Mulligan’s disc golf course could aptly be compared to the fabled sirens of the sea. Drawing in the sailors to the shore only to crush them against the rocks! The allure of easy birdies has attracted many players at the 2017 Utah Open presented by Latitude 64. Can you blame them? With smooth, green, manicured surfaces all around you. With baskets perched scenically atop gently undulating hills how can anyone resist? The targets seem just within reach.
Most professional men have the power to make miracles happen out there and biting off 100 more feet here or cutting a corner there doesn’t seem too much to ask. Except at Mulligan’s when the player tries to bite, the course can bite right back as we saw with Josh Anthon late in the first round. Jeremy Koling and Ricky Wysocki seem to be the exception to the rule taking big chances and recovering when they had to execute. It left me wondering, does fortune favor the strong?
A player that must be mentioned is young Anthony Barela who shot ten birdies and moved up eight spots within one round. A seven shot improvement over his first round, Barela cooked up a sizzling hot eight under, bringing is tournament total to nine under par. At the end of the day he found himself in sixth place, tied with Dana Vicich and Dustin Keegan.
Drew Gibson played one of the more solid rounds of golf in Utah today. His scorecard didn’t show many blemishes aside from two bogeys. Partly because of the slow ascent of the leaders on the board, Drew could potentially find himself a strong contender as day three approaches. Drew’s nemesis for this day was Paul Ulibarri. Although throwing on different cards, the two seemed to volley back and forth hovering around fourth place. Drew and Paul tied for fourth with a -11 to end the day.
Jeremy Koling continued his take-no-prisoners attitude on day two, setting the pace early and forcing the field to keep up or fall behind. But at times, Big Jerm appeared uncomfortable with his footing, adjusting and readjusting his stance on the course terrain. It wasn’t evident if it leaked into his conscious thought but he didn’t have the automatic delivery that we are used to seeing from Jeremy when he is on fire and in the zone. Fans of Big Jerm know that if they see his second putter tucked under his arm as he approaches a basket, a long putt was just buried in chains. That’s the Jerm that reemerged after the turn. He sank some long putts to stay astride with his competition Ricky Wysocki, but the the World Champion was too much for him on the day. Jeremy found himself in trouble late and slid three strokes off the pace ending his day -12 and tied for second place With Josh Anthon.
Jeremy Koling Round Two Stats
One of the biggest place jumpers during round two was Josh Anthon. He was no stranger to aggressive play the first day and paid the penalty with a few too many misfires. Round two was a whole new story. Josh made some adjustment putted lights out, played a very clean round, carding no bogeys, moving up eight spots, and taking the hot round of the day with a nine under par. Josh finished -12 and made it onto the lead card in second place.
Josh Anthon Round Two Stats
If all you had was a scorecard to gauge how Ricky Wysocki played today, you amongst many others would still deem him an amazing disc golfer and walk away in awe. But what the score didn’t show was the frustration around the basket. Several times Ricky missed putts well within his range by mere inches. One close putt literally bounced off the center chains without rhyme or reason. Unfortunately, that was the kind of day Ricky had to endure. That being said, even as Ricky allowed his card to to stay close to his score, eventually he did what he’s done all year, stood on the gas pedal at the finish. Ricky capped his day with a death putt on the 18th hole which he drained in dramatic fashion. Ricky ended his second round -15 for the week and in sole possession of first place.
Ricky Wysocki Round Two Stats
O.B. or not O.B. that is the question?
The first round in Ogden, Utah tested the patience of most high-level players. Competitors or fans can either like it or not but O.B. has become an important part of the sport of disc golf. Whether a course is deemed too difficult or too soft, the strategic use of O.B. on a course is a crucial, and sometimes cruel, score separator. Of course, luck plays its part in the grand scheme of fortune but more times than not, a player’s rating will dictate risking lower percentage shots and those with lower ratings more often than not fall short of the reward. When we examine the O.B. water hazards, and penalty strokes from the first two rounds what we find is not all that shocking.
On the second day, the competition never let up for a minute. With a fierce battle, Ricky Wysocki proved his dominance and took the outright lead away from Jeremy Koling. Josh Anthon truly made a statement in Utah and earned his spot on the lead card. The feature card for the third day will be Ricky Wysocki, Josh Anthon, Jeremy Koling, and Drew Gibon. With competition so tight, and the risk of swings so great, you won’t want to miss one second of the 2017 Utah Open presented by Latitude 64. Live coverage begins tomorrow at 4 pm eastern time.
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