Weekly A-Tier Recap: McBeth wins again, Procter takes a big victory

Coming off of the exciting finish to last week’s national tour event, the 2015 Beaver State Fling, many top disc golfers took the weekend to travel back home and prepare for the long road trip out to Leicester, MA for the Maple Hill Open. While some disc golfers are content to take a break for the weekend and get their minds and bodies ready for another national tour battle, many pros still took to the course for some big A-tiers. This week, we’ll take a look at another Paul McBeth victory – this time at the Kansas City Wide Open in Missouri – and James Procter’s win at King of the Lake at Lake Tahoe in California.

McMahon comes up short and McBeth takes another A-tier win

Paul McBeth’s performance over the last few years has been pretty spectacular. Three world championships is something only two other disc golfers have accomplished, and win three in a row is nothing short of domination. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Paul McBeth was really good. In 2015, Paul McBeth has been on another level. Each and every weekend, he makes us revisit the question of whether or not he is the best of all time. There are arguments either way, but there’s one thing we know for sure – we’re writing about a McBeth victory just about every week this season. Let’s see how it happened at the KCWO.

In the first round, McBeth came out strong. His 1071-rated 45 blew away most of the field, but Gregg Barsby was able to keep pace, tying the three-time world champion for the hot round. The majority of the 80-man field fell behind, shooting 50 or worse, but the young gun we met at the Glass Blown Open, Eagle McMahon was able to stay within 4 strokes with a 1033-rated 49. Many other pros were clustered in the top 10, but it seemed like the makings of a secluded race at the top.

In the second round, McBeth slipped in rating, shooting a 1046-rated 47. However, it was still good for the hot round in a tie with Eagle and Zack Johnson. Eagle wasn’t able to gain any ground on McBeth, but Barsby only shot a 49, putting Eagle and Barsby in a tie for second just four strokes behind McBeth. With two rounds left and a final 9, there was still plenty of golf left. But do you really want to give McBeth such a cushion?

Rounds 3 and 4 were all about consistency for McBeth. He tied the hot round again with another 1046-rated round (this time a 55), but Barsby kept pace and McMahon was just one off heading into round 4. McBeth failed to shoot the hot round for the first time, but Zack Johnson’s 51 only picked up 3 strokes and still found himself 10 back. Johnson earned his spot in the final 9, but it was going to be just about impossible to catch McBeth. McMahon and Barsby switched places from round 3 and each went into the final 9 still down by 4 strokes.

The final 9 was McMahon’s time to shine. With Johnson so far behind and Barsby struggling, shooting a 979-rated 32, it was really just Eagle vs. Paul. For the second time this season, McMahon found himself with a chance to make a huge splash. After a back-and-forth battle on holes 1 through 3, McBeth took a 5 stroke lead with just 6 holes to go. It seemed like the event was all over, but McMahon had one final surge left in him. After birdying 3 of the next 4 holes, McMahon was down by just 2 strokes with 2 holes to go. The spotlight was bright, but in the end the final 2 holes were a wash and McBeth held on for yet another victory.

What more can we say? McBeth can beat you in any way imaginable, and it’s going to take some serious consistency and low scoring to dethrone him in 2015. If you want to check out the action, head over to the Kansas City Wide Open website for on-demand live coverage.

James Procter edges out Nikko Locastro to win the King of the Lake

Five courses. Five rounds. One king of the lake. This event is nearly as long and varied as the PDGA World Championships, so it was going to take some consistently high-level disc golf to take the crown. Even though there was some strong NorCal competition from Jere Eshelman, David Madrigal, Christopher Watson and others, James Procter and Nikko Locastro slowly separated themselves from the pack through the first three rounds.

The fourth round was where things got a bit dicey. After playing within 1 stroke of each other in the first three rounds, Nikko Locastro landed himself ones stroke behind one of the top college players in the country. Heading into the fourth round, it was shaping up to be a close battle. Until they played the round, that is.

Even though Nikko has been quietly putting together a solid 2015 season, it seems that in every tournament, he has one uncharacteristic round. He’s taken some wins, but the bigger events have alluded him thus far. After three rounds at Lake Tahoe, Locastro hit a snag. While Procter blew the doors off the competition with a 1063-rated 42, Locastro shot a 994-rated 48. The ill-timed struggle put him 7 strokes out of the lead and seemed to all but lock up the event for Procter.

Procter struggled a bit himself in the final round. His 1007-rated 53 cracked the door for Locastro and others, but in the end his lead was just too much. Even though Locastro shot a 1035-rated 50 and Jere Eshelman threw a 1044-rated 49, Procter was still able to take the victory by 4 and 8 strokes, respectively. For three rounds, this was a tight race, but Procter really set himself up nicely with a solid fourth round and was able to claim the crown at this A-tier.

Looking ahead

Oh what an exciting week we have coming up. Wednesday marks the start of the Maple Hill Open festivities with the 5 spots qualifier and the Champion Skins match. The actual tournament will be played from Thursday to Sunday, one round on Maple Golds each day. Luckily for disc golf fans everywhere, SmashboxxTV will be on hand with live coverage every day. Will McBeth claim another NT win? Or will one of the pros who have come so close be able to unseat McBeast? We’ll see this week.

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