The Disc Golf Pro Tour is pleased to announce the following new job positions for the 2020 season:
Since its inception, the Disc Golf Pro Tour has had many fruitful partnerships, but one relationship stands out among them, UDisc. UDisc Live made it’s debut at the outset of the 2016 DGPT season in partnership with the Tour in its inaugural year, developing the Live product over the subsequent seasons. Part of this development has included the creation of stat categories and terminology that have now become cemented in disc golf language and culture, such as Circle 1 & 2. The development of both brands and businesses has benefitted greatly since as both have expanded and grown through the past four years.
Heading into 2020, the DGPT and UDisc have built upon that foundation to roll out the largest slate of tournament coverage in any single agreement to date as the DGPT has contracted UDisc services for 20 events for the 2020 season. With the roll out of the Silver Series, the DGPT will now provide UDisc Live for all 11 premier events along with the slate of 9 Silver Series events. In addition, UDisc will be integral in finalizing the updated point series standings policies that will go into effect for the 2020 season.
The Pro Tour is proud to continue and build on this relationship and bring an entire season's worth of UDisc to fans around the world. The professionalism, ease-of-use, and next level stats that UDisc Live provides has not only served as a staple for what fans have come to expect at DGPT events, but raised the bar for what scorekeeping and event services can offer across the entire professional sports landscape.
After reviewing event candidates and completing a process of selection, the DGPT is pleased to announce the initial slate of Silver Series events for the 2020 season. Known as Test Events in prior years, the development of the brand into the Silver Series allows these events to be more involved with the Tour by elevating standards and awarding a small portion of points to competitors. It takes dedication, development, and a strong track record of success to put together a successful bid, and the DPGT congratulates all the event teams and communities joining the Silver Series in 2020. We look forward to providing more details in subsequent articles highlighting the series.
These 9 events will each award 25% the points of a premier DGPT event to competitors. In addition, competitors may use no more than their best three results to add their overall points series score. The DGPT is proud to provide UDisc services for all of these events and scoring will be integrated seamlessly into the overall DGPT Points Series Standings. The addition of scores from these events to the overall point series will add another layer of interest and strategy for players to account for during their touring season as they strive to qualify for the Tour Championship, which is poised to grow its purse significantly in 2020.
The DGPT is working collaboratively with each event team to help find and place media coverage for each stop. When finalized, the Tour will be happy to announce how fans can expect to watch competition at these events. While there will be live coverage provided by the DGPT at each of our premier events, we do not expect live coverage to be part of the Silver Series events often, if at all.
The addition of the series creates an overall slate of 20 events when the DGPT premier events and the Tour Championship are accounted for. While this looks to be the complete schedule for 2020 at this time, there are a few events that remain in discussion with the DGPT with a chance to be added to the Silver Series this offseason. The Tour is currently reviewing the Points and Scoring systems that were in place for 2019 collaboratively with UDisc and a team of staff and advisors. Once finalized, the Tour will announce points and scoring systems adjustments and the final scoring structure for the 2020 season.
We're happy to get more events involved with the DGPT and the inclusion of these great partners keeps our excitement for the 2020 season building!
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is proud to announce a media partnership with JomezPro for the 2020 season. The media team out of Texas has been growing their crew and quality level to new heights season after season, and will provide next day post production coverage of the lead mens card at all DGPT stops.
This is the first of several media announcements the Pro Tour will make regarding 2020 plans. In the coming week, the entire media picture will take shape, including the plans for Live Video Coverage for MPO & FPO as well as FPO post-production, MPO chase card post, photography, and exclusive content like podcasts, preview shows and player interviews.
Stay tuned as the 2020 season continues to be revealed!
With a new Disc Golf Pro Tour season, comes the opportunity to turn a new page. The Pro Tour has refreshed it's perspective on how to achieve goals of sustainability and growth through promotion, innovation and collaboration across our great sport. It seems only fitting that a brand update to align with and represent that come in tow. Throughout the process, the DGPT placed an emphasis on simple design that would be easier to reproduce and use across several formats. We're pleased to share more about that process with fans and followers.
Goals for the update centered around a brand refresh that kept the logo recognizable while also taking on a more simplistic and modern spin. The DGPT went through several different designs for the basket before finally landing on the version you see today. The desire to create a logo that was easier to stamp moved design away from a traditional basket with individual chains to a basket more of a silhouette in design.
Additionally, a refresh of font standards for the Disc Golf Pro Tour was to match a more modern design aesthetic. As such, gone is the serif font for headings replaced by the Sans Serif font in both the Disc Golf Pro Tour and 2020 lettering and numbering. We will be releasing a full brand standards document soon with additional details as we continue to update all associate digital and physical assets.
