2017: Who will be The Eight

With three events left in the 2017 Pro Tour season, things are coming into focus for the Tour Championship, which be held Oct 18-21 in Jacksonville, FL at the New World Disc Golf complex. It will also be the first Pro Tour event that utilizes the Prodigy T1 basket.

Now to brass tacks, the top 50 MPO and top 15 FPO qualify for the Tour Championship. There is no entry fee, everyone that plays gets a payout, and everyone that qualifies is a 2018 DGPT Touring Pro, complete with their very own DGPT Trading Card.

Let’s review how it works and who is in.

How it Works

There are four rounds of play. Players must perform well to advance to the next round and each round is a stand-alone part of the championship, meaning scores do not carry over to the next round.

MPO Bracket

Round 1: The players who finished 26th-50th in Tour Points compete in one round. The top eight scores advance to the Quarterfinals. Ties are broken by Tour Points.

Quarterfinals: 9th-25th in Tour Points are joined by the top eight finishers in Round 1. These 25 players compete in one round, with the top eight advancing to the Semifinals. Ties are broken by Tour Points.

Semfinals: The top eight players in Tour Points for the season and the top eight players from the Quarterfnals are sorted by Tour Points and put into four foursomes. Card winners and the player with the best score that did not win a card advance to the Finals. Ties are broken by a three hole sudden death playoff. If players are still tied, the tie is broken by Tour Points.

Tour Finals: The five players that advance from the Semifinals compete in one final round to determine the Tour Champion. Ties are broken by a three hole playoff. If they are still tied, the playoff becomes a sudden death playoff.

FPO Bracket

Round 1: The players who finished 7th-15th in Tour Points compete in one round. The top six scores advance to the Quarterfinals. Ties are broken by Tour Points.

Quarterfinals: 4th-6th in Tour Points are joined by the top six finishers in Round 1. These nine players compete in one round, with the top six advancing to the Semifinals. Ties are broken by Tour Points.

Semfinals: The top three players in Tour Points for the season and the top six players from the Quarterfnals are sorted by Tour Points and put into three threesomes. Card winners and the player with the best score that did not win a card advance to the Finals. Ties are broken by a three hole sudden death playoff. If players are still tied, the tie is broken by Tour Points.

Tour Finals: The four players that advance from the Semifinals compete in one final round to determine the Tour Champion. Ties are broken by a three hole playoff. If they are still tied, the playoff becomes a sudden death playoff.

Who’s in and who’s hoping

Finishing in the top eight in Tour Points is critical for Touring Pros. Our models estimate that 329 points will be needed to finish in The Eight. This guarantees you a bye into the Semifinals as well as a minimum $1000 payday. Ricky Wysocki, Simon Lizotte, Jeremy Koling and Paul McBeth have a pretty solid lock on four of these positions. The next four spots are going to be an exciting battle to watch. Let’s run through the contenders:

Nikko Locastro (229 pts) – currently in 5th, averaging 26 points per event and registered to play in the final three events. If he keeps up that pace, he will be over 300 Tour Points and in good position to make the top eight.

Drew Gibson (226.5 pts) – currently 6th and averaging 25.4 points per event. He is a much more consistent finisher than Nikko and should be able to maintain his tour points average over the last three events, all of which he is registered to play. He is in good position to make the top eight.

Presuming Nikko and Drew stay on pace, that leaves eight to ten players battling for the final two spots that get a bye to the Semifinals.

James Conrad (212.5 pts) and Austin Turner (211.3) both have two finishes in the top six as well as two finishes outside the top 20. If they can reel it in and card another top five finish, they will put themselves in good position. If they don’t, they will be opening the door for one or two of the following players to sneak into The Eight in the last third of the season.

Who’s Chasing?

Paul Ulibarri (209.83) and Philo Brathewaite (208.83) would be the most likely to catch Conrad and Turner. They are registered for each of the final events and have been playing close to them all season. Additionally, Uli is coming off his best finish of the year (3rd place at Ledgestone) and may be peaking at the right time of the year.

Peter McBride (180.33), Devan Owens (157.75) and Eagle McMahon (150.33) would be long shots that have the skills. McBride clearly can compete at the GMC, Devan always does well at the Vibram, and Eagle McMahon can finish on the lead card on any given weekend. A couple solid finishes by any of these players will make them a strong contender for The Eight.

Then there are the wildcards. Players who have not played much but have the skills to make a mad rush over these final events. Josh Anthon, who won Ledgestone by 10, Michael Johansen, who finished in the top five in three of his four events last season, and Nate Doss, a 3X World Champion who still has the skills and fire to make a run at any event.

Leave a Comment