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2019 DGPT Championship Preview: How will Garrett Gurthie Handle Losing Home Field Advantage?

By Baker Helton
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Last year going into the Tour Championship, Garrett Gurthie was a player to watch. Garrett joined the tour in 2018 after observing the top pros play the course he managed, New World Sports Complex, for the Tour Championship in 2017. He realized he could still compete with the top Pros and wanted to be in contention to win the Tour Championship on his home course in 2018.

Last year Garrett finished 6th in Tour Standings, which gave him a bye to semifinals. Not too bad for his first season back on tour. He would, however, be unable to advance to the finals on his home course, carding only a three-under-par round. On his card was Nikko Locastro, who carded a -9 on the day, and -10 was the wild card score. While Double G was able to make the Tour Championship in the same year, he started back touring he was unable to use his home-course advantage into a Pro Tour finals appearance. Before we look into how the Tour location change will affect Garrett, let’s dive into his stats from this year.

Does having a big arm help that much?
When you dive into Garrett’s stats for this year, you might be surprised to hear that the only stat that Garrett holds in the top ten is a 6th in parked percentage. His next closest stats are 11th in C2 in regulation and 13th in C1 in regulation.

On the stats sheet alone, Garrett’s performance this year is not the 6th place in Tour Standings finish that he secured. Garrett’s 6th place finish came from his second-place finish at Jonesboro and MVP, and then a third and fourth-place finish at Idlewild and Ledgestone. It’s Garrett’s penchant for sustainable finishes that helped move him up to his bye worthy finish on tour. Looking at his stats shows that it’s more important to consider the course Double G is playing than one or two specific stat, to determine his potential for success at the Tour Championship.

No Home-Field Advantage? No Problem.
Garrett was looking to take advantage of his familiarity with the New World Course last season. He also had a band of adoring fans following along during the semifinals round. However, while on paper, the course played well in his game, none of these factors helped him advance to the finals in 2018.

Looking forward to this year, coupling together all of Garrett’s successes on tour, it seems like his lack of home-field advantage should not be a problem in Charlotte. The last time Garrett played Hornet’s Nest for a rated round was in 2013 for the Carolina Clash. He carded a -3 55 on a par 58 layout. Garrett ended up taking 6th in the event. The previous year he finished 15th at Charlotte Worlds missing the finals and not playing Hornets.

This year, Garrett will be taking on a modified Hornets Nest layout adjusted by John Houck and made playable by Mark Huether and the Charlotte Disc Golf Club. If we look at Garrett’s success on tour, we can look no further than his first-place finish at the Santa Cruz Master’s Cup National Tour event to show that he has what it will take to succeed on a course like Hornets. His skill at courses like Hornets is reinforced through his MVP and Idlewild successes this season. While it will not be near as fun to follow Garrett on the course this year at the Finals given his multitude of fans he had last season, we still look forward to him putting on a show and having a legitimate shot at advancing to the finals.

Make sure you are ready to watch live or in-person October 18-20th to see who will bring home the Tour Championship victory this year from Hornet’s Nest Disc Golf Course in Charlotte, NC.