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WACO 2018 MPO Day One Recap: Southpaw Wind Carries Owens To First

The first round of the Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Dynamic Discs has come to close with a logjam at the top of the leaderboard in the MPO division. Holding a narrow
margin over the rest of the field is the lefty, Devan Owens, at 11 under par. He will not have an easy coast to victory here, just about every top pro you’ve heard of is within striking distance. Conditions were not calm today, with strong gusts into the 30 MPH range. Keeping your game under control was essential. Let’s break down just how the top rounds of the day shaped up.
Owens played entirely clean golf, carding 11 birdies. On the back nine, he started off with seven birdies, putting from within 16 feet every time. Add to that a 75-foot throw in birdie on hole 13, a few more birdies and you have today’s hot round. Devan did well in just about every tracked stat, but the standout portion of his game was his 100% scramble rate. Brazos East is not easy when it is calm out, in today’s windy conditions a perfect scramble rate is essential for the top spot and a strong set of drives can secure it. Only for the tonight though, tomorrow, Owens has to face an onslaught of players vying for his spot.
The Paul McBeth we were used to came to play today. Birdieing ten and eagling one, it’s the two bogeys that are holding him back from being today’s leader. Paul’s start to 2018 has been rocky. At least, it has been for someone who is a four-time world champion. It is good to see him back on the lead card for tomorrow. Do not be surprised to see McBeth in contention for the lead until the bitter end of this tournament. The man lives for competition, and he is in the depths of it right now.
Jeremy “Big Jerm” Koling, the defending champ, not to be outdone, finished his day with an 18-foot putt for birdie on the 18 th hole to tie McBeth for second place. Against a sturdy headwind, he drove the putt home, catching plenty of chains. In similar fashion to McBeth, Jerm carded ten birdies, one eagle, and two bogeys. Clean those up tomorrow and Koling is one day closer to repeating a victory here in Texas.
Gregg Barsby, rounding out the group, is making his first arrival on the Pro Tour lead card scene tomorrow. Barsby is the third player on the day to throw ten birdies and an eagle, but it’s the third bogey that has him in a five-way tie for 4 th place with Emerson Keith, Drew Gibson, Nate Perkins, and Joel Freeman. That’s all within two throws of the lead. There are a total 23 players within five throws of Owens.
That wraps up our recap of the first MPO round of the Waco Annual Charity Open Presented by Dynamic Discs. Don’t miss tomorrow’s live action on the lead card starting at 4 PM ET. tomorrow . Check back here for the most current updates on your favorite pros battling for victory here in Waco, TX for the second stop of the 2018 Disc Golf Pro Tour.  Until then, throw lefty, it’s the only way to go!