Round one of the 2021 Dynamic Discs Open is in the books for the Men’s Open division. The expansive, challenging Jones Gold course, par 69, offers many scoring opportunities to those aggressive enough to seek them, but is long enough to punish those afraid to commit. The terrain is undulating and the fairways are reasonably tight. Just enough so to make even the top touring pros question their shot selection.
All of this does not take into consideration the harsh weather conditions the competitors face this year. The storm is set to subside by the earliest tee times tomorrow morning, but the later tee times today finished their rounds with hazardous conditions looming. The wind, only subtle today, promises to pick up in time for the final round, favoring those who throw overstable discs.
Unsurprisingly, Eagle McMahon and Calvin Heimburg share the lead. The duo shot -14 on the day in similar fashions, birdieing 13 and 15 holes respectively. Though, Eagle bogeyed the first hole and eagled the 14th. The similarity in their scores accurately reflects the similarity in their rounds. The two had a combined three opportunities to scramble, and went 100% within C1X. Their five cumulative pars were all on different holes.
But these two all-stars are expected to finish as they have and nobody is surprised. The surprise comes in the form of -13 Ben Callaway and Andrew Presnell, both of whom are tied for second place with Chris Dickerson. Those familiar with the games of Callaway and Presnell will not be as surprised as the rest of us but the sentiment remains. Both shot exceptionally well today, finishing without a single bogey between the two of them and converting both of their only scramble scenarios. Both players were steady off the tee and approaching the green, but Callaway in particular put on a clinic inside C1X, making 89% of his putts.
The top 20 positions include names familiar to everyone, but Justin Rosak and John Jones stand out as the only non-thousand rated players at 988 and 994, respectively. Rosak played consistent, clean golf, netting a -11, except for a bogey on the par three 11th hole. Jones began his round with two bogeys and fought back to an impressive -9.
Neither of these rounds are without context. Rosak competed in the 2021 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships in early April where he played underwhelming golf the entire tournament, a rare blemish on his impressive professional resume. The Liberty University ‘A Team’ member struggled primarily with putting but has seemed to remedy this, finishing 100% inside C1X. Jones finished T-38 at the Mid-America Open last weekend, far below his expectations, birdieing just 35% of holes. He has already birdied 61% of holes this tournament and shows no sign of slowing down.
To all the competitors, moving day is upon us and will separate those who aspire from those who have prepared for this very moment. Those who are willing to separate themselves from the pack will do just that, and those who remain hesitant will see that same skepticism reflected in every shot they throw.
“The time to prove oneself never passes, it only continues.” - Anonymous