As summer winds down, most mortal humans lament the season’s passing. There is a noticeable lack of sunlight in the evenings, and as a disc golfer you start to feel panic. Yet this year the first weekend in September brings us in Massachusetts one of the best tournaments of the entire National Tour: The Vibram Open at Maple Hill. It seems only fitting to approach the autumn with another Vibram Open as a consolation prize to the ending of summer.
Last year’s mens pro-open division was won by Missouri’s Nikko Locastro. On the last hole of the final round he watched as Matt Orum threw an upshot that kicked OB- which left Nikko to throw a hyzer flip with a beat up Wizard onto the island green. The whole weekend boiled down to the second to last shot for the top two players. The previous year was a bit of a run-away by Barry Schultz who seemed to have the course dialed in.
As a fan of all the touring professionals I feel like I’m rooting for a different player each week. Ulibarri, Leiviska, Wiggins Jr. and Barsby to name a few. A lot of people like to differentiate between the young players and the experienced players- from Paul Macbeth to Ken Climo, but I look at it more in terms of how many big wins a person has accrued. With players like Nikko, Feldberg, Doss and Jenkins all coming to Leicester this weekend, the win really is up for grabs as they all clearly have the skills to get it done. However, I typically root with my gut- and my gut is saying Josh Anthon. Granted, he just won this past weekend in Pittsburg- so it’s kind of a fairweather fan thing- but I actually have been rooting for him for a few years. He always seems to be able to put up the hot round of the weekend at a big tournament and I’d love to see him take another NT event this year. I can’t say with any certainty that Maple Hill suits his specific skill set, in fact he typically does well in open layouts like The Memorial in Arizona (and Maple Hill plays very tight and technical). Yet at the same time his putting is top notch and some of the things he can do with a driver are downright amazing. Perhaps being the runner up in Worlds this year, for the third time in a row, has lit a fire in his game and he’ll start playing like the Patriots of the early 2000’s: convince himself that he never gets the respect he deserves and then play out of his mind. The only problem is I can’t imagine a pro who doesn’t already respect the talent in Josh Anthon’s game.
In any case, now that Hurricane Irene is out of the picture, and Maple Hill has escaped unscathed (besides some serious clean up from branches and twigs)- the only thing left to do is get pumped for the huge weekend. Labor day, Vibram Open, and all the top pro’s- I’m pretty sure it’s a recipe for the best weekend ever. Come on down to Marshall St. and let’s go Josh…