Paul McBeth Cruises to Victory at WACO Annual Charity Open
One of the most intriguing stops on the Disc Golf Pro Tour every year is also one of the first stops.
The WACO Annual Charity Open is a fan favorite event due to the array of players who rise to the top since Brazos East Park requires technical shots with touch at specific distances, rather than big power.
Not only that, the weather is often very unpredictable at Waco, and to get things going Friday, the field was faced with some of the worst conditions in recent memory.
With temperatures below freezing and wind speeds constantly touching 30-plus miles per hour, scoring was challenging to say the least, with holes that typically average well under par scoring as much as one-third of a stroke above par.
However, despite the harsh conditions on the Beast, a few players rose to the top, including some fresh faces.
It was no surprise to anyone to see five-time world champion Paul McBeth shoot tied for the hot round at -8, but Nicholas Carl and Luke Humphries tying him surely was a shock, and rounding out the Day 2 lead card with Andrew Fish presented a unique experience for fans on moving day.
While Fish started hot, he struggled toward the end, and Carl struggled for the majority of the round, but Humphries kept pace with a surging McBeth to stay on the lead card going into the final round.
The conditions for the second day were worlds better, too, and Chris Dickerson took full advantage of that, posting a blistering 1071-rated, 11-down round to move to the lead card, with Cale Leiviska rounding out the group.
McBeth entered the final round with a one-stroke lead on Humphries and a two-stroke lead on Dickerson and immediately stretched it to a three-stroke lead on both after a par on Hole 1 that saw Humphries double bogey and Dickerson bogey.
McBeth didn’t look back, going on a stretch of seven birdies in a row and extending his lead to five over a surging Dickerson and six over Humphries.
Down the stretch, McBeth was in a comfortable position for the most part, but a Humphries birdie on 17 coupled with a McBeth bogey may have made the five-time world champ sweat a bit, as his lead had shrunk to just two entering the final hole.
However, any nerves weren’t evident, as he got over the pond on the 18th in two and was able to lay up after Humphries went out of bounds to tap in for the second WACO Annual Charity Open title of his career.
The other WACO win for McBeth came back in 2019, when he shot a perfect 1098-rated, 18-under round in Round 2, which he used to propel himself to a three-stroke victory over Ricky Wysocki.
McBeth is looking untouchable right about now, as he’s coming off a win at the Memorial Championship the week prior where he averaged an 1103 rating over his first two rounds.
For Humphries, though, he took second place and currently leads the tour in points after the first two events, a feat nearly no one could’ve seen coming when the season got going.
Most of the field will head to the Open at Belton for the first Silver Series event of the year starting Friday, while the Pro Tour will be off until the Texas State Disc Golf Championships the following week.
Zech Lambert is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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