Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ron Convers Jr. Comes Home From Pro Masters Worlds With A 3x Champion Title

Anyone who has been to Smugglers’ Notch knows that the courses there require an immense amount of dedication to each and every shot. You can’t step up to the first tee unprepared and believe that you’ll come out on top. Confidence is key, and that’s exactly what Dynamic Discs team member Ron Convers Jr. brought to the 2019 Pro Masters Worlds. He entered this event with a Grandmasters win in both 2016 and 2017, and after an epic battle with Patrick Brown in 2018 that landed him in 2nd place, Ron was determined to come out on top once again.

This year he had a different mindset and between his ability to focus, some trusty discs in his bag, and the preparation that he’s undergone all season long, it’s no wonder he succeeded. Ron’s accolades extend farther back than just 2016, however, so let’s explore a bit more about this incredible player.

Skin In The Game

Convers has been playing disc golf longer than many of our readers have even been alive, over 30 years at this point, and has set foot on courses around the nation with some of the biggest names in the sport. He attributes part of his desire to compete to the motivation he gained after watching ‘Crazy’ John Brooks play in the early 1990s, and from then on, Ron’s been a force to be reckoned with.

He won the very first Glass Blown Open and has been a part of the DD family from the start. While he may not be on the road in a full-time capacity, he can still be seen at anywhere between 10 and 20 events over the course of any given season. The 2019 season, however, has presented some challenges for him that he’s overcome with grace and positivity: “My family has had a very challenging year and in the process of taking care of necessary things I've burned up my vacation time and money!”

Despite his focus being shifted heavily toward his family, Ron managed to work on several key aspects of his game before attending Worlds, including improving his forehand distance and accuracy and not only losing 23 pounds but adding some muscle as well.

What Was Different?

The more you play a course the better you naturally tend to do, but when things go wrong it can have a tendency to create a mental strain that’s hard to beat. “Last year I came up and played Pro Worlds and had a horrible round on Fox Run. It was my worst recorded round in competition since I was an Am and it shook my confidence in my mental game. Being able to put that aside helped boost my attitude and confidence after the first round on Fox Run this year,” Ron explained.

Rather than focusing on all of the missteps he made last year, he approached the event with a fresh perspective. His disc selection sure helped too, as the courses at Smugglers’ Notch are incredibly demanding. Convers said:

“I relied on throwing mids in the woods. [My] Truth, EMAC Truth, and the Suspect got hard workouts. On the more open Fox Run course, the Ballista Pro was a distance go-to with the Lucid Enforcer as a backup. My fairway approach game got a boost with my forehand and I used my Lucid Criminal and Lucid X Felon to pin several of the harder shots and approaches.”

One Hole At A Time

When all was said and done, Ron beat out the rest of the 31 men in his field by a total of four strokes, and while he didn’t always have a commanding lead at any point in time, he was able to make steady progress each round. “I was pleased that I played well overall, but each round had a hole or two which were really bad. Being able to card good rounds in spite of those holes and being able to stay focused on the work at hand made the win possible,” he said.

Convers shot well during round one, and with only one bogey ended up just one stroke behind the lead at a -7. Again, round two saw one more bogey to his name, this time at Fox Run, but he was able to manage an impressive six down and come out two strokes ahead of Patrick Brown. Maintaining momentum through four rounds plus a semifinal and final 9 is no easy task, and by the time round three came up, it seemed that Convers had slowed a bit.

While an eagle on hole 11 certainly helped him to make up strokes, his eight down wasn’t the best score of the day. Instead, Brown brought in a -9 and Anthony Pugh shot -10. At this point, Ron was still very much in contention for the win, and his gameplan of staying focused kicked into high gear. Smart and safe became the name of the game, and his -5 during round four and impressive -11 in the semifinals were enough to put him into the final four.

“After the first hole of the finals, I had 5 strokes over Kevin [Babbit]  and just coasted to a no-risk finish,” Ron described. Knowing his strengths, putting in the time throughout the year to improve upon his skills, and having all the confidence in the world is what lead him to the win. Now a 3x Pro Masters World Champion, he’s headed into the rest of the season with ease. What’s next for this amazing player?

“If I hadn't managed to win a B-tier in Open the week before Worlds, competition would have been almost impossible. As it was, I had a great time because of the wonderful people in our sport. I hope to play the Mid America Open and five to six more Pro events as I did last year. Next year, [I’ll attend] the Canadian Nationals and more events on the West coast unless I get the opportunity to travel to Scandinavia. I hope to continue to play good golf and would like to hit a 1020 rating in the future.”

Congratulations on a job well done Ron!
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