This refresh includes the DGPT color palette. Nearly every professional sports league in the United States uses some type of red and blue as part of their logo: MLB, NBA, MLS, NFL, etc. The DGPT prioritized retaining that motif, while move to a slightly less contrasting color palette than what existed. This blue and red palette debuted at the 2019 Tour Championship and with some minor tweaks decided to keep it for our new branding moving forward.
Much of the updated logo is similar to the original. The DGPT chose to keep the different formats of the logo with Disc Golf Pro Tour, DGPT, and the year attached to them. Doing this will allow for people to make an easy connection between the old brand and new brand, continuing brand recognition that was built in prior years.
We also kept the dual-colored text as the most recognizable aspect from the old logo to this new one. For readability, the lettering will be navy overtop lighter backgrounds, but when used on a dark setting, the letters ‘light up,’ and retain the old red and blue coloring we’ve grown used to.
A new season brings a myriad of new opportunities, and the DGPT is pleased to share this updated and refreshed brand. We are looking forward to more announcements over the offseason and we invite you to follow along to see what we are up to. Get excited, 2020 will be the best year yet!
Circle two, a spot where most amateurs are either hoping they get a look at making the putt (or are just laying up to save a potential come-back stroke) — a place where pros make their living. Today we will visit this year's top circle two putters on Tour.
FPO: Faces You Know
In our first stat review, we saw a few players who we are not familiar with on Tour making the top spots for C1 putting. It is different for most other stats, and Circle Two putting is one of those statistics. Paige Pierce dominated the C2 putting percentage. Paige made 43 out of 173 C2 putts. That is 24.86% of her C2 putts.
The next closest player was Kristin Tattar. As was noted in our previous article, Kristin Tattar only played two events this season. Kristin made 21.21% of her C2 putts, seven out of 33.
The next closest touring Pro to Paige? Madison Walker. Madison finished 5th in C2 putting making 16% of her C2 putts.
MPO: Not Quite The Top Ten Players
UDisc ranks players who have at least 100 holes covered by the app. As such, players with two tournaments under their belt go into the rankings. This year, the top-ranked C2 putter on the Pro Tour was Vincent Polidori. Vincent made 10 of 22 C2 putts for 45.45% of his C2 putts. Vincent played Ledgestone and Idlewild this year, finishing in T57 and T27, respectively.
Coming in second was Cameron Messerschmidt. Cameron played four stops on Tour this season and was able to claim one of the last spots in the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship. Cameron finished just behind Vincent making 43.28% of his putts (29 out of 67).
Other notable players in the top five of C2 putting include Scott Withers, Cale Leiviska, and Nate Sexton. Scott and Nate both only played two events, and Cale played three.
The player on the MPO side who finished 6th in C2 putting on the Disc Golf Pro Tour this season was the eventual Champion, Chris Dickerson. Chris finished the season, making 27 of 71 C2 putts. His 38% C2 putting average was only 7% off of this year's top finisher.
Collect Your Favorite Putters in Card Form
The Disc Golf Pro Tour makes it very easy for fans to collect their favorite players through Trading Card sets. Each year we produce Trading Cards for the top fifty men and top twenty women. On top of the base cards, we also create top stat and venue cards. This year we are releasing an all card exclusive deck, which will feature one of every card produced. If collecting the cards is more your style, you can also purchase a base deck or the individual packs on pre-order. Grab yours today!
Eight months ago, the 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour season kicked off at The Memorial Championship presented by Discraft. The Memorial has served as the start of the season for the Disc Golf Pro Tour since 2017. The Memorial will return for that role in 2020. As we look back at the year, we will be highlighting stats and our venues over the next few weeks.
The Memorial Championship was in its 31st in 2019. It featured two courses, the picturesque Fountain Hills and the extended Vista Del Camino layout. This year featured playing Fountain Hills first and Vista Del Camino second, avoiding a flip-flop between the courses.
The purse for this event was $53,338. With 183 MPO and 32 FPO players, the field increased in size by one MPO player and six FPO players over the previous year.
This year saw Eveliina Salonen take home the win in the FPO division, becoming the first European Champion of The Memorial for FPO. On the MPO side, Eagle McMahon finished just ahead of Simon Lizotte, flipping the finish from the previous year.
The Memorial Championship provides an exciting starting ground for the Disc Golf Pro Tour season. It features many highly rated rounds such as Eagle and Simon's first round this year, or McBeth's 1132 rated 39 at Fountain in 2013. We are looking forward to kicking off the 2020 season with The Memorial February 27-March 1.
To commemorate the 2019 Memorial, just like we have in previous years, we will have a Memorial Championship venue card in the 2020 Disc Golf Pro Tour Trading Card pack. You can guarantee receiving a venue card when you purchase an all card exclusive pack. Grab yours today.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is pleased to bring back the Tour Pass as an effective way for touring professional disc golfers to sign up for events efficiently in 2020. It allows players to sign up for DGPT events in bulk before the season begins. This allows the modern touring professional to avoid having to register individually, event by event, if they so choose.
