McBeth Making a Case for Grand Slam

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When the Japan Open was revived in 2002, it was recognized as a major, and was next classified as a major in 2006 along with the European Open. Since then, these two events have been recurring majors, but only every other year (the Japan Open will be returning next year after being canceled in 2012). The Players Cup in Florida is no longer a major while European events like the Stockholm Open, Copenhagen Open, and Scandinavian Open have popped up as majors temporarily. All of this, plus the fact that in 2009 and 2012 there were only three majors, has made the idea of an official disc golf Grand Slam somewhat murky.

If McBeth were to win the USDGC, his achievement as of now would only be referred to as sweeping the 2013 Open majors, according to PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham “The PDGA and the sport of disc golf does not officially have a ‘Grand Slam’ so I am hesitant to use that term until such time that we define what our Grand Slam actually is,” wrote Graham in an email.

However, Graham doesn’t want to downplay the magnitude of the achievement if McBeth executes that sweep. “It would be monumental. Not since Ken Climo in his prime will we have seen a player so dominate the sport,” wrote Graham. “Add to that the fact that Paul also won the National Tour Elite Series and you will realize what a special year it would be.”

By traditional standards, a disc golf Grand Slam is unclear at best, but disc golf is continually forming its identity. Who’s to say how sweeping disc golf’s majors will be seen in the future. Looking back at traditional golf when Bobby Jones completed the sport’s only Grand Slam in 1930, he did it by winning two amateur events that are no longer included in a modern day slam.

McBeth’s play this year may have pushed the PDGA to begin settling the Grand Slam issue. Graham, who is in favor of forming an official Grand Slam or Triple Crown, said the PDGA Board will be discussing majors at their late September summit, but he could not say how soon any action towards an official Grand Slam would take place. “… But I don’t think we’re a long way off,” he added. “Now that we have television (Beach Sports Network) coverage of our events, the timing could not be better to define and promote a grand slam for our sport,” wrote Graham.

No doubt McBeth has come as close as anyone to realizing such a feat. Before now the closest to come have been Climo, Schultz, David Feldberg, and Will Schusterick with two majors in a year. One has to wonder, though, how many more majors Climo and Schultz would’ve won if more were offered earlier.

No matter the year, winning four majors with so much competition is hard for most to comprehend. McBeth doesn’t let the task’s difficulty bother him, but instead spur him on. “That just makes it that much more of a goal,” said McBeth, living in Clearwater, Fla.

McBeth’s attempt at a Grand Slam or major sweep, or whatever it’s referred to as should make for some must watch USDGC disc golf. For McBeth, after achieving most of his season’s goals already, it’s just the next thing on the list. “That’s all I really have to look forward to now so that’s where all of my focus is going toward.” said McBeth.
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[youtube: 420 260] SpinTV Published on May 7, 2013