The second tournament of the season is The Memorial championship presented by Discraft. The tournament will be held in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, Arizona at Vista Del Camino and Fountain Hills disc golf park, respectively. Pro rounds on Thursday and Friday will be held at Fountain Hills park and then will move to Vista Del Camino on Saturday and Sunday for rounds 3 and 4. While both courses have some similarities they each have their own unique challenges.
Fountain Hills is the shorter of the two, boasting a total hole length of 6,894 feet with a par of 56. The course design is fairly wide open, but strategically employs the use of guardian trees around the basket. Holes without guardian trees, like hole 4, instead give players a different challenge like a triple mando on approach to the basket. Missing this gate could spell disaster for a player on a hole that needs to be birdied to keep pace with the field. The course only features 2 par 4’s further lessening player’s opportunities to obtain those coveted birds. The drink is merciless on this course. Multiple holes have water as a factor especially hole #1, and an even scarier proposition are holes 8 and 9 with their greens on a fairly small peninsula. Regardless, we will have players shooting -11 to -12 at this course.
The course being played on Saturday and Sunday is Vista Del Camino. This course is absolutely gorgeous, and boasts a mammoth 8491’ in total hole length. Plenty of opportunities for the big arms to score on this course with 6 par 4’s and 3 of those being over 700’. Just like Fountain Hills, water is the feature factor on holes 8, 12, and 18, and triple mandos are present on 2 of the holes out here. Again, just like Fountain Hills, there are trees present on the course but players will not be constricted. Plenty of guardian trees protecting the baskets out here but plenty of room for players to go big on this course, which I always look forward to. Players should not underestimate this course, it is one that can be physically taxing. Plenty of extra walking will be taking place.
Every week we like to highlight players in these field that we feel have an opportunity to excel at courses designed like this. Lets dig in.
Adam Hammes: I feel like this is a course that Adam can absolutely dominate. He’s got a big arm to be able to keep pace with most of the field and take advantage of the wide open nature of this course, and still gives him plenty of opportunities for him to showcase his exemplary upshot and putting game. He’s had an amazing start to 2021 already and has played well here in the past. He’s due for a big finish at this tournament.
Cale Leiviska (my dark horse pick): Cale does not have as big of an arm as some of these new generation guys do, but some of these newer generation guys will not be playing at this tournament. perennially places in the top 10. Fountain hills is his spot. Shot -11 and -12 at fountain hills. I love Cale this week. He's always in the hunt but just cant seem to close out this tournament. This win has just seemed to elude him, but he certainly has the capabilities.
Paul Mcbeth (pick to win): do we need to explain this? He's finished inside the top 5 every year since 2010 when he finished 6th and has won this tournament more than once in his tenure as best player in the game.
Drew Gibson: He has the absolute cannon to overpower each of these courses. Fountain Hills is the more technical of the two and that is where Drew tends to fall short in his game. As long as he can stay out of trouble, like he did largely last week at the LVC, he’s got a real shot.
Anthony Barela: The reigning Arizona state champion will be hungry to get an A tier win in his home state. Has the firepower, but also belongs to that new breed of disc golfer, the one that can throw bombs but also shows a good deal of touch and skill around the green.