Two defending champions at elite Professional Disc Golf Association levels were deadlocked at the last hole of the fifth annual Santa Maria Open Sunday.
Reigning world champion Eric McCabe birdied hole No. 8 at Waller Park to edge defending USDGC champ Will Schusterick by a stroke. McCabe, with a 24-under-194 for the tournament, took home a $750 first prize as the Men’s Pro Division champion.
Schusterick shot a 195. Schusterick started the day a stroke ahead of Joe Rovere and two ahead of McCabe. McCabe shot a 10-under-par 72 at the par 82, 27-hole Waller Park course Sunday. That was good enough to win.
“I tried not to play against everybody else but just concentrate on playing the hole,” McCabe, who is from Emporia, Kan., said afterward.
“I found out on the last hole that Will and I were tied. The birdie was because of a combination of a good tee shot and a good putt. I made a 30-footer for the birdie.”
Rovere wound up fifth at 198. Ricky Wysocki was third at 196. Santa Marian Gabe Cota finished fourth at 197
Paige Pierce, after seeing a nine-stroke lead shrink to one Saturday, pulled away from runner-up Sarah Holcom Sunday to win the $260 first prize for the Pro Women’s Division. Pierce shot a 220. Holcom, of Charlotte, N.C., shot a 225.
“I was very happy with my first round. I hung on the last two rounds,” Pierce, a 20-year-old from Plano, Texas said with a smile after she won on the PDGA Tour for the seventh time this year.
Pierce shot a three-under-par 79, which included a hole-in-one, during the first round at Waller Park Friday. She shot a five-over-par at 18-hole Preisker Park Saturday after going triple bogey-triple bogey-bogey on holes 14, 15, 16 to give up eight strokes of a nine-stroke lead.
Pierce shot an 84 to Holcom’s 88 Sunday.
“I really liked both courses,” at the Santa Maria Open, she said afterward. “They’re my favorite courses in Cali.
“They’re beautiful, there are a lot of birdie chances on both, but they’re technical, too. I’ll definitely be back here next year.” This Santa Maria Open was Pierce’s first.
Pierce will also be at the Worlds Tournament, which takes place Aug. 9-13 in Santa Cruz. So will McCabe and Schusterick.
Cota started the day three strokes back of the lead. He made an early run, and word was he had moved into a tie for the lead then.
“I’m a little disappointed,” he said afterward. “I had a couple of mistakes.
“It was great to have these top guys come out. Great people, good golf.” Cota said he will play at the Worlds.
Erik Barker of San Luis Obispo battled Michael Betancourt and Kyle Troili of Santa Maria for the lead throughout the last day in the Advanced Amateur Division, the top amateur one. Barker finally edged Betancourt in a playoff. They both shot a 215 for the regulation 72 holes.
Troili led through the first two rounds. He settled for third place at 219.
“This was a great tournament,” Troili said. He added with a shrug and a smile, “That’s golf,” about losing the lead on the last day.
Aaron Hehe, a Cabrillo High School graduate who lives in Camarillo, finished fourth at 220.
Schusterick pronounced himself “disappointed,” with his tournament.
“I didn’t feel good about it at all,” Schusterick, who graduated from Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tenn., last year, said. “I feel I played just above mediocre. I had a lot of chances.”
Schusterick added, “I like the course. I didn’t care for the (Preisker Park) course (we played Saturday). There are a lot of people running around this course at times, which can be a bit distracting, but I like playing the course.”
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Posted in Recreation, Golf, Sports on Monday, August 1, 2011 12:00 am
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