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Highlights from Jim Palmeri’s 50th American Flying Disc Open in Rochester

By Nick Quargnenti
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Article written by: Nick Quargnenti – DGPT Marketing Coordinator

Ezra Robinson and Chantel Budinsky at Rochester. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

Highlights from Jim Palmeri’s 50th American Flying Disc Open in Rochester

Excitement was in the air as we welcomed Jim Palmeri’s 50th American Flying Disc Open presented by Dynamic Discs (AFDO) to the Pro Tour as a Silver Event this weekend. The action took place at the Parma Town Park course, just outside Rochester. This course lived up to the hype, offering a range of shot shapes and tough gaps that demanded our players’ absolute best throws.

Chantel Budinsky (PDGA# 130342) and Ezra Robinson (PDGA# 50671), your now reigning AFDO champions, commanded the field from beginning to end. Their performance earned them the rightful title of DGPT Silver Event champions. These wins also marked their inaugural victories on the Pro Tour across Elite, Major, and Silver Events.

Chantel Budinsky Makes History as First Canadian Winner of a DGPT Event!

Chantel Budinsky Celebrates Victory at Parma Town Park. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Chantel Budinsky has etched her name in history as the first-ever Canadian to seize a DGPT victory. She kicked off her tournament with the FPO field’s top score at even par on day one and maintained her position on the FPO lead card throughout the event.

Budinsky secured the top spot in a range of UDisc stats, including a birdie percentage of 31%, nailing 86% of her circle 1X putts, and making 20% of her circle 2 putts. Her impressive birdie count was likely a result of setting herself up well, evident by her leading circle 1 in regulation percentage at 35%.

Chantel Budinsky Finishing Out at the AFDO. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

Budinsky has been a PDGA member since 2020, she’s taken part in 13 DGPT events, spanning across Elite, Majors, and Silver Events, along with numerous A, B, and C-tiers. In her Pro Tour journey, Budinksy has notched two top-10 finishes. This weekend’s triumph counts as one of those, and her finish couldn’t have been any stronger.

Wrapping up the tournament, Budinsky fired an impressive bogey-free final round, claiming the weekend’s hot round at a remarkable 8 under par. This sealed her final event score at 7 under par, a staggering 9 strokes ahead of the competition. Behind Budinsky the race for 2nd and 3rd place came down to the wire. 

Colleen McInnes During the Final Round in Rochester. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

In a determined effort right through the finish was fellow Canadian Colleen McInnes (PDGA# 78677). McInnes earned a solid solo 2nd place with a final score of 2 over par. She dominated fairway hits with a top 79% accuracy and reached circle 2 in regulation 57% of the time. Despite a strong push in the last round, McInnes came within 2 strokes of the lead on Hole 12, it ultimately wasn’t enough to catch up to Budinsky in the end.

Other standouts in the rankings included Holly Finley (PDGA# 51277) and Ellen Widboom (PDGA# 58276), who both shared 3rd place honors with overall scores of +4. Finley joined McInnes in leading the pack for reaching circle 2 in regulation (57%) and also snagged the top spot in parked percentage at 9% throughout the weekend.

Ellen Widboom and Holly Finley at the AFDO in Rochester. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

Ellen Widboom, a respected Air Force Veteran, reminded us that she’s a force to be reckoned with in any event. She clinched the leading position in scramble percentage over the weekend at 50% and secured the second-highest rank in circle 1X putting at 86%. Her podium placement marked her debut on the podium this season and her second top-10 finish in Pro Tour events (Elites, Majors, and Silvers) within the past two seasons. Widboom notably won the Idlewild Open in 2020.

Ezra Robinson Shatters Course Record on the Way to First DGPT Victory!

Ezra Robinson Celebrates Victory at the AFDO in Rochester. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

The MPO division had its own share of amazing moments, including a debut DGPT champion. Ezra Robinson secured his first-ever DGPT event victory with an outstanding score of 31 under par, leaving the rest of the field at least 6-strokes behind. This victory was a well-deserved milestone for the renowned gap-hitter, a truly unforgettable moment.

Much like Chantel Budinsky, Robinson began the tournament with a score that secured his spot on the lead card throughout the event. Sharing the lead card with him was the crowd-favorite, Matt Orum (PDGA# 18330), who engaged in an intense battle with the newly crowned DGPT event champion.

Ezra Robinson Closes Out the AFDO in Rochester. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

Ezra’s triumph was the result of consistent performance all around. He commanded the event with a 59% birdie rate, a feat that aligns with his other standout stats. He secured the top ranks in parked percentage (20%) and excelled in reaching both circle 1 (56%) and circle 2 (76%) in regulation throughout the event. Caddying and supporting Ezra all the way, was his wife Kylie who stood by him until they reached the celebratory finish.

Ezra Robinson Celebrates his First Victory with his Wife Kylie. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

His exceptional performance was underscored by his record-breaking scores. During the tournament’s second day, Ezra established a new course record at a remarkable 10 under par. And just when it seemed like he couldn’t surpass that, he astonished us with a flawless 13 under par final round on Championship Sunday. This included an Eagle on Hole 14, making him one of only two players to master this feat alongside Noah Fiveash (PDGA# 99153).

Chasing Ezra throughout most of the event was Matt Orum, who secured a solid solo 2nd place with a final score of 25 under par. Together, Ezra and Matty O. outperformed the rest of the field by a remarkable 10 strokes by the end of the tournament. Matty O. earned the leading spot in fairway hits at 81% and topped the charts in circle 2 putting at 47%.

Matty O. at the AFDO in Rochester. Photo: Gage Hamilton / DGPT

While Orum’s standout putts at the American Flying Disc Open could make an impressive highlight reel on their own, he’s still on the hunt for his first DGPT event victory in the last two seasons. With this event behind him, Orum now boasts two podium finishes and a solid eight top-10 placements this season. Is his breakthrough coming at Worlds? Only time will tell!

Joining Ezra Robinson with another bogey-free final round was Lakeside, Arizona’s own Connor Rock (PDGA# 73695), who secured a solo 3rd place on the podium. This marks Connor‘s inaugural podium finish on the Pro Tour.

Taking the solo 4th spot is the notable contender Jake Wolff (PDGA# 144536). Wolff graced the Parma Town Park fairways with a litany of unique throws such as tomahawks and forehand rollers. He finished the event with an astonishing 100% success rate in circle 1X putting throughout the weekend.

Get ready for the action to pick up again on August 30th as the Disc Golf Pro Tour returns with the highly anticipated 2023 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships presented by L.L. Bean! Don’t miss out on witnessing history unfold – catch all the excitement on the Disc Golf Network.

 

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