James Conrad Wins 2019 USDGC

After three days of intense South Carolina heat and fierce competition in the Winthop arena, there was a change in the air going into the final round of the 2019 United States Disc Golf Championship. The temperature was cool, spectators were everywhere, and after three rounds of consistent play, James Conrad joined the top card with a two-stroke lead over the field.

The athlete storylines this USDGC seemed improbable—Nikko Locastro’s hole 13 albatross, Paul McBeth’s absence from contention, Eagle McMahon’s hand injury. One thing was not… James’ consistent play. He shot a combined -3 on the new holes, 3 and 4, for the week and only twice carded a score greater than bogey. The drama was high going into hole 17. James missed the island once. Then again. The gallery held its collective breath on his third attempt until a roar emerged as his disc fell safely on the green. He carded his worst score on the penultimate hole, a quadruple bogey.

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The par four hole 18 was more challenging this year with a tighter fairway off the tee. James carded a double-bogey, his second worst score of the event, during round one. If James could card a par, The Championship was his. His drive landed center cut fairway and his upshot was atop the hill, 75 feet away from the basket. The gallery was silent until James calmly dropped his approach shot within 20 feet. The cheers began popping off as the other players tapped in and James approached his putt. Staring straight into the chains with Winthrop Lake directly behind, James lined up his putt and sent his JC Aviar sailing true as it landed softly in the basket. James Conrad became the 2019 United States Disc Golf Champion. His arms reached for the sky, champagne erupted and friends smothered him.

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