While the start of the 2018 season has been highlighted by Team Discmania's Simon Lizotte and Eagle McMahon, the strength of the team is deeper than you might realize.
At the second stop of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, Discmania's Nate Perkins was in the mix from the start at the Waco Charity Open and didn't back down in the windy, and at times, rainy conditions. Even after the end of the third-and-final round, Perkins was able to force a playoff with Jeremy Koling. Unfortunately, the momentum ended there, as Koling was able to grab the win on the first playoff hole as Perkins ended in second place.
54 Holes Wasn't Enough
At the end of the first round in Waco, Texas, Perkins found himself two shot behind the leaders in a tie for fourth place. With only three rounds in the tournament, there was no time to waste and Perkins didn't let off the gas during the second round on Friday.
After being one of five to throw a round score of 54 in round two, Perkins found himself just one shot off the lead with 18 holes to play. He would be joined on the lead card with Koling, Paul McBeth, and Garrett Gurthie.
With Koling carding two bogies in the first four holes to start the final round, Perkins followed up with a pair of birdies to take an early lead. The duo would exchange the lead multiple times throughout the round that included a weather delay, the threat of severe weather, and high winds.
As the round was nearing the end, just six holes remained and Perkins was trailing by just one. He kept the pressure on and birdied the remaining five holes to tie things up and force a playoff.
"I've played this tournament for four years and I know exactly where I want to be on each hole and what shot I need to throw," Perkins said when asked about the final five holes. "I have no fear. It's all about visualizing and executing. I knew I had what it took to get it done."
On the first playoff hole, Perkins' drive started out over a road (out of bounds) with a potential path to skip back in on the grass. Unfortunately, it remained wide and hit a spectator (who was ok) forcing Perkins to take a penalty stroke. As Koling cleaned up his par, Perkins had to settle for second place in the tournament.
Perkins believed he was the most confident of the two heading into the playoff, "There were some nerves, but I felt really comfortable. I was first to tee. We were both dealing with some grip issues as the rain just stopped. I could have probably stepped off the tee to dry my hands off one more time. I went after the safe forehand and pulled into it and it went toward the gallery at a pretty high speed."
Throughout the weekend, Perkins relied on two key discs from Discmania to propel him to the second place finish including the PD2, "Placement is essential in this tournament and the PD2 was one of the most reliable discs I've ever thrown. I was putting with the new D-Line P3x* which turned out to be the perfect putter for my fast spin putts." (* D-Line P3x will be released in April 2018.)
After carding his best finish of his career, Perkins knows he's just getting started, "I finally got the chance to show myself and fans of disc golf that I have what it takes to win at the top level."
Lizotte Forced to DNF After Traffic Jam
The trip to Waco wasn't an ideal one for Simon Lizotte. Winter storms in the New England area forced Lizotte to alter his travel plans and didn't get into town until late the night before the tournament. He was able to compete in round one, but then had to pull out of the tournament after getting caught in a traffic jam due to a bad accident that snarled traffic for hours.
It was the first time Lizotte has had to DNF in a tournament.
Team Discmania at the Waco Charity Open
2. Nate Perkins (-33)
T35. Colten Montgomery (-17)
T35. Bartoz Kowalewski (-17)
T51. Dylan Lhotak (-12)
T62. Grady Shue (-7)
T107. Simon Lizotte (DNF)
More Disc Golf Articles
- Disc Golf Academy - Off Season Training (Strength)
- Disc Golf Academy - Off Season Training (Endurance)
- Disc Golf Academy - Off Season Training (Speed)
- Disc Golf Academy - Off Season Training (Coordination)
- Krystof Novak Lives a Busy Life of Disc Golf
- Grady Shue: A Discmania Combine Gem
- Become a Professional Disc Golfer (First Part)
- Become a Professional Disc Golfer (Part Two)
See the final round here: