On Thursday, October 19th the Pro Tour Championship will begin. The first round will feature those who qualified both in the Men’s and Women’s divisions hoping to
shoot the hot rounds in order to advance to the Quarterfinals. The best six Women’s Scores and the best eight Men’s scores will advance to round two. Below we will walk through each of those playing in the first round and see who has the best shot of advancing, as well as those who potentially could make a run at the final round. Without further ado, let us look at who has a shot at sitting in the hot seat after the first round of the 2017 Pro Tour Championship hosted by Prodigy.
On the FPO Side
First in the Women’s Division, we have Tina Stanaitis, Rebecca Cox, Courtney Cannon, Nicole Dionisio, and Erika Stinchcomb all as confirmed as playing. This means the women will start play on Friday with the Quarterfinals round. At the Pro Tour we want to see the FPO division continue to grow, to where in years to come we could see fields as large (if not larger) than the men’s field. In an effort to foster an environment conducive to growing women’s professional disc golf there are at least five things we will be adding to the Pro Tour for next year.
For the MPO Side
The men’s division gets a little more complicated.
There are 15 confirmed competitors for the first round and two ?’s.
Let’s start with the question marks: Jordan Castro and Anthony Barela.
Anthony Barela is a kid phenom. We saw him play his best Pro Tour stop at Utah this summer where he finished 4th. However, being on the West Coast and still in school makes a four day tournament difficult. If Anthony is able to make it this weekend he would be a possibility to make a run at finals. He plays a solid game and has the head to keep himself in the competition.
Jordan Castro is our other maybe. Jordan has been a road warrior this year and for the second year has qualified for the championship. We would love to see him take a shot at advancing to quarterfinals. He has the skill set, earlier this year Jordan won an A-Tier and has cashed at all but one of the Pro Tour events he has played this year. Last year Jordan was able to go from qualified all the way to the semi-finals round. We would love to see him come back this year to take a shot at going all the way to the finals.
This moves us over to our fifteen confirmed players. The number beside their name indicates the position the player finished the season in.
26. Dustin Keegan
If you take a look at the standings, thanks to Udisc, you will notice something interesting at each break, the further you advance in standings, the more separation between breaks. What this means is Dustin would have needed 17 more points to gain a quarterfinals bye. But also, Cameron Colglazier (who is #50 this year) only beat out #51 – Matt Orum – by 0.5. Dustin is known for his positivity while on tour and that positivity was on display across the six Pro Tour events he attended this season. Dustin used a 7th place finish at the Utah Open to solidify his spot at the top of those qualified. Even though Dustin would have needed to finish several spots higher in one or two events to move up to a quarterfinals bye, you can bet that’s fodder for him to make it into quarterfinals. We can look for Dustin to continue being positive on the course and to draw from the 7th place finish in Utah to make his way into the quarterfinals.
27. Devan Owens
Devan is no stranger to success. In playing 4 of the 6 Pro Tour events Devan was able to easily qualify for the Pro Tour finals. Devan however, was unable to advance past the quarterfinals last year. This year Devan is looking to go a bit further. While finishing 10 spots worse than last year, Devan has been showing his lefty power – putting himself on the lead card at both the USDGC and Hall of Fame Open over the past two weeks. We know he has the experience and capacity to shoot a hot round and advance. Will he be able to do it this week?
28. James Cole
Snappy Cole is back for another Cinderella Story. James played his way into the finals last year and will be looking to do the same this year against a stiffer field of competition. James finished one position worse than he did last year in standings – but if last year is any indication – standings are just a number to be proven wrong for Snappy. We hope to see James again in the finals this year. He did it last year, can he repeat?
29. Mike Conlee
Mike holds the distinction of being only one of six players to play every Pro Tour Event this year and be qualified for the Championship. The other five players?* Nate Perkins, A.J. Risley, Eric Oakley, Paul Ulibarri, and Drew Gibson. That’s some elite company right there. While Mike ended up qualified and playing his way in – as opposed to a bye to quarters like A.J. and Eric or a bye to semis like Uli and Drew – Mike has a chance to parlay his consistent play into a run at the finals. Get geared up to watch and see on Thursday!
*Article previously incorrectly stated Uli and Drew were the only others who had played every event. Article has been corrected to indicate Nate Perkins, A.J. Risley and Eric Oakley also played every event on tour and qualified.
31. Zackeriath Johnson
Last year Zackeriath only played two Pro Tour events and did not place high enough to qualify for the championship. This year he played six and while three of his finishes only carded him one tour point each, his other three finishes gave him enough points to be qualified for the championship. Zackeriath’s best finish was T8th at Idlewild. If he can draw on the quality of play we saw at this tournament he could have a shot at advancing to quarterfinals. If he can do it twice, well that would put him in semis.
33. Tim Barham
Tim played all of the first half of the tour this year and tacked on two more events in the second half for good measure. Tim just missed the cut-off last year and his correction of playing more events almost led to him gaining a bye to the quarterfinals. Tim put together an 8th place finish at Nick Hyde and if he can put together similar rounds from that tournament we could see him advancing into the quarterfinals no problem. Tim has put in the work to make it this far in the Pro Tour, we can expect him to show up and do work this week as well.