The 2020 Pass will again be offered in three options:
Tour Pass Options:
The Tour Championship is now behind us, and the offseason is here. We now have a chance to look at some of the more impressive stats of the season. Today we will take a deep dive into the C1 putting stat. A stat so contentious that UDisc split it out into two stats this year, C1 and C1x. Before we dive into who had the most successful DGPT season putting in the MPO and FPO divisions, let us first gain an understanding of the statistic itself.
What are C1 and C1x?
C1 stands for circle one putting. Circle one is a ten-meter circle around the basket, traditionally thought of as the disc golf putting green. When a player is inside C1, they are required to remain stationary behind their lie (meaning, they cannot jump putt). C1x was added this year as a statistic that excludes tap-in putts. It is generally that players within 11ft of the basket are going to make their putt, while putts from 11-33ft may be more difficult. As such, UDisc created two distinct putting data points for tracking.
How is the stat tracked?
A common misconception with being a live scorekeeper is that the individual keeping score is in charge of calculating stats. This is not the case. Instead, a scorekeeper is detailing where a throw lands on the course. At this point, we do not have an accurate way of reporting exact distances for drives or putts, so for C1 tracking, three options are provided. The three options are 0-11ft, 11-22ft, and 22-33ft. These distances are selected when a putt goes into the basket. The C1 stat includes all three of these options; the C1x stat excludes the 0-11ft putts. With this information clarified, let's dive into the season stats.
MPO C1 Putting - A close race to be crowned King
The MPO player with the best C1 putting percentage for the season was very close; in fact, C1x was separated by 0.17%. Making 151 of 166 putts tracked, Eagle McMahon was the best C1x putter on Tour this season. Now Eagle only played the first half of the season, so to compare, we also want to look at the runner-up, who missed by less than 0.2%, Paul McBeth. McBeth played nearly every stop on TourTour this season and made 217 of 239 C1x putts. For Eagle, 15 putts missed across five and a half events (he DNF'd at Ledgestone). For McBeth, 22 putts across eight stops.
When you take into consideration all of C1, McBeth takes over the 1st place spot, and McMahon moves to second place. McBeth made 95.09% of his C1 putts, McMahon making 94.83%. Since C1 putting includes C1x putting, this can be seen as stats padding. The players do not miss any additional putts, the putts missed are just calculated alongside all of the other putts made within 0-11ft. Since Paul made more putts on the Pro Tour than Eagle, the percentage increases because there are more putts to be considered in the statistic, as such, an argument could be made on either side as to who was the best putter on TourTour this season, Paul or Eagle.
FPO C1 Putting - A New Queen is Crowned
Just like the MPO division, for FPO, there were two players at the top in regards to C1 putting. Thos two players only played two events each. As such, we will look at both of those player's stats and then compare them to the best touring players stats to see the differences.
The FPO player taking home the crown for C1x putting is Alisha Schafer. Alisha played at Ledgestone and DGLO this season and was able to make 46 of 59 C1x putts for a 77.97% putting rate. Right behind her was Kristin Tattar, who played MVP and GMC this year and had a 77.78% C1x putting percentage. Almost as close as the difference between Paul and Eagle. Kristin made 49 of 63 C1x putts.
For comparison, Missy Gannon, who played eight events on Tour this season (the same as McBeth), finished in 4th place in C1x, putting on Tour making 181 of 252 putts. This was a 71.83% putting percentage.
More Stats Analysis to Come
It is interesting to note that putting percentages are easier to maintain across a short series of events as opposed to an entire season. With Eagle and Alisha taking home top honors, and McBeth and Missy finishing behind them. While it could be argued that had Eagle and Kristin toured all season they may have both taken home top honors by a wider margin, the past is the past, and now we must look forward to next season.
We do have additional ways to commemorate the season though. Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at other stats as well as last year's venues to pay homage to the season and begin looking forward to 2020. Also, 2020 Trading Cards are available for pre-order now. We have three different package options, including a new, all-card deck, with only 100 boxes being sold. You will not want to miss out on this opportunity!
Happy November! We’re excited for a busy month of announcements regarding the Disc Golf Pro Tour and plans for 2020. Today we are happy to announce the first few.
DGPT Test Event Brand Evolves into New Silver Series
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is pleased to announce that the DGPT Test Events will shift to a new structure for the 2020 season which will be known as the DGPT Silver Series. The DGPT is currently working with events that served as 2019 Test Events to establish the bulk of the Silver Series schedule. That said, we are open to hearing from other events that may be interested in becoming a part of the Series.
Discussions and evaluation of events will take place during the first two weeks of November. Final details of the Silver Series structure will be released later this month along with the finalized schedule. However, some notable changes to the Series can be shared at this time. First, Silver Series events will award DGPT points at approximately 20% of the value of an event on Tour. The DGPT will also deliver a branding package to each event, as well as assist with marketing, promotion, and placement and procural of event resources if necessary.
