever there were an event built for Paul McBeth’s strong suits in disc golf, this might be it. Not that there are really any events that give him trouble, but consistency is definitely one thing that we constantly praise when McBeth wins. The 15th annual Rumble consisted of three 24-hole rounds on three different courses in the Quad Cities. The pros started at Camden Park in Milan, IL, spent the second day at Middle Park in Bettendorf, IA, and finished the tournament at West Lake County Park in Davenport, IA.

As is so often the case, McBeth started off hot. His first round 65 was good enough for a 1045 rating, and put him in a tie for first heading into the second round. Joining him were local pro Benjamin Callaway and Gregg Barsby. We’ve seen Barsby rising to the top early this season in various A-tiers and the Memorial Championship, but he hasn’t been able to best McBeth. After the first round, he was in position to give him another run for first.

Paul McBeth doesn’t tend to make it easy to stay atop the leaderboard with him. After an impressive first round, McBeth upped the ante at Middle Park on day two. In a word, McBeth dominated at Middle Park. His 1079-rated 63 blew the rest of the field away. Alex Geisinger’s 67 and Nate Sexton’s 68 were as close as the 39 player field could get. Barsby faltered in the second round, falling 11 strokes behind McBeth and seemingly falling out of contention. Geisinger and Sexton were both able to leap over Barsby on the leaderboard, but not by much.

The second round is really what won the tournament for McBeth. You don’t become a three-time defending world champion by having such big swings in scores. When the pros took to West Lake County Park, McBeth had a lot of room to work with. His 1036-rated 72 wasn’t quite up to par with his other rounds, but Barsby was only able to pick up 2 strokes as the rest of the field faltered a bit. Barsby was able to battle back and take second place, but ultimately McBeth won the tournament by 9. Rounding out the top 5 were Geisinger, Sexton and Callaway. McBeth has been rolling through A-tiers since his playoff loss at the Memorial. We’ll see if his momentum continues heading into the Glass Blown Open.

Paul Ulibarri ties the course record, beats Dave Feldberg in a playoff at the Pendaries Village Open

While McBeth was busy dominating in the Midwest, Arizona natives Paul Ulibarri and Dave Feldberg took their talents to New Mexico for the Pendaries Village Open. Drew Gibson and Patrick Blazek put up fights in the first two rounds, but it was Ulibarri and Feldberg putting on a show when it came to the end. Gibson and Blazek tied for third at 13-under par, winning $755 each, but the real action came down to the wire.

Through two rounds, Feldberg seemed to be in control as he has been at so many events throughout his career. He took a three stroke lead over Ulibarri in round one after shooting the hot round of 1037-rated 55. Round two was more of the same as he took another two strokes over Ulibarri, giving him a five stroke lead heading into the third and final round. With a player of Feldberg’s caliber, you definitely don’t want to give him such a large lead heading into a final round.

Feldberg went out and replicated his first round, shooting another 55. The way the scores look for the rest of the event, you would think it would have been plenty to take the victory for the weekend. That is, if Paul Ulibarri hadn’t absolutely destroyed the course. In the third round, Paul Ulibarri tied the course record with a 1069-rated 50. He had the lead on the last hole, but Feldberg wouldn’t be denied. Just like last year at the Rochester Flying Disc Open, Feldberg nailed a huge putt to force a playoff. However, it just wasn’t enough as Paul Ulibarri went on to win the playoff and take the $1,730 top prize.

Catrina Allen ends Paige Pierce’s win streak

If you’ve been following our recap articles or the PDGA tour in general, you know that Paige Pierce has been absolutely killing it. Heading into this weekend’s Pendaries Village Open, Pierce had won all eight of the PDGA sanctioned events she had played in 2015. In New Mexico, Catrina Allen went out to end the streak.

In 2014, we saw Allen and Pierce battle back and forth at just about every tournament. This year has been a bit lopsided, but the Pendaries Village Open may mark the turnaround. Allen threw two near-1000 rated rounds in round one and round two, which gave her just a three stroke lead heading into the final round.

We’ve seen massive lead shifts in the women’s division in the past, but Pierce just wasn’t able to crawl back to the top. She was able to pick one stroke back up, but in the end Allen was able to take a wire-to-wire victory by two strokes, ending Pierce’s 2015 undefeated run. We’ll see how these two compete this week at the Glass Blown Open now that Catrina Allen has the momentum.

Looking ahead

On Thursday, April 30, the disc golf world is taking over Emporia, Kansas. The Glass Blown Open begins this Thursday and the action is sure to be intense. There are over 900 players attending the 2015 GBO in all different divisions. Specifically, about 100 MPO players will take to the courses and nearly 20 FPO players will attend. The competition is going to be tight, and we’ll be here to recap it every step of the way.

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