The Unprecedented Expectations of Paul McBeth

After his second stop on the National Tour,  Paul McBeth has now finished 2nd at four straight tournaments. For almost any player, 4 consecutive top two finishes would be considered a GREAT month. When you’re Paul McBeth, record setting 4X World Champion, the expectations fans have of you is unprecedented. I want to address these absurd expectations and clarify why Paul McBeth is still the best player in the world, if it wasn’t obvious to you still.

Lets start with his most recent finishes. McBeth finished 2nd at the Nick Hyde Memorial (A-Tier), 2nd at the Glass Blown Open (NT), 2nd at the Konopiste Open (DGWT), and 2nd at the Master’s Cup (NT). The fields at 3 of the tournaments in this run were filled with the best players in the game. McBeth would finish behind Simon Lizotte (2X), Cam Todd, and then Ricky Wysocki. Outside of Cam Todd, McBeth lost to the 2nd highest rated player and the 8th highest rated player. Many will argue that Lizotte and Wysocki are the hottest players on tour right now.

Paul McBeth Driving
Courtesy of the PDGA

Lizotte got a nice boost of confidence and momentum with a win at the Nick Hyde Memorial. He used this and an exceptional Eagle hole out to win at the 2016 Konopiste Open. Lizotte also finished 3rd at The Memorial and had top 5 finishes at the Gentleman’s Club Challenge and Wintertime Open. Wysocki has been on fire all year with wins at the St. Patrick’s Classic, Kansas City Wide Open and most recently the Steady Ed Master’s Cup. Wysocki also coupled in a 2nd place at the La Mirada Open and the Glass Blown Open. Finishing behind players of this caliber shouldn’t be suprising. It should be expected to happen sometimes.

So far this season, no player has accumulated more prize money than Paul McBeth. Ricky Wysocki is a close second. That is with 1 fewer event than Wysocki and 2 fewer than Lizotte. After the 2015 season McBeth had, I can see how the expectations fans have can be so high. But he is human. Lets remember, McBeth  is still the odds on favorite to win any tournament he enters. Will he lose some, of course. I don’t need to make excuses for the McBeast cause there isn’t anything wrong with finishing 2nd or 3rd. Just ask every competitor who has done that when McBeth wins.

Let’s look at the stats. Numbers don’t lie. Stats provided through that years Master’s Cup.

YearEventsWins2nd Place3rd Place
201410442
201511911
20167340

The numbers show McBeth is ahead of his 2014 pace, but behind his 2015 pace. Given 3 more tournaments, how many times do you think McBeth would be the victor? Keep in mind that in 2014, McBeth finished as the top ranked player, won his 3rd World Title in a row, won 15 of 25 tournaments he entered including 4 NT titles and finished 2nd at the USDGC. For many players, this would be considered a spectacular season. McBeth has played fewer events in 2016 and maybe that has allowed the field to catch up to him, but if you don’t think Paul McBeth is the best player in the world or that he is somehow slipping, you couldn’t be more wrong.

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