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2018 Ledgestone Insurance Open: Disc Golf’s Richest Payout Embodies Festival Atmosphere

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It is easy for any event to have the richest purse in disc golf history. Throw enough money at the tournament, and you can reach that goal with just a few hundred thousand dollars. It takes a crew to put together a tournament that has not only the richest payout but also has a festival atmosphere.
The Ledgestone Insurance Open has that festival atmosphere, and just a little bit more. The events surrounding Ledgestone began on Sunday. A Flex C Tier took place at Lake Eureka that allowed players to try their hand at the Lake Eureka course that the MPO division will be playing all weekend. Samuel Aldrich took down the win in the Open division, carding an even for the round. The only pro over 1000 who played was JohnE McCray. He will be looking to improve on his score during the live round on Thursday as he carded a three-over and brought home last cash on the day.

Yesterday, Sun King Discs hosted a Flex Start C Tier at the Northwoods course which is one of the two courses the FPO division will be playing this weekend.  Aldrich continued his winning ways this time shooting a 1000 rated -8 to bring home first cash.

Today features three events, a juniors clinic hosted by Discraft and Austin Turner, the Kids Disc Golf Pizza Party that takes place at each Pro Tour stop, and a Flex Start C Tier at Bradley Park. Tee off for the Flex Start can be anytime between 9 am and 4:30 pm today. The juniors clinic and Kids Disc Golf event will both take place at Washington Park. From 4-5pm juniors of all ages can partake in a free clinic hosted by Austin Turner and then from 5-6pm the pizza party will take place and include Ricky Wysocki along with a few other top pros.

On Wednesday we will see even more festivities kick-off in Peoria for the Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft. A press conference will kick off the day at Downtown Disc Golf course. The press conference is a regular occurrence at the Ledgestone Insurance Open. However, this year the press conference will feature a venue change to promote the new Downtown Disc Golf Experience. The Downtown Disc Golf Experience is new to the Ledgestone Insurance Open line-up. Initially set up in Grand Rapids the Downtown Disc Golf Experience is a non-profit built to grow disc golf through hosting events in urban spaces. For Ledgestone players will be able to play doubles throughout downtown Peoria with prototype Discraft discs. During this time players will also have the opportunity to play a Flex Start C Tier at Sunset Hills, the other track the FPO players will be playing all weekend. During the afternoon Pro check-in will take place at Lake Eureka, and there will be a mini tournament and players clinic at Sunset Hills. Discraft players Tim Barham and Ben Callaway will be leading the clinic. The day concludes with the Champs Exhibition at Sunset Hills with Sarah Hokom, Paige Pierce, Austin Turner, and Nate Sexton. The public will be able to make donations for St. Jude and will receive raffle tickets for a chance to play skins with the four pros on the card. Each hole four new raffle tickets are drawn, and winners also receive a disc to commemorate the experience. All week players will want to head over to Sunset Hills for various events or to even grab some food on-site at the clubhouse restaurant.

On Thursday competition begins for the FPO and MPO divisions. However, the fun does not stop there. The AM & age protected divisions will start check-in at Sunset Hills. If the feel was not already festive enough, the real festivities will kick off at Sunset Hills. There will be the return of the $10,000 Hole in one Contest. At the same time, the Festival of the Flying Discs will take place. All of this kicks off at 3 PM and will run until 8 or 9 PM depending on the event. An ice cream social will begin at 5 PM and at 6 PM a dunk tank to raise money for St Jude. Also starting at 6 PM will be the putting competition. Thursday continues the theme of Sunset Hills as the place to be for the week when the competition is not happening.

On Friday all players will be at courses across the greater Peoria area. Once players and spectators finish for the day they can head over to Sunset Hills at 6 PM for the Players Party. Not to be outdone, there will also be a Main Flymart with various disc golf vendors and pros setup. The Festival of the Flying Disc will again be in full effect. The St. Jude Dunk Tank will also be running again, and after dark, the Nite Ize Glo Golf will take place on the Sunset Hills Course. In between all of that Eagles Wings Disc Golf will be hosting a chapel service for all players at Sunset Hills.

Saturday morning players return to competition, and then Saturday night they have the option to go to two different places for disc golf festivities. Players can return to Sunset Hills where the Festival of the Flying Disc will be in full swing along with a long drive contest from 6-8PM. If someone has spent too much time at Sunset Hills or wants a change of scenery, there will also be baseball night at Dozer Park.

Sunday will begin to wrap up the competition. Before the lead card tees off a Lake Eureka, there will be a “first putt” ceremony with St. Jude. Once the play is complete awards for both the AMs and Pros will take place at Lake Eureka. AM payout will also take place on-site at Lake Eureka. In case you have not noticed, the Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft is not just a tournament, it is a real celebration of the flying disc. There are events each day outside of the competition to keep players engaged and supporting the local community that has shown up to host a great tournament.

If you are unable to attend the event in person you can watch the feature, and lead card coverage live each day starting at 3:00 PM ET with shot-by-shot coverage of the FPO division and 4:15 PM ET with live coverage of the MPO card.

Article written by DGPT VP of PR Seth Fendley