Interested events will be considered if they have a strong history of meeting the highest standards of competition at venues that are well-suited for elite-level play. Working in coordination with our partners at the PDGA, the DGPT prefers that Silver Series events are PDGA A-Tiers. The event staff must also be experienced with a track record of demonstrated success. The Silver Series will serve as not only a developmental platform for events interested in joining the DGPT in the future but as its own unique part of the tour in 2020. To submit your event for consideration, please fill out the form below.
DGPT Releases 2020 RFP for Post Production Video Media
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is requesting proposals from independent media companies who are interested in partnering with the DGPT to create video media at events in 2020. For more information, please see our official RFP. To contact the DGPT to express interest, please fill out the form provided below. Thank you!
We’ve got a spooky announcement for you on this Halloween, complete with some “ghost” cards. Who’s ready to collect? Disc Golf Pro Tour Trading Cards have been a staple of the tour since its inception and next year will be no different. We are excited to roll out updates to the DGPT Trading Cards for 2020 and deliver more of both player cards and special edition cards than ever before! Trading card presale has already begun, and today, we are happy to announce that we are adding our 2020 12-packs to the DGPT Shop for presale! Fans can now purchase 12 packs with a mix of all the different types of cards.
2020 CARD RUNDOWN
There will be 100 individual cards in production in 2020! Here’s the breakdown for all you collectors out there:
For those just now entering the card collecting game, 2016 cards are rare and hard to procure. The 2017 cards are a little bit easier, with decks and packs still available in our online store. This year we saw an increased interest in our trading card decks, and we sold out of those at the Tour Championship; however, there are still some packs available.
An entire trading card culture now exists within the disc golf community, including a Facebook page dedicated to the trading of cards.
For 2019 we are going to adjust some production numbers and emphasize what we know fans want the most. We will maintain the 250 decks created number, but those are split across two types of decks. One hundred decks will feature every card made for the 2020 season. These are available only through pre-order. Player decks will be One hundred and fifty decks which will feature all of the players. The player cards are increasing this year to fifty men and twenty women. You can also pre-order those decks at this time. Finally, with the increase of player cards, there will be an increase in the number of cards within the trading card packs. You will now receive 12 cards in the trading card pack. Those are also now available for pre-order.
The 2020 trading cards also feature a new 2020 card emblem on the corner of each card. The start of the presale has already got us excited for the 2020 season, and we hope you are too! Trading cards will be ready to ship in time for delivery before the holiday season in mid-December making these great gift ideas for the holidays. Soon after that, we’ll be back on Tour and we can’t wait to see fans out at every Pro Tour stop next season looking to get their cards autographed!
2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship MPO Finals Recap: The DGPT Crowns its first back-to-back ChampionRead Now
The final day of the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship is always bittersweet. It is exciting as the opportunity to crown another champion unfolds on the course, but for the players and fans of the game, it represents the end of the Pro season. This year was no different. Going into the round, Chris Dickerson was a favorite to repeat, as he had gone through all four rounds of competition just like last year to make it to the lead card. Calvin Heimberg was also a player who many thought had a shot at winning due to his recent success at Hall of Fame. Drew Gibson and Kevin Jones represented wild cards of sorts. Drew Gibson had made his way from the quarterfinals round, his entrance to the Pro Tour Championship bolstered by his playoff victory at Portland. Kevin Jones had been in the hunt all season but had dropped off at the last few events. Coming in from the semifinals round, there was not much game film of Kevin to know if he would be in the mix.
Chris Dickerson and Calvin Heimburg would jump out to an early lead with Kevin Jones taking a bogey on the first hole and Drew Gibson taking pars for the first four holes. It was clear that both Drew and Kevin were playing the course, gunning to take a birdie when available but making pars to avoid any big numbers. Drew would be the first to fold, he carded an OB double-bogey six on hole five, three-putting from inside C1. While it was not over for Drew, he would need a significant come-back to make it into the mix. Kevin would not find his first birdie until hole seven, and this would prove to be too little, too late. By hole seven, Chris and Calvin were both four-under-par giving them a four throw and five throw advantage over Kevin and Drew.
On eight and nine, Calvin would grab two more birdies while Chris settled for par. Going into the back-nine with a two throw advantage, Calvin looked to be pulling away from the field. Calvin would grab another throw on Chris on hole eleven to move to a three-throw lead. Hole twelve is where the tide began to turn, though. Calvin would bogey, and Chris would birdie. A two throw swing. Chris was now back within one throw. Calvin and Chris both bogeyed hole fourteen. Briefly, Kevin had a longshot at a push to be in the mix again, but he would need to birdie out, and the other two would need to falter.
