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Tanner, Gossage Lead with the Pressure On

By Baker Helton
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Two dark horses and two of the top players in the world are leading the race for the 2022 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championship.

And the rest of the best players to play the sport are right there chasing them.

Completing a stellar feat, Colorado’s Tristan Tanner has emerged from the B Pool in Emporia, Kansas and has made the jump to the very top. His fellow statesman, Aaron Gossage, shares the title of co-leader after putting together two solid rounds to start Pro Worlds.

“This week, I’ve been playing my own game,” Tanner said. “I’m not trying to think about what anyone else is doing — I’ve been on another course from everyone else.

“I’ve only been able to do what I do so the plan is to continuing doing that, trusting my game and my skills.”

 

As the A Pool opened action at Jones Park on Tuesday, Tanner was just down the street at Emporia Country Club lighting it up. His 13-under opening round is the hottest score at ECC as now the entire field as made its first trek through Emporia’s premier course.

He then followed it up with another strong round at Jones Park, birdieing the final three holes for a 7-under score and a 20-under mark as the event hits the midway point of regulation.

“(Tuesday), it just felt like a clean round — it didn’t feel like anything super extraordinary like out my mind craziness, I was just making my putts and throwing tee shots well,” Tanner said. “(Round 2), I just wanted to come out with the same plan. I’ve been throwing the disc well, but I didn’t putt quite like wanted to.

“Game is feeling good.”

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Tanner is in the top five in circle 1 and 2 in regulation, according to UDisc, and is fourth in strokes-gained putting at 5.10.

With that one-two punch, he’s not only among the handful of players to jump from the B Pool to the A Pool, he’s made the leap all the way to the top. The pools were set by rating entering the week.

“It’s just been a rough couple of seasons with a lot of injuries, especially this season, so the rating has been brutal,” Tanner said. “It’s been going up and down. I think my skills will prove themselves when I’m healthy.”

The two Rocky Mountain natives last played together in 2018, a C-Tier event with Gossage taking a two-stroke win.

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Aaron Gossage is the co-leader through two rounds. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

“Tristan and I have very similar games,” Gossage said. “We throw really far, forehand and backhand and hyzers, the most consistent shot to control. It’s a Colorado thing.

“We’re just playing our game and not letting the pressure get to us.”

That pressure is being applied Calvin Heimburg, who matched Gossage’s 10-under round to jump seven spots into a tie with the five-time, Paul McBeth. They sit at 18-under through three rounds, two off the pace.

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Paul McBeth jumped to the lead card heading into Thursday’s third round. Photo: Conrad Meyer / PDGA

More pressure is coming from the chase card, which features a surging Ricky Wysocki (-16) whose hot round of 12-under jumped him 45 spots into a tie for sixth with Gavin Babcock. Garrett Gurthie leads the chase card at 17-under.

The dark horse players have kept their cool under the pressure of a World Championship so far, but it’s amping up with every throw in Emporia.

Live coverage of the MPO round begins at 2:30 p.m. CT live on DiscGolfNetwork.com.