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Pro Tour MPO Championship Preview: Can James Conrad Shock the World?

Destined to become one of the most exciting events in disc sports, the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship is the culmination of months of hard work, passion for the
game, and a little bit of luck. One competitor that has made a splash in 2017 is James Conrad. This mesmerizing player from Blacksburg, Virginia made waves early this year at the Waco Charity Open by narrowly losing to Jeremy “Big Jerm” Koling in a nail-biter that ended in a playoff. Since that amazing event, James has strung together some tremendous finishes on the DGPT including a first place win at the Idlewild Open.
What’s in a Name?
Although James Conrad was not a household name coming into this season, his smooth putter drives and long-distance finesse off the tee pad has given him the reputation as a player who can strike from any distance and the word “clutch” has now been added as an adjective to describe his game. He has gone head-to-head with the best disc golfers that have ever played the sport and shown the fans that he belongs at the top of the leaderboard at any event.
Making the Highlight Reel
If you are like most fans, you’ve watched as James Conrad the “Cinderella Story” of 2017, took the disc golf world by storm. With great rounds and timely clutch putts that landed him on the Lead card more often than not, James found a way to rise to the occasion. Was this season an anomaly for James Conrad? Not at all! James finished in sixth place overall in 2016 with a solid finish at the Silver Cup and top ten finishes in several other DGPT events.  I talked to James and wanted to know how he felt about the sudden spotlight that burned bright after the Waco Charity Open and he commented that, “I definitely appreciate the coverage and recognition that I’ve been getting this year. I don’t really think the recognition has really changed my game much. Having more eyes on me, or having more people expecting me to do well, really allows me to step up and perform to the best of my ability.”
How James got Here
James Conrad did a lot of things right during his 2017 DGPT season including hitting a staggering 89% of his circle 1 putts (395 out of 443) and landing on the fairway 72% percent of the time (329 out of 454).
The Next Challenge
This season, James has played in 7 of 9 DGPT events and put himself into a great position to make a move at the 2017 Tour Championship. I asked James how he feels about his current placement in the brackets and he replied that, “I’m pleased with my bracket placement and very happy I was able to finish 5 th in DGPT points even with playing only seven events. As far as match-ups, I’ve always enjoyed playing with Simon Lizotte so it should be a great round. I don’t think anyone has an easy draw in terms of groupings; any of the top guys can shoot a hot round. The whole Tour Championship should be super exciting?” James seems to be brimming with confidence and rightfully so as he is playing some of the best disc golf of his season and career.
Moving Forward
With the Tour Championship squarely in James’ sights, I asked him what his goal is coming into the event and he remarked that, “My goal is obviously to win! Apart from that, I just hope to have fun and put on a good show for any spectators that come out.” I went on to ask him what are his impressions of the DGPT and the many events he’s attended, and he gave his honest assessment by saying, “I think the DGPT is doing great things for the sport of disc golf! I personally was motivated last year largely in part by the announcement of the DGPT, I wanted to try touring, and now I can’t even imagine looking back.” James “Smooth” Conrad has a bye to the semi-finals and is looking to make the most of an amazing season. Can he finish the DGPT season with a victory over the best disc golfers in the world? Tune in to all the action as it unfolds.
For the Tour Championship you will be able to follow along live every day starting at noon ET.

  • Noon on Thursday, Oct 19: Round 1
  • Noon on Friday, Oct 20: Quarterfinals
  • Noon on Saturday, Oct 21: Semifinals
  • Noon on Sunday, Oct 22: Finals