Brown places in top third of field at World Championships
August 18, 2016 | Lynchburg, Va.
Playing in his first Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) World Championships tournament, Aug. 6-13 in Emporia, Kansas, Liberty University senior Lance Brown, who still has one class this fall to complete his degree, finished tied for 49th out of 157 players in the annual event.
Brown rose as high as 17th in the standings after the second day before struggling on the first round of the third day, playing on the third of four courses used in the tournament. He fired rounds of 54 and 52 on the first two days, 68 and 63 on the third day, and 54 in the semifinals on the fourth day for a total score of 18-under-par 291.
Flames Head Coach Steve Bowman said it was quite an accomplishment for Brown, who plans to compete on the pro circuit full-time this fall, to be invited to the event and make the cut on his first try.
"This puts Lance one step closer to where he wanted to be this first year playing at the professional level," he said. "At this point, being connected to the sort of tournaments he's been playing for a year, this gives him a lot to build on."
Defending champion Paul McBeth and Nathan Sexton, who visited Liberty and put on a clinic last September, placed second and eighth overall, respectively.
|Hunter Thomas (center) dons the gold medal after winning the July 23 Commonwealth Games tournament.|
A week after claiming the gold medal at the Virginia Commonwealth Games' disc golf tournament directed by Bowman and played on Liberty's two home courses, rising sophomore Hunter Thomas had the opportunity to serve as Brown's caddie.
"Hunter was on the course every day with Lance, carrying his bag and talking about his shots with him," Bowman said. "It was good for him to experience that and see it firsthand."
"We had the chance to lead a chapel service and volunteered on the course two out of the four days," Bowman said, noting that there were a total of 17 people involved in the weeklong ministry, which included a family and youth disc golf clinic attended by 130 people at First Baptist Church of Emporia.
Brown will compete in more pro tournaments before the school year starts back up, one in Illinois and one in Ohio, including a qualifier for the United States Disc Golf Championships set for Oct. 5-8 in Rock Hill, S.C.