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World’s best disc golfers compete in Rock Hill

Seppo Paju of Finland, tees off on hole 14 during round one at the U.S. Disc Golf Championship played at Winthrop University Gold Course in Rock Hill, S.C. Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.
Seppo Paju of Finland, tees off on hole 14 during round one at the U.S. Disc Golf Championship played at Winthrop University Gold Course in Rock Hill, S.C. Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. mhoman@charlotteobserver.com

The world’s best disc golfers are competing this week at the U.S. Disc Golf Championship played at Winthrop University Gold Course in Rock Hill. Countries represented in addition to the United States include Finland, Denmark, Germany, Canada and Sweden.

After round 1, 2008 USDGC champion Nate Doss has a three-shot lead (-11) over Eagle Wynne McMahon from Boulder, Colorado, and Nate Sexton from Chapel Hill. Doss only had one bogey during his 18-hole round of 56.

“I came into the tournament basically saying if I could shoot in the 50’s I thought that would be amazing. And when I just did my scorecard, I wrote down 56 – I was really a little bit surprised,” said Doss, who is from Bend, Oregon.

The Professional Disc Golf Association’s top-rated player, Paul McBeth, struggled on the back nine but finished with a 62 (-5), six strokes off the lead. McBeth, from Tuttle, Oklahoma, is attempting to complete the PDGA’s Grand Slam sweep by winning the U.S. Disc Golf Championship this week. He has won the Aussie Open, Scandinavian Open, European Open and the PDGA World Championship in 2015.

Round 2 continues on Thursday with the first group teeing off at 7: 50 a.m. The leaders tee off at 10:32 a.m.

Three who mattered

Will Schusterick: Defending champion Will Schusterick had a rough start, carding a two-over 69, 13 shots behind the leader. “I think it’s probably my worst round in the last five years at this tournament,” Schusterick said.

Henrik Johansen: Had the round’s only hole-in-one on the 248-foot hole 1. He finished the day shooting 63 (-4).

Michael Johansen: Local player from Denver, N.C., shot a 61 (-6), only five shots off the lead. Johansen is coming off his first national tour win last month at the Hall of Fame Classic in Appling, Georgia.

They said it

“That happens out here.” Charlotte’s Jeremy Koling on his disc hitting an out-of-bounds stake and rolling OB. He called his round “bittersweet” and finished with a 63 (-4).

By the numbers

5.47: Average score on round 1’s hardest hole, par 5, 888-foot hole 13.

12: Highest score recorded on one hole (No. 13).

33%: Percent of disc golfers scoring a double bogey or worse on hole 17.

Want to go

When: Tournament continues Thursday through Saturday. Sunday is Spectator Day, when the cost is $10 to play the championship-level course.

Where: Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.

Tickets: Single-day, $10; VIP for all days of competition, $25.

More info: usdgc.com

Leader board

Nate Doss -11 (56)

Nate Sexton -8 (59)

Eagle Wynne McMahon -8 (59)

Michael Johansen -6 (61)

Ricky Wysocki -5 (62)

James Proctor -5 (62)

Ken Climo -5 (62)

Paul McBeth -5 (62)

Jeremy Koling -4 (63)

Henrik Johansen -4 (63)

Barry Schultz -4 (63)

Simon Lizotte -4 (63)

Nikko Locastro -4 (63)

Patrick Brown -3 (64)

David Wiggins Jr -3 (64)

Teemu Nissinen -3 (64)

Zach Melton -3 (64)

Alex Geisinger -3 (64)

Martin Hendel -3 (64)

Jeremiah Kraus -3 (64)

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