On holes fifteen and sixteen, Chris Dickerson would card birdies, Calvin would settle for pars, and Kevin Jones would take a par and a bogey. Kevin would then be in a battle for third place as Drew Gibson moved within one. Calvin would surrender his lead to Chris Dickerson. For the first time in the tournament, with two holes left, Chris Dickerson had the lead. In the battle for third, Drew Gibson took a birdie on seventeen with a sixty-foot birdie to tie Kevin going into eighteen. Calvin Heimburg snagged a fifty-foot birdie to tie Chris Dickerson for the lead.
In dramatic fashion, the entire Championship came down to 18. Drew Gibson was first off the box; and he unleashed a thrilling rip that blew past the basket and went OB. Calvin was next, ripping a fairway drive on a good line with enough power to cause the disc not to hyzer out of it's glide, coming up just short right, about 40 feet out. Having just made a C2 putt on seventeen, could he do it again? Chris Dickerson followed Calvin with what was the shot of the tournament, putting a beautiful full flight on a fairway driver on nearly 500 ft hole, and skipping up to the basket about 14 feet to the left. Kevin Jones rounded out the foursome with his drive coming up just short of Calvin's. First to putt, Kevin drained it from fifty feet securing third place. Heimburg is next, the fate of the event in his hand, with a 35-foot putt to force a playoff. A great offering splashes out strong side right leaving a Chris Dickerson with a easy putt to become your 2019 and back-to-back Disc Golf Pro Tour Champion!
It has been an exciting season of disc golf here on the Pro Tour. We want to thank everyone for following along and supporting the pros as well as the DGPT! We are looking forward to 2020 and even more exciting finishes.
The 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour is int he books for the FPO division, and we had to go to a playoff to determine our Champion. The day started with Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Rebecca Cox, all with an equal shot at bringing home the Tour Championship Title. Rebecca Cox came in as the short-term favorite carding the hot round yesterday in semifinals. Sarah Hokom came in as the pre-event favorite after winning the previous two events on tour. With the players who finished first and second in tour points on the card, it was set to be a great day.
Out of the gate, the card had a two throw lead on Catrina Allen as they took birdies to her bogey. Hokom would then have a four-throw lead on Catrina Allen after the second hole with Allen taking another bogey and Hokom her second birdie. Catrina would gain one throw back to be within three going into the back-nine.
While Allen and Hokom represented the disparity early, Pierce and Cox were trying their best to stay in the running. Cox was keeping things together until hole seven, where she took a double-bogey. This would drop her to two over par, tied with Pierce for third going into the back-nine. Cox was able to finish out the day one-over-par with a birdie and a bogey on the back-nine shooting even par. Pierce would look to get back on track with back-to-back birdies on ten and eleven, but a double-bogey seven on thirteen was pretty much enough to put her out of contention.
The story of the day was with Catrina Allen and Sarah Hokom. Being one-under-par going into the back-nine Hokom had a two-throw lead over the field. She opted to play par-golf through the woods, challenging the rest of the card to come after her. Catrina Allen would be the one to challenge. Allen's run started with an eagle on hole thirteen and then a birdie on fourteen. She would wipe out two of the throws she gained back with a double-bogey on fifteen. She would then grab two more birdies on sixteen and seventeen all the while Hokom was taking pars. Then on seventeen Hokom ended up with a bogey. A two-throw swing. A tie. On hole eighteen Catrina would have a look at birdie, she hit front cage. Playoff.
The playoff is set to be 1-18 repeating. It would only take one hole. Both players hit the same tree on their drive. Catrina's would land in the middle of the fairway. Hokom's would bounce left giving her a rough position for an upshot. Catrina would throw first, her upshot bounced and nearly landed in the basket. She was parked for the three. Hokom's upshot would leave her about 20ft short through the trees. She was unable to convert. Catrina Allen became the first player to win the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship twice. Allen won the first year in 2016 and this year needed one playoff hole to seal the victory.
The steepest cut in disc golf is in the books, and four players are set to play for the Tour Championship title tomorrow. Today began with sixteen players, all hoping to be playing for the opportunity to be the 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour Champion. With eight players coming into the day playing their first competitive round on Hornet's Nest, it becomes a battle of experience vs. freshness. Some players were on their third round in two days, and it became an endurance race to see who can put up a round worthy of advancing.
The first card of the day featured players who had been playing since the qualifying round. Paul Oman, Zach Melton, Colten Montgomery, and Michael Johansen were all hoping that they could use their experience to conjure up a finals round appearance. Oman and Melton would be the first players to show cracks in their game plan, taking a double-bogey and bogey, respectively, on hole four. Melton would land a few more birdies to help get back on track but ultimately came up short with only a three-under performance. Oman would struggle to get back on pace and finished the day even par, one position away from the bottom. Colten Montgomery gave it more of a shot playing consistent golf until two bogeys on twelve and thirteen. Without those bogeys, he would have finished seven-under, which would have been just shy of making the finals round. Michael Johansen rounded out the card, and many thought the local pro would have a shot at winning the event. However, it would come down to tour points, and his 42nd position would not be enough to help him break the tie. MJ only had one uncharacteristic hole today when he took a double-bogey on the hole two island, going OB on his drive and then two-putting inside C1. While he would go on to make nine birdies in his round, a seven-under-par would not be enough to guarantee a spot in the finals. In the case of card one, experience on the course did not pay off as none of the four were able to make the finals.
