Friday was the final day of regulation disc golf in the 2011 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships, and the competition was by far its toughest yet.
Local disc golfers hold the top positions in the Men's and Women's Open Divisions, as well as the Master's Division (ages 49-59).
Capitola resident Nate Doss extended his lead in the Men's Open Division at Pinto Friday, ending the round with a tremendous 49 under par. Local Valarie Jenkins holds a two stroke advantage over Paige Pierce in the Women's Division and Johnathon Baldwin is five strokes ahead of the pack in the Masters Division.
Will Schusterick sunk a hole-in-one Friday at Pinto Lake, a skip-ace bent around a dog leg curve, a feat which helped him enter the semi-finals in second place, a mere five strokes behind point leader Nate Doss.
“I had no idea it would happen, and I'm really glad it did," said Schusterick. "It was going way too fast to land near the basket if it had missed.”
While Schusterick estimates this to be his twentieth ace, it is only his second ace made during a tournament.
The competition for first place in a competition like this boils down to a race to be the furthest under par, and while Schusterick's hole-in-one was a tremendous show of skill and luck, it was not enough to catch the level headed consistency of Nate Doss.
Doss himself had a few rough shots at Pinto Friday, however. Early in the round he landed his disc in a tree and earned a penalty stroke. But his calm demeanor and persistent skill pulled through in the end.
“I told myself, 'look, stay calm.' That was the turning point in the game for me,” Doss said after his round Friday.
While regulation disc golf has ended and many skilled disc golfers have found themselves eliminated and are on their way home, there still is a lot of golf to be played for those who made the cut to the semi-finals and will contend for the title of disc golf's World Champion. They will not be able to relax their game for even a moment if they expect to take home the victory from a field of such heavy competition.
The World Champion will be decided in Saturday's final round at Watsonvilles Pinto Lake, broadcast at noon here: http://discgolfplanet.tv/our-discgolfplanet-tv-portal
For Tee times and official scores, see the PDGA event website