Disc Golf

Worlds best disc golfers wingin' it in Northwest Indiana

2013-08-06T19:00:00Z 2013-09-16T18:37:13Z Worlds best disc golfers wingin' it in Northwest IndianaJohn Burbridge john.burbridge@nwi.com, (219) 933-3371 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Charlie Goodpasture attained a number Tiger Woods was aiming for last week.

"I had a pretty good round," said the 25-year-old Clearwater, Fla. resident of the six-under 59 score he carded during Tuesday morning's opening round at the Professional Disc Golf Association World Championships at Lemon Lake County Park.

"It was on the gold course," said Goodpasture, who has been a pro for four years. "I love the gold. Now the white course is a little spotty, but I love the gold."

Fellow Florida resident Cam Lincoln is also a part of a field of nearly 400 professionals representing nine countries.

"This is my second world championships," said Lincoln, 18, of Sarasota, Fla. "In 2008, I placed second (in his division).

Like Goodpasture, Lincoln has been a pro for four years.

"You always want to get better," Goodpasture said. "Getting to the professional level and playing with the best in the world is the way to do it."

Lemon Lake hosted the PDGA World Championships in 2010. For this year's event, it has been expanded to include Hidden Lake Park in Merrillville, where the Masters and Grand Masters rounds are being played.

"I look at it as an excellent pizza, except now it's a much bigger excellent pizza," said assistant tournament director Jay Svitko, owner of the Lemon Lake Flight Center which serves as the hub of the tournament at Lemon Lake.

"My whole family is here. All my brothers, my uncles ... my sisters. People who have made this sport what it is ... have helped it gain the respect it deserves.

"This is another golden moment for disc golf."

The championships will conclude Saturday. Like in 2010, Svitko expects a long gauntlet-like gallery along the approach to the final championship-round hole adjacent to the Flight Center.

"I may have to sit up on the roof to get a good view," Svitko said.

PDGA executive director Brian Graham said one of the reasons that the World Championships returned to Lemon Lake is because of its centralized and sprawling courses.

"When we had (the World Championships) in Charlotte (N.C.) last year, it was spread out among 14 different sites," said Graham, of Savannah, Ga. "This place is ideal, especially considering the way the sport has grown 20 percent from last year."

Graham himself was a pro disc golfer, "but a very bad pro disc golfer."

"Then I started volunteering my support with the PDGA," Graham said. "This sport has been built on the backs of volunteers."

 

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