The second card of the day featuring the rest of the players who played yesterday faired slightly better. This card featured two players who had two rounds under their belts, and two with only one. One of each advanced to the finals round today. Missing the cut were Philo Brathwaite and Nate Perkins. Philo started with back-to-back birdies and looked poised for success until he carded a bogey and double-bogey on holes three and four. Philo would be unable to card a consistent round and finished his day one-under-par, six back of the line to advance. Nate Perkins only played one round yesterday and was the eighth person to advance winning the tie-breaker yesterday based on Tour Standings with a four-under-par performance. Today Nate would struggle to put together a hot round and sandwiched all of his birdies between bogeys and finished five-off the advancing mark. However, Drew Gibson and Chris Dickerson were both able to advance today with solid nine-under-par performances. Yesterday Philo set the tone with a ten-under-par performance hot round, so Drew and Chris's rounds were not the best of the weekend so far, but they were not far off. Chris was able to card his nine-under going bogey-free on the day. Drew took a slightly more challenging route, carding bogeys on twelve and sixteen and using two of his eleven birdies to offset those. Both will be favorites to win tomorrow based on their solid performances across both days.
The third card of the day featured Adam Hammes, Calvin Heimburg, Chris Clemons, and Alex Russell. There were several players on this card who were favorites to advance to the finals round based on recent performances. Still, ultimately, only two players would play well enough to advance, and only one would be able to based on a tie and tie-breaker. Chris Clemons played a great front-nine today, but was unable to find birdies on the back-nine and had a double-bogey on seventeen that took him out of contention. Adam Hammes put together plenty of birdies for today, but four bogeys on holes five, ten, thirteen, and eighteen ended up costing him a shot at advancing.
The players who did have a shot at advancing were Alex Russell and Calvin Heimburg. Alex Russell started the day with a bogey but recovered quickly with four birdies in a row. However, eight birdies would not be enough to garner Alex a berth in the finals round tomorrow. Calvin Heimburg, who finished two spots ahead of Alex Russell in Tour Standings, was able to advance today on the tie-breaker over Alex and Michael Johansen. Calvin did have one blemish on the day, a bogey on the par-four hole eleven, but his eight birdies were enough for him to eek by into the finals.
The final card of the day featured the top players in the Tour Championship field. Simon Lizotte, Kevin Jones, Garrett Gurthie, and James Conrad looked like a card poised to be repeated on the finals round tomorrow. Still, ultimately, only one player would barely make it to tomorrow's round. James Conrad was playing catch-up early after taking double-bogeys on holes one and two. He would end up only getting three birdies on the day, while carding four more bogeys and a double-bogey to finish seven over par. Simon Lizotte also struggled early and bookended his birdie run with two bogeys towards the beginning and end of his round. He would finish one-under-par. Garrett Gurthie was in contention all day but was unable to convert enough birdies to advance to the finals round. Gurthie had one bogey on hole three, and had he pared he would have beat out Calvin Heimburg for the last spot in the finals round. Kevin Jones was able to keep together a good front nine and used a birdie on fifteen to offset his bogey on fourteen to finish seven-under-par. Thanks to Kevin's fourth-place Tour Standings, he was able to win the seven-under-par tie-breaker to advance to the finals round.
It is going to be an exciting finals round for the 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship. Drew Gibson, Chris Dickerson, Kevin Jones, and Calvin Heimburg will all be gunning for their shot at a Tour Championship title. Will experience reign supreme for Chris Dickerson, or will another player be able to unseat him? Tune in at 3 PM ET tomorrow to watch live!
The morning round is in the books, and we have four players headed to the final round of the 2019 Tour Championship. The FPO division has been the closer race, with the players not seeing much parity in scoring on the challenging Hornet's Nest layout.
The first card of the day featured the players who advanced from the quarterfinals round. That card included Holly Finley, Lisa Fajkus, Paige Bjerkaas, and Hailey King. Hailey King and Paige Bjerkaas struggled to put together advancing rounds. Hailey started the day with a birdie but was unable to find the blue marks on Udisc after the first hole. She would end up finishing her Pro Tour season with a nine-over par. Paige Bjerkaas was able to advance yesterday as part of the four-way tie that was broken based on Tour Standings but was unable to get a hot round going. A string of bogeys on holes eight through eleven proved too challenging to overcome, and Bjerkaas will finish the season in the semifinals round of the Tour Championship. Lisa Fajkus and Holly Finley finished at four over par and had a shot at making the finals round tomorrow. They watched as the other semifinals feature card had five more holes to play hoping for a player or two to end up five over. Ultimately, this would not happen.
