DISC GOLF: Grass Valley’s Gregg Barsby wins PDGA World Championship
With the world championship on the line, Gregg Barsby rose above the pressure and remained focused on the task at hand.
Coming down the stretch, the Grass Valley native scored two birdies and two pars on the final four holes to hold off the field and win his first Professional Disc Golf Association World Championship Sunday in Jeffersonville, Vermont.
“I can’t even describe this feeling,” said Barsby. “It hasn’t really set in for me just yet. I’ve gotten so many text messages and just an abundance of love and support. And, that’s where I think it all stems from. I had so many people willing me to get this one done, and it finally happened.”
Barsby finished 6-under-par in the final round for a five-round score of 270 (-41) and a two stroke victory at the world championships. Paul McBeth and Josh Anthon tied for second at -39.
“It was one of the most exciting rounds I’ve ever seen,” said tournament director Jeff Spring. “It was quite the battle throughout.”
Barsby went into the final round as the leader, and was challenged the entire round by McBeth and Anthon, but he stood his ground and went into the 18th hole with a two-stroke lead.
“I knew I had a little insurance and that all I needed to do was get it down the fairway. Even if I threw it out of bounds I could still get a bogey and I would still win the tournament,” said Barsby. “So I just made sure I threw it up high and hard and made sure it came back to the left because if it went out of bounds left I’d still be able to lay up, lay up for the win. And, it stayed in bounds. It was magical. It was my day.”
It certainly was.
“It was an extremely exciting moment,” said Spring. “Around 1,500 people gathered around to cheer him on. I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s a great guy and this is well deserved.”
Barsby scored seven birdies and just one bogey for a final round score of 57, which was his highest round of the tourney. But, for Barsby, who had built a good lead through the first four rounds, it was simply about weathering the storm down the stretch.
“I didn’t play my best the last round or the second to last round,” Barsby said. “But, it was enough to hold everyone else off…I just stood strong in the storm.”
Barsby has been a pro for more than 15 years and amassed 64 victories during that time, but the win at the world championships in Vermont is his most prestigious.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “I’ve been at it for so long with all the ups and downs, the going home and wondering if it’s all worth it. So, it’s great to win a tournament that really defines your career. It’s so cool to come out on top after being so close.
“We play so many tournaments and go all over the place to chase the dream down, and to have it happen at the big time was so awesome.”
Barsby expressed gratitude for the people who helped him get to this point in his career.
“My family, without their support it’s nothing,” he said. “It doesn’t happen without mom and dad and my sister. As far as disc golf, I want to thank all the guys that took me under their wing when I was young and showed me the ways of the world, not only to be a decent person, but to carry the game on my wing.”
Barsby’s mother Joanne Barsby was overjoyed by her son’s victory.
“This is so much of what he’s wanted for the last 15 years,” she said. “It’s a dream come true for him. Hard work and perseverance pay off.”
Barsby has upcoming tournaments in Delaware, New Jersey and New Hampshire as he builds toward the U.S. Disc Golf Championships Oct. 6 in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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