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I'm not sure if I should feel bad for this person or be congratulatory toward him, but the hero of this story just won 1st place in AM1 in our annual b-teir tourney, by 8 stokes(with 2nd place shooting his #1+#2 P.B.'s in two of four rounds).
If he would have entered open, he would have placed 4th=$250 + a guaranteed spot in a 5 hole safari skins match @ $100/hole.
Is this a good example of how "sand-bagging" sometimes doesn't pay off in the long run? or Should we think that we all have the potential, as am's, to beat a field of pros on any given day?
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Sandbagging is a persistent myth. I've heard it spouted for as long as I can remember, and everytime I look into a case, the evidence isn't there.
Either that, or someone's using a whole different definition of sandbagging. Properly speaking, it's someone manipulating their entry (rating, being an unrated non-PDGA member, etc.) to play in a division below their skill level. It may happen somewhere, but I haven't seen it. If a player's playing in his correct division, that can't be sandbagging---even if he shoots way above his norm for that tournament. Nor do other players choosing to play above their skill level make him a bagger.
All of which is different from "bagger" chiding, an ongoing joke in disc golf. When I got my first win---in my 46th tournament---of course I heard cries of "bagger" in the audience. All in good fun.
"You only get better and excel if you surround yourself with better & excellent players and play them!"
How's anyone who stays in the same division ever get good enough to be called "bagger", if you only improve by moving up?
In a sport where no one plays defense, the value of moving up to improve your game is overrated. I'm sure it works to some degree....but over the years I've seen players stay in a division while improving remarkably. I've also seen players move up to Open, only to plateau at a certain skill level from which they no longer improved. I suspect a lot of other factors matter a lot more than who you compete against in tournaments.
I know this guy, and I have been playing with him since he started playing disc golf. He has only been playing a year and a half. He is dedicated to becoming better, and plans on going pro (a great goal to have, while playing am) He won because he practiced more than any of the other MA1 players. I can assure you of it.
You forgot to mention that his PDGA player rating is 933. That is an average AM rating.
Could it be possible that he just played to his full potential? Isn't that what we all hope for when we play these tournaments?