After some close play, all four players who had a bye to the semifinals moved on to the final round of the Tour Championship. The story of the day was Rebecca Cox who injured herself before the Hall of Fame classic and was able to play it safe for the week leading up to the event to be healthy enough to play this weekend. With a contingent of Cincinatti fans behind her she was able to put together what is currently tied for the hot round of the weekend. Playing three-under-par on the back-nine she was able to recover from some bogeys early to finish the day one-under-par.
Paige Pierce was able to finish even par after taking a triple-bogey on hole five. She carded an eagle on thirteen and was able to propel that into an even par round. Sarah Hokom had the third-best round today, she also carded a triple-bogey one hole before Pierce on hole four. She then put in work to recover and finished at three-over-par. Rounding out the players with a semifinals bye was Catrina Allen. Catrina would finish four-over par and her Tour Standings helped her break the tie with Lisa Fajkus and Holly Finley to advance to the finals tomorrow.
The final round tomorrow will begin at 10 AM ET for the FPO division. Make plans to tune in and watch live or in person.
The first day of the 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship is in the books, and the MPO players are geared up to play the grueling semifinals round tomorrow. Tomorrow the field will go from sixteen to four and the competition could not be closer.
The first card of the quarterfinals round featured Matt Dollar, Zach Melton, Paul Oman, and Michael Johansen. These players were the lowest in Tour Points Standings going into the quarterfinals round and all, but one of them advanced into the semifinals. Paul Oman, 51st in Tour Standings, Zach Melton, 44th in Tour Standings, Michael Johansen, 42nd in Tour Standings, all three played two rounds today, and all three will be making their way to semifinals tomorrow. These players are all playing the Tour Championship because others were unable to attend, now they are guaranteed a substantial paycheck due to their performance today. Michael Johansen indicated earlier this week during practice that he has played well over 10,000 rounds on this course. It shows through his consistent under-par performance today. Zach Melton and Paul Oman are both known for their woods golf skills, and Oman commented after the round today that Hornets Nest really suits his game. All three players will be playing at 12:30 PM ET tomorrow, joined by one player from the second card.
The second card for the quarterfinals round today included Colten Montgomery, Chris Dickerson, Philo Brathwaite, and Brian Earhart. Yet again, three of the players from this card will move on to semifinals. Colten Montgomery will round out the 12:30 PM ET card based on his Tour Standings finish. Chris Dickerson and Philo Brathwaite will join the other two players advancing from the quarterfinals round on the 12:50 PM ET card.
The third and fourth card for quarterfinals today featured players who had been able to secure a bye to the quarterfinals based on their Tour Standings. These players played their first round of the tournament this afternoon, for six of them, it was their only round. Only one player from the third and fourth cards advanced. Nate Perkins advanced from the third card on the Tour Points tie-breaker with Big Jerm coming up on the short end of the tie-breaking decision. On the fourth card, Drew Gibson was able to card a seven-under performance to advance.
Tomorrow will also feature two cards of semifinal players who earned a bye based on their top performances across the season. These players will be playing their first competitive round of the Tour Championship and will be looking to cool down the hot hands of those players who played two rounds today to advance to the second day of competition.
At 1:10 PM ET will be Calvin Heimburg, Adam Hammes, Alex Russell, and Chris Clemons. At 1:30 PM ET will be Simon Lizotte, Kevin Jones, Garret Gurthie, and James Conrad. We will be live at 1:30 PM ET with coverage bouncing around each card, so make plans to tune in and watch live!
2019 DGPT Championship FPO Quarterfinals Recap: A Tie-breaker moves three players on to the semifinalsRead Now
With the first day of the 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship coming to a close, the FPO division is set to start early tomorrow for their semifinals round, and it was a close finish this morning to determine who would get there. Three cards played today in the FPO quarterfinals round, and players from two of the three cards advanced.
The first card this morning featured the lower end of the bracket with Deann Carey, Charlotte Towle, Lauren Butler, and Ellen Widboom. None of the players were able to put together a hot round to be able to advance to semifinals though it did not require an under-par round to advance today.
The second card featured Holly Finley, Vanessa Van Dyken, Missy Gannon, and Kona Star Panis. Kona would struggle today, but the rest of the card was in contention for most of the round to try and push to semifinals. Missy Gannon would ultimately finish one throw out of the score needed to advance to semifinals. Vanessa Van Dyken was in the hunt all round, but a costly triple-bogey on hole seventeen would make it to where she needed someone on the first card to slip-up for her to make it into the semifinals. Vanessa would end up in a tie at two-over-par with three other players, all of which finished higher in the Tour Standings. With the tie-breaker broken based on Tour Standings, Vanessa would finish the tournament at quarterfinals, unable to advance. In the story of the day on the FPO side, Holly Finley carded the only FPO round under par, finishing her round at one-under. She will be playing in the semifinals round tomorrow.
