By Jerry Roth
One thing is a definite; Josh Anthon played extraordinary disc golf on the first day of the Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft. With all the top players that have joined the Ledgestone this year it was no small feat that Josh Anthon could capture the leaderboard as he had the first round. Josh played nothing less than flawless golf and he was rewarded with a score of -12 but could he hold onto that lead with perennial powerhouses like Paul Ulibarri (-10), Ricky Wysocki (-9), and Gregg Barsby (-8) breathing down his neck?
During round one, Paul McBeth didn’t get as many putts to fall as he would have liked but at the start of round two, he lit the course on fire. Paul birdied the first four holes in a row and left no doubt that he wanted to climb to the top of the leaderboard. Just as Paul would get a great run of holes, he would soon stumble with a bogey. These moments were not detrimental to a player like Paul McBeth but they slowed ascent to the top. With a solid round, Paul finished with a -11 in fourth place tied with Gregg Barsby.
Paul Ulibarri had been red-hot as of late and he played well today with the exception of a time to time angle problem with a few up shot, one in particular landing out of bounds. These moments might not be anything more than a momentary loss of focus. Different times during his round he seemed to misread the wind on even short putts. With the level of competition this year small mistakes might mean the difference between a win and a loss. Fortunately for Paul, he quickly made the adjustment to his game before the holes could run out, he ended the day with -12 in third place.
Who can argue the excitement that is the renaissance of Gregg Barsby? He’s a throw-back to the golden age of disc golf, often taking those more classic lines to the basket instead of the modern day hyzer bombs that the younger players are so apt to execute. Gregg had a more balanced round than he did the day before and his experience gauging the wind showed as other players misjudged their plastic and found the out of bounds, Gregg kept his discs straight and steady. Gregg Finished the day with -11 tied with Paul McBeth.
Josh Anthon seemed to have all the tools that one man could possess as he started the second day as the leader. The thing that stood out was his command of his discs, turning, flexing, and manipulating them in the wind like a master. Of course there were times where he bit off more than he could chew and ended up out of bounds, but it is his aggressive play that looks simple and almost conservative when compared to other players. It also helped that Josh is one of the best putters in the world. His ability to hit putts at different distances and conditions helped to keep him pushing his opponents into playing a bit more risky. His circle 1 putting rate was 95% and his circle 2 rate is quite low because he was never too far from the basket.
Ricky Wysocki continues his amazing putting that seems to allow almost any mistake as his putt tends to save the day! His circle 1 was 100% and his circle 2 got as high as 60%. Except for some unfortunate kicks out of bounds, he has played very aggressive and very sharp game of disc golf. Ricky kept pace with the leader finishing his round with a -13 and in second place.
Some great rounds of note today were Dustin Keegan moving up 45 spots, Peter McBride moving up 31 spots, David Feldberg moving up 48 spots, Drew Gibson moving up 33 spots, and Cale Leiviska moving up 17 spots on the day. The hot round of the day belonged to Collin Bailey with a -6.
Early on, the leaderboard got very crowded as Ricky, Gregg, Paul M, and Paul U. shared second place with a -10. The action couldn’t have been better as the players fought for any separation they could find. Paul McBeth made a tremendous run from the chase card quickly knocking out the small gap that was the barrier between the lead card and his own. The final stretch was a Ricky-Anthon show reminiscent of their final showdown in the Utah Open that Ricky enjoyed a walk off ace. After a long battle today Anthon kept his lead ending his round with -17 and outright leader for the tournament.
The feature card for round three, moving day, at the 2017 Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft will be Josh Anthon -17, Ricky Wysocki -13, Paul Ulibarri -12, and Paul McBeth -11. The scores during round two were back and forth most of the day. With competition like this, round three might be the most important of the tournament. Stay tuned for round three coverage, both Saturday and Sunday. And as always check out Lisopen.com for more information as well as daily recaps.