No seven this time.This time, Paul landed safely in-bounds and in a moment of relief remarked, “No seven this time”. However, the relief was short lived as the long putt from McBeth slid across the top of the DISCatcher, skipping OB. Wysocki’s putt for birdie fell low, but a drop in par still gave him a stroke on McBeth.With only three holes remaining, Paul was now one stroke behind. Hole 7 of the Final 9 layout is a Par 4 (Blue Lake 13 Long). Wysocki had the box, but threw his side arm uncharacteristically high resulting in an OB. McBeast attacked the opportunity, throwing a shot that put him dead center of the fairway. Wysocki’s approach landed short, skipping OB once more. Paul capitalized with a birdie, while Ricky sank a 50 foot putt to save bogey. The scores swung again, and for the first time in the entire tournament, Paul had the lead all to himself, with only two holes to go. McBeth teed off first on the next hole, a 930 foot, par 5 with two large OB islands in the fairway. Paul’s drive floated to the left early, landing him inches from the OB line. McBeth needed another long drive to reach the target from his lie. It skipped a bit long leaving him with a tough shot from behind a tree. Wysocki’s drive was perfect and his second shot made it safely over the OB islands to put him in striking distance. Ricky made the 75 foot putt for an eagle 3, while McBeth settled for a birdie. Paul and Ricky were tied going into the last hole. Hole 9 of the Finals was an 750 foot dogleg left with a low canopy guardian tree after the turn. Both Paul and Ricky had good drives leaving them with pretty standard approaches and short putts to finish the round with birdies. Sudden. Death. World. Championships. Few things in the sports world are as exciting as this. Ricky’s sidearm drive on the first tee hit a tree down the fairway. Paul opted for the roller, which pulled right again, coming inches from the OB line. From a knee, Ricky’s sidearm upshot skipped right under the target. McBeast wanted the win here. He lined up for the 75′ putt and nicked the left rim. Both players cleaned up, still tied. On Hole 2, Ricky’s drive skipped up under the DISCatcher while Paul’s ace run drive landed a little long. Paul would have to make a 30 foot putt to match Ricky’s drop-in. Undaunted, McBeast lined up and drained it, erupting a gallery of cheers. Neither player showed any signs of letting up, matching drives, approaches and monster putts for the next two holes. On playoff Hole 5 (Blue Lake Hole 7 Long), both players had good tee shots, but Ricky ended up a bit left and had a tough lie with a couple trees guarding the forehand route. He opted to throw forehand and hit a tree only 25 feet away. Ricky’s third shot was on point, allowing for a clean approach to the hill with target a top. McBeth weaved a Roc3 through the low canopy leaving him with a slight anhyzer approach. McBeast pulled out a Nova, set the line, and watched it glide to the pin, hitting the face of the mound and rolling down a couple feet. Ricky gave his approach a chance, only to result in a near identical roll to the bottom of the mound. Ricky cleaned up giving McBeth the chance for the win. Paul approached his lie, undoubtedly feeling the most pressure he’d experienced on a single putt, and nailed it dead center capturing his third Open Disc Golf World Championships and 3peat. Paul joins Ken Climo as the only other player in history to 3peat the World Championships. Portland was a great host city with excellent courses and friendly hosts. Portland will be remembered fondly for having one of the most exciting finishes in disc golf history. Congratulations to Paul and Ricky for their excellent play and their display of true sportsmanship under pressure. Congratulations to all the competitors
The final rounds of the 2014 PDGA World Championships were perhaps the most exciting ever played in Disc Golf history. Throughout the week, Paul McBeth played consistently well, carding scores of 52, 54, 52, 53, 50, and 56 on the first 6 rounds respectively. The other top finishers, Paul Ulibarri, Ricky Wysocki, and Nate Doss were all playing great as well. While McBeth never held the lead, he did manage to stay a handful of strokes behind Ulibarri and Wysocki who traded the lead several times during the week. The semi-finals were full of excitement. With only 27 holes left in the tournament, it was time to go big or go home. Ulibarri and Doss struggled early, but then came Hole 8. Hole 8 plays to an island green across a small ravine and the fairway is lined with OB left and right. Doss, Ulibarri, and Wysocki all landed safely in bounds on the green. McBeth was not so lucky. Paul threw OB twice off the tee before landing safe. Paul carded a quadruple bogey, 7, while everyone else birdied. The 5 stroke swing put McBeth 7 strokes from the lead with only 19 holes left. Many thought Paul’s chances of a three-peat were slim at this point. McBeth showed true determination and wasted no time in picking up birdies. However, it wasn’t until the last three holes of the semi-finals that McBeth truly gained momentum. Paul put together an impressive string of seven birdies to finish the round (-10) at -65, while the leader, Wysocki, shot two pars and a bogey on the last three holes. McBeth was now only two strokes back going into the Final 9. The Final 9 was played from the long tees at Blue Lake on Holes 1,2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15. In the Finals, McBeth quickly picked up one stroke on the first hole. After the third hole, McBeth was tied for the lead. By the fifth hole, McBeth was -4 for the round. A low rumbling was heard from the spectators as the group approached the same hole where Paul carded the 7 in the semi-finals.