The Disc Golf Pro Tour season is nearing its conclusion with just three more events to complete before the Tour Championship. For our seventh stop on the nine event tour, we head to Burlington, Kentucky for the Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati. With even more competitors due to the graduated entry system, 92 men and 12 women will be challenged by the tough Idlewild course. The competition looks to be heated with players jockeying for position in the tour points standings as we head down the final stretch of the 2017 season.
Paul McBeth looks to be the clear favorite in the Open division. With Ricky Wysocki having a comfortable lead in tour points and taking a much deserved weekend off. With other competitors resting to gear up for a late season run, McBeth, who currently leads our power rankings, will only have one other top-ten competitor to fend off, #10, Jeremy Koling. Paul has already had some highlight reel clips this week, acing hole 11 in practice, not once, but twice. McBeth, who is currently sitting at fourth in tour points, will use this weekend as an opportunity to try and move up and secure a better seed for the Tour Championship. For Koling, it’s an opportunity to build on the momentum he has built over the past twelve months. Koling’s victory at WACO could be an indicator of the success that he could be in store for this weekend. The Idlewild course, measuring in at 9124 feet, is over 1000 feet longer than the BEast in Waco, but should have a similar feel with the course having a variety of shots from open to heavily wooded. With tight lines and some punishing woods, Idlewild should have Koling’s North Carolina golf senses tingling and he will be one to watch as he tries to carve up the woods of Kentucky.
This tournament is not short on talent. There is a slew of names with plenty of experience competing in Disc Golf Pro Tour events this season including seven of our top ten points leaders. Earlier this week, Tour Director, Steve Dodge, highlighted the race for the top eight and you can expect that battle to be in full force this weekend.
Note: The top eight players in Tour Points receive a bye to the Tour Championship Semifinals. Review the MPO Bracket.
James Conrad is one of those players battling for a top eight spot and one that the Idlewild course looks to play favorably for. Another crafty woods player and a name to look for over the weekend is Michael Johansen. Johansen and Conrad are a pair of competitors that you should not be surprised to see on a lead card or two over the weekend. With the pair known for being woods aficionados, they should be able to navigate the tight holes of Idlewild with success and perhaps challenge McBeth.
On the women’s side, it’s a usual cast of characters with Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Jessica Weese all playing this weekend. One notable name missing from this tournament will be Ledgestone winner, Valarie Jenkins. Jenkins’ adversary from two weeks ago, Jessica Weese, will look to continue her solid play after coming away with a victory in Utah and losing to Jenkins in a playoff at Ledgestone. Weese, like McBeth,already has a highlight reel throw this week, acing hole 11 in practice. Weese’s practice partner, Rebecca Cox, a local to the Cincinnati area, will know the course better than most of her competitors. She will look to make a splash near home and have a strong event.
While the battle for eight is heating up on the men’s side, two women are fighting in the battle for the third and final semi-final bye spot for the ladies. This battle looks to be between Weese and Catrina Allen. Currently, Allen has a 49 point lead over Weese and will look to solidify that spot with a good finish this weekend. Another competitor looking to move up in the standings this week will be Lisa Fajkus. Fajkus has been solid this year and sits in seventh place, just one spot out of the top six who will get a bye into the quarterfinals. Fajkus will look to make up ground against Melody Waibel, who is playing this weekend, and an idle Jennefier Allen.
Tour Championship FPO Bracket
Two women who seem to have a good foothold in the tour points race are Sarah Hokom and Paige Pierce. It does not seem as if the pair is in danger of losing one of the top three spots, but both will want to bounce back from lackluster finishes at Ledgestone and continue the battle for points champion. Pierce has looked unstoppable at times this year but struggled to a fourth place finish at Ledgestone. Hokom has been on the back of Pierce’s heels all year and unfortunately followed suit at Ledgestone finishing behind Pierce in a disappointing fifth. Look for these two to regain form and challenge for the victory at Idlewild.
With exciting story-lines and a picturesque course, the Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati will be an event that you will want to watch. Luckily for you, we will bring you the action live via the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube channel beginning at 2:30 ET today. Be sure to tune it to not miss any of the exciting action.