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US Disc Golf Championship: Paul McBeth closes in on leader Nate Sexton

Nate Sexton of Chapel Hill makes his birdie putt on the par-5, 1,083-foot, hole 5, during round three at the U.S. Disc Golf Championship played at Winthrop University Gold Course in Rock Hill, S.C. Friday Oct. 9, 2015. He leads by three strokes going into the final round.
Nate Sexton of Chapel Hill makes his birdie putt on the par-5, 1,083-foot, hole 5, during round three at the U.S. Disc Golf Championship played at Winthrop University Gold Course in Rock Hill, S.C. Friday Oct. 9, 2015. He leads by three strokes going into the final round. mhoman@charlotteobserver.com

Chapel Hill’s Nate Sexton continues to lead the pack headed into Saturday’s final round of the U.S. Disc Golf Championship. Relying on his accurate sidearm to avoid trouble, he continued his consistent play shooting 60 (-7) and will take a three-shot lead over Ricky Wysocki and Paul McBeth who both shot hot rounds of 57 (-10).

The Professional Disc Golf Association’s top-rated player McBeth, who has won every major tournament this year, finally got hot with a large gallery following his every shot. With a win at the USDGC this week, he would complete the PDGA’s Grand Slam. He has a track record of playing his best in later stages of tournaments, and he didn’t disappoint with 12 birdies and one eagle during 18 holes of disc golf.

“It’s time to put some pressure on Nate (Sexton) and the others on the lead card,” McBeth said. “I need to come out hot and clean up those mistakes on the stretch of Holes 11, 12, 13, and 14. I’ve given away too many strokes there.”

With rain in the forecast on Saturday, he said his strategy to deal with the wet weather was to keep his hands dry. “More gear. More towels,” McBeth said.

Fort Mill’s Wysocki also got hot and had 11 birdies during his round. “Being in the lead group is a great spot to be on the final day,” Wysocki stated with a smile. “Now I can make my move.”

Nathan Doss was tied for the lead at the beginning of the round but had a slow start and finished with a 67 (even par). He sits seven strokes behind the leader Sexton.

Round four concludes the tournament with the lead card teeing off at 2 p.m.

Three who mattered

Will Schusterick: It doesn’t look like Schusterick will be able to defend his 2014 USDGC title. He shot a respectable 63 (-4) but because of his ugly first round 69 (+2), he is tied for 16th place, 16 shots off the lead.

Steve Brinster: The 2013 USDGC winner from New York shot a 57 (-10) and sits tied in 5th place, 8 shots off the leader.

Zach Melton: The Tennessean had only one bogey (hole 9) and shot at 62. He is tied with Brinster for 5th place.

They said it

“Ohhhhh” The players and crowd all groaned when Denver, N.C.’s Michael Johansen barely missed a hole-in-one on the 413-foot hole 14. His disc bounced off the basket attached to the pole hole.

By the numbers

5: The number of holes second round leader Nathan Doss had a bogie or worse score.

1: Easiest hole on the course. The average score on the par-three, 248-foot hole was 2.46 with 59% of disc golfers making birdie on the first hole

13: The number of holes Paul McBeth made a birdie or eagle

Want to go

When: Tournament continues through Saturday. Rain is in forecast so make sure to bring an umbrella. 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 Sexton (-23)

Ricky Wysocki (-20)

Paul McBeth (-20)

Nate Doss (-16)

Steve Brinster (-15)

Zach Melton (-15)

Cameron Colglazier (-14)

Nikko Locastro (-13)

Ken Climo (-12)

Michael Johansen (-12)

Alex Geisinger (-12)

Teemu Nissinen (-10)

Henrik Johansen (-10)

Bradley Williams (-8)

Jeremy Koling (-8)

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