Locastro Edges Leiviska in WACO, Second Stop of 2021 Disc Golf Pro Tour
After an opening weekend of the Disc Golf Pro Tour featured star-studded lead cards, stop number two’s lead card featured some unfamiliar faces.
From 15-year-old Gannon Buhr to seasoned vets like Bradley Williams, Cale Leiviska and Nikko Locastro, fans got to see players that don’t traditionally grace the top of the field. But the performances these players put on at the Waco Annual Charity Open put on were still sights to behold.
Windy conditions at Brazos Park East — commonly referred to as the bEast — made for tough scoring in the first two rounds, but St. Louis native Locastro held a slim lead heading into the third and final round.
Locastro was only one stroke ahead of young gun Gavin Rathbun as well as Williams, but Locastro took advantage of the calm weather and torched the first seven holes, making birdie on all seven of them to get to 25-under and a six-stroke lead.
After the blazing start, though, the wheels began to fall off for Locastro while Leiviska began to hit his stride.
Leiviska birdied holes four through eight while Locastro tumbled following his birdie on seven.
Locastro went on an eight-hole stretch in which he shot one over with no birdies, and by the 16th hole, the lead had shrunk to one stroke.
Both players carded a birdie on hole 16, and with only two holes left, Locastro sat at -25 with Leiviska right on his tail at -24.
The drama picked up when the Westside Disc representative Locastro found himself 77 feet away from the pin when shooting for birdie while Leiviska sat on the edge of circle one.
While it looked like it was shaping up to be a tied-up match heading into the final hole of the tournament, Locastro reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out his most overstable putter.
Starting it on anhyzer, he threw a step putt that splashed into the chains for the three, much to the excitement of Locastro who turned to the cameras and let out a shout of joy, knowing he was just one hole away from victory.
After sinking his birdie putt as well, Leiviska was left with no choice but to throw over the pond and try to birdie the 468-foot final hole, while Locastro played the safe route for par.
Amid his best efforts, Leiviska went out of bounds long, and Locastro laid up for par, sealing his victory on the Pro Tour’s second stop of the season.
The two friends embraced after they tapped out on the final hole with Leiviska taking second, only beating out Williams by one stroke after taking a double bogey on the last hole because of his aggressive play.
Locastro’s previous Pro Tour win came last season on a course in Minnesota that Leiviska designed.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour will take a roughly month-long break before returning April 16 for the Jonesboro Open in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Despite the break, many players will still be in action in Silver Series events, such as the upcoming event The Open at Belton, which takes place in Belton, Texas during the weekend of March 19-21.
Zech Lambert is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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