36. JohnE McCray
Last year, JohnE played in two events – Vibram and Ledgestone. His finishes in those two events were not solid enough to qualify. This year, JohnE planned to play in more events, however, his lyme disease flare ups caused him to shorten his tour. This did not stop JohnE from being able to qualify for the finals. In two events JohnE was able to secure a spot. His 4th place finish at Jonesboro is what we have come to expect from him. We expect to see the same type of performance from him at the Championship. JohnE is back in his home state of Florida. Assuming he is healthy we could easily see JohnE in the final round.
37. Jeffery Renner
Jeffery has grinded it out this year, playing in 29 events and 8 of the 9 Pro Tour stops. If Jeffery has some gas left in the tank he may be able to make a push to advance in the championship. Jeffery has only cashed in 4 of the 8 Pro Tour stops he has participated in, while this may be concerning to some – this also means that 50% of the time he’s bringing home the money. It’s a glass half full type of perspective. It does not look like Jeffery is going to be on the top of the list to advance in the tournament, but we are saying there’s a chance.
39. Paul Oman
TheTallOman, it’s easier to go by than the other, other Paul. Just because Paul Oman is one of a host of Paul’s on tour does not mean he’s any less of a player. Paul signed on for the second half of the tour this year and showed that’s all it takes to qualify, beating out many players who tried to qualify playing the entire tour this year. Paul’s best finish was 15th at Ledgestone but that does not mean he cannot rise to the top with a hot round. Paul was recognized at Vibram with the Spirit of the Game award and his continual optimism on the course should give him a leg up over those who are simply focused on advancing to the next round.
41. Dutch Napier
Dutch played in six of the nine Pro Tour events this season and cashed in four of them. Dutch is known for his killer putting skills and has been able to land 91% of his circle one putting this season. If Dutch is able to get his putter working early we could see him advancing to the quarterfinals. Historically Dutch has been more of a regional pro but we have seen him branching out in recent years. Dutch is known for his upbeat personality and should be a blast to watch as he makes a push to bring home some cash from the DGPT Finals.
42. Jon Perry
Jon played the first half of the Pro Tour and then came back and played Vibram and GMC for good measure. Jon was able to secure his qualified spot in the Finals and will be looking to advance into quarterfinals to get paid. He has cashed at every Pro Tour event this year except Jonesboro. He won’t be playing a course quite like Jonesboro in Jacksonville, so he should have a shot at making it into the quarterfinals round.
45. Dana Vicich
Dana saw success last year in the Pro Tour Finals, he came up short of making it to the final round (advancing to the semis) he did show he has the skills necessary to advance in the tournament. We expect Dana to perform at the same level as he did at Utah and in the Finals last year. He has consistently shown he can shoot a hot round and all it takes are two in a row to make it into the semi-finals round. While Dana only played the second half of the season, his ability to throw a hot round puts him in a position to play favorably in the Finals this year.
46. Bobby Musick – No Longer Attending
We just received news today that Bobby Musick will be unable to attend the Pro Tour Championship due to a family emergency. Our thoughts are with him and his family at this time.
We saw Bobby join the tour for three of the events in the second half of the season. Bobby’s first event, The Utah Open, was his best – he finished 10th including a showing on the lead card during the second round of the tournament. This propelled Bobby into the spotlight as a player to watch at future events. His consistent play at both Ledgestone and Vibram opened the door for his spot in the Pro Tour Finals. All it takes is one good round and Bobby has proven more than once he has a good round in him. Hopefully he uses a few of those rounds here in the Finals.
47. Reid Frescura
Reid played in five of the nine Pro Tour stops so far this year. Reid’s best finish at a Pro Tour event was at Idlewild this year where he finished 14th. Only two other players who are competing in round one finished better than Reid. If Reid is able to put together the performance we saw from him at Idlewild he has a shot at moving forward to the quarterfinals. While he is not a name we have heard a lot this year, he has shown he has the potential – now he just has to put in the work.
50. Cameron Colglazier
Playing only two events on tour this year, Cam landed the last spot on the qualified list. Cameron is quiet on the course, not very flashy, but gets the job done. Cam’s play at Vibram was just what he needed to get a boost into finals. Cam is not a weekend warrior on tour, but when he shows up, he’s a contender. For the past two years Cameron has had a strong showing at the Ledgestone (3rd last year and 6th this year). The way he handled the Lake Eureka course shows he has the skill and mental capacity to play on a big stage and not have his game affected. Cam is a wildcard who has the ability to win the tournament. Cam will be a player to watch and one you shouldn’t be surprised to see competing in the final round.
Hopefully this serves as a solid guide for the first round of the Pro Tour Championship. Make sure you have filled out your brackets and you’re ready to watch live later this week!
Live coverage of the DGPT Tour Championship schedule starts, times listed are EDT:
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