Drew Gibson Takes Home LVC Title in Thrilling Fashion at 1st Stop of 2022 Disc Golf Pro Tour
The disc golf season is officially underway, and fans were treated to a thrilling first stop on the Disc Golf Pro Tour over the past weekend.
The four-round Las Vegas Challenge kicked off the 2022 season with some surprising faces scattering the top 10.
Chris Dickerson came out of the gate with a blistering 11 down in the first round and was joined on the lead card by, unsurprisingly, Eagle McMahon, as well as Seppo Paju and 16-year-old Gannon Buhr.
It was Buhr who then took the tournament by storm, looking to show the disc golf world that not only will he be a household name down the road, but that he already is one.
After shooting 10-under par on the Infinite Course on Thursday, the Iowa native followed it up with a 9-under performance on Friday at the Innova Course.
Rather than fall apart under the pressure, Buhr continued to shine, and went into Sunday with a four-stroke lead over Tristan Tanner and a three-stroke lead over McMahon and Drew Gibson, but Sunday is where the battle began.
The top-40 players that made the cut went back to the Innova Course to play it for the second time on the weekend — the Innova Course is the only one played twice during the four-day stretch.
A slow start from McMahon, coupled with Tanner being slightly behind the eight-ball, to begin with, essentially turned the tournament into a two-horse race for first place between Buhr and Gibson.
Buhr got off to a bit of a sluggish start himself, only two down through the first five holes, which allowed Gibson to come back and tie the tournament up after birdying the first seven holes.
However, Buhr’s eagle on the seventh was enough to grab a one-stroke lead, which he eventually ballooned up to three at the 15th.
Gibson wouldn’t go away, though, birdying hole after hole and cutting the lead to just one going into the final hole.
All Buhr needed to do was successfully execute a roughly 250-foot upshot, after landing a perfect drive in the center of the fairway, and he’d be the first winner on the Pro Tour this season.
However, his approach slid long and barely nestled itself out of bounds, and Gibson converted the birdie to force a playoff at the Las Vegas Challenge.
After each birdying the first three holes, Buhr threw out of bounds on the uber-eagleable Hole 7, and Gibson followed with a layup, clearly playing for birdie.
After Gibson pitched up to around 20 feet, Buhr was left with a tester putt from just inside the circle and nailed the band, allowing Gibson to convert and win the tournament.
Buhr had putted phenomenally all weekend, and was even hitting Circle 2 putts at a 50% clip going into the final round, but two untimely out-of-bounds strokes cost Buhr the trophy at the end of the day.
For Gibson, he gets his year off to as strong of a start as you could hope for, after finishing last year with a strong showing at both USDGC and the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championships.
The Pro Tour takes a brief, week-long pause before getting back underway with the WACO Annual Charity Open on March 11 in Waco, Texas, an event that was won last year by Nikko Locastro.
Zech Lambert is a fourth-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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