Story credit – Matt Gregoire PDGA
Today could have been about how 94 degrees somehow felt like a nice, cool afternoon. Today could have been about a hot round that jumped someone to the chase or lead card. But, it wasn’t. By the time the Open division lead card was halfway through Round 2 of the 2017 Aussie Open, it was clear that something incredible was in the works. Ricky Wysocki and Eagle McMahon were on a rampage.
If you were following the live scoring with no outside knowledge of the course or the conditions, you’d probably think that the top players were taking on a fairly simple layout in perfect weather. What else can you assume when you see players at 12 under par for the round through the first 13 holes?
Well, as you know already, the weather has been pretty rough. In pictures, it looks perfect and sunny, but appearances are deceiving. Round 1 saw a high temperature of 104F (40C) and today wasn’t much better, peaking at 95F (35C) with 40% humidity. With this being a PDGA Major and a Disc Golf World Tour event, it goes without saying that the course is not going to be easy.
If the course was easy, would 3rd place in Open be 10 strokes off the lead? Would 6th place be 20 strokes off the lead? No. Mundaring DiscGolfPark is a par 65, 9875 foot (3010m) monster with miles of out-of-bounds lines, tight tunnel shots, and dangerous greens that are also surrounded by OB. There’s nothing easy about it. There are only a handful of courses on the planet that would have slowed the pace of Ricky and Eagle this afternoon.
Video: Eagle McMahon plays the aggressive skip to secure his birdie putt on hole 13. Find more videos like this here!
It was clear that they were feeding off each other. Neither of them wanted to be the first to lose a stroke to the other, and neither of them did for nearly two hours. After already starting at a ridiculous six under par through the first seven holes, Ricky and Eagle went birdie for birdie for the next 10 in a row. The chaos finally came to an end after Eagle chained out his birdie putt from 20 feet (6.1m) on hole 18 after watching Ricky hit his from 25 feet (7.6m).
Video: Ricky Wysocki nearly aces hole 17. Find more videos like this here!
The previous course record of 52 (-13) thrown by Simon Lizotte and Paul McBeth during Round 3 of the 2015 Aussie Open was obliterated twice in the same round. Unofficially rated at 1102 and 1094, it may just be the two highest ratings ever thrown during a single round in a PDGA Major.
The round was full of highlights, many of which can be seen in the at our live scoring page, including Paul McBeth’s eagle on the 1230 foot (375m) par 5, hole 16 with two air shots and a 40 foot (12m) putt.
Video: Paul McBeth’s hits an Eagle on the 375-meter Par 5 hole 16. Find more videos like this here!
Heading into Round 3, Eagle still leads the pack, three ahead of Ricky and now 10 ahead of Paul, with Japan’s Manabu Kajiyama rounding out the lead card, 13 off the lead.
Paige Pierce on Pace for Disc Golf History
The women’s division saw little to no movement in the rankings outside of a switch in places between Kristina Bair and German Christine Hellstern in which Christine moved into 5th and Kristina dropped to 6th. Paige Pierce began the day with a lead of six and after a strong finish that included three birdies in the last four holes, her lead has now doubled to 12.
The 2017 Aussie Open is the first USDGC qualifier of the year, with 10 spots up for grabs. Spots are awarded to the 10 best overall scores at the end of the tournament, regardless of division, as all divisions are playing the same layout. With two rounds to go, Paige is currently sitting in a tie for the 9th best overall score with Finland’s Luukas Rokkanen. Her first round of three under par (62), unofficially rated at 1003, and her second round of one under par (64), unofficially rated at 981, have put her in contention. We wish her the best of luck as she continues down a path towards history, as no woman has ever qualified for the USDGC based on overall score at a qualifying event.
The real battle in the Open Women’s division at this point is for 2nd place. Three women are all within striking range of each other, and, with 36 more holes left to play, anything can happen. Madison Walker, Jennifer Allen, and Des Reading all finished with the same score of five over par (70) this afternoon, with only four strokes separating Madison’s 2nd place position from Des’s 4th.
Coming off an impressive 2016 in which she finished 2nd overall in the PDGA National Tour points, Madison continues to improve at a rapid pace. Known as a predominantly forehand player both off the tee and in the fairway, watching her crush backhand drives has been a well-received surprise both by her fans and fellow competitors alike.
Recap on the Opening Day Action!
Video: Manabu Kajiyama makes the birdie on hole 7 look easy. Find more videos like this here.
During the opening round of the event round, our social media team was following mostly the feature card on the course. As a result, you can find a lot of photo updates, as well as hole-specific play-by-play videos on our instagram account. Make sure to check them out here!
We also have The SpinTV production crew piecing together play-by-play tournament coverage videos from the feature card’s first round. While you wait for that, check out our daily facebook live report from right after the round, with interviews of Madison Walker, Eagle McMahon and Ricky Wysocki.
Make sure to check out also our tournament coverage video from the Front 9 of round one here. The Back 9 can be found here.
Scores and Stats
We also highly recommend checking out the leaderboard and Metrix and course stats from the 2nd round. The new feature we added last year, player- and hole-specific instagram videos on the scoring interface, is in place here at the Aussie Open too, so make sure to check those out by clicking the tiny red arrows where available.
The majority of the Metrix stats are available for registered users only, so make sure to register here if you haven’t already! And if you’re in luck, registering may pay off in a big way, as we’re raffling a $100 Discmania prize package among our followers after the event.
The round scores of FPO, MPM and MA1 divisions can be found over at PDGA.com. Find the results page with preliminary round ratings here!
There’s still plenty of action to come, so make sure to check back tomorrow for moving day action from the 2017 Aussie Open!
Story: Marty Gregwah & DGWT Staff