The feature FPO card included Jessica Weese, Lisa Fajkus, Paige Bjerkaas, and Hailey King. Jessica Weese would struggle early, taking a double bogey on hole two and was unable to garner enough birdies to catch-up. Lisa Fajkus, Paige Bjerkaas, and Hailey King all finished in the four-way tie at two-over but each in their own way. Hailey would card the most birdies on the day, but she needed those to help offset her two double-bogeys and multiple other bogeys on the day. Lisa and Paige would each have more even-keeled rounds en route to their two-over-par finishes.
The semifinals round will feature two cards. The first card will feature Holly Finley, Lisa Fajkus, Paige Bjerkaas, and Hailey King. The second card will include the players who had a bye, Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Rebecca Cox. Make plans to tune in tomorrow and watch live.
On the challenging Hornet's Nest Tour Championship layout players had to put in work today to advance to this afternoon's quarterfinals round.
The first card out of the gates this morning featured Paul Oman, Matt Dollar, Cameron Messerschmidt, and Lance Brown. Lance Brown made it into the tournament last night after Nikko Locastro informed the tournament that he would not be able to make it to the event. While Lance had a fortuitous opportunity, he was unable to capitalize and finished his round plus one. Cameron Messerschmidt put forth a valiant effort to try and advance to the quarterfinals but ended up one short finishing one under par. The two players who were able to advance from the first card were Paul Oman and Matt Dollar. Paul Oman leads the first card with a three-under sixty. Matt Dollar is right behind him with a two-under-par.
The second card this morning included JohnE McCray, Michael Johansen, Zach Melton, and Sam Lee. Just like the first card, two players advanced to quarterfinals, and two missed the cut. Missing the cut were JohnE McCray and Sam Lee with an even-par round. Carding the hot round of day one was Michael Johansen. Michael finished seven-under on the round, and if last year was any indicator, with Chris Dickerson shooting hot rounds each round, Michael might be in a position to make a run to the finals. A little bit of hometown good vibes could give him an extra boost as well. Zach Melton is also able to advance with a four-under-par.
On the third card, this morning was Colten Montgomery, Grady Shue, Andrew Marwede, and Trevor Harbolt. Only Colten will advance from this card, as he was the only player to finish under par on his card. He finished with a respectable five-under-par. Andrew Marwede would finish one-over-par, Trevor Harbolt finished three over par, and having a difficult go of it early, Grady Shue finished eight over par after going double-bogey on the first two holes and bogey on the third hole.
Rounding out the first round of competition was Philo Brathwaite, Eric Oakley, Chris Dickerson, and Brian Earhart. All but one of the players from the top card will be playing this afternoon as Chris Dickerson finished six-under-par, and Brian and Philo finished two-under-par.
Paul Oman, Matt Dollar, Zach Melton, and Michael Johansen will be on the 2 PM ET card for quarterfinals. Philo Brathwaite, Colten Montgomery, Brian Earhart, and Chris Dickerson will be on the 2:20 PM ET quarterfinals card. They will join the players who had a bye to the quarters, which include Andrew Presnell, Nate Perkins, Jeremy Koling, and Nathan Queen at 2:40 PM ET is filmed by Jomez Pro. The 3 PM ET card of Joel Freeman, Austin Hannum, Reid Frescura, and Drew Gibson will be broadcast live, so tune in and watch!
It’s been both a long and short journey to arrive at this year’s DGPT Championship. After a dynamic year of challenges and change, the Disc Golf Pro Tour is set up to bring the season strong with it’s first-ever Tour Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The event will take place on the legendary Hornet’s Nest course site of the 2012 combined Pro & Am World Championships and the 2018 Am World Championships. However, the layout that this elite group of professionals will be playing is going to be a new one.
When selecting this site for the Tour Championship, one of the most significant benefits was the strength of the Charlotte Disc Golf Club. Lead by President Jim Banbury, event confirmation and preparation started very strong. It was clear from the get-go that the course needed some alteration from its 2018 layout for AM Worlds, and work began immediately to get the final design in shape to challenge the top pros in the world.
The DGPT brought together a broad range of experts to finalize the layout. The base for all the alterations came from John Houck, HouckDesign. John flew in for a four-day visit, where he recommended a list of changes that the team could complete. Charlotte Disc Golf Club Operations Director Mark Huether took it from there, implementing many of John’s recommendations immediately.
The DGPT then brought in some touring pros for consultation. Charlotte native Jeremy Koling gave his time and insight to help ensure a set up that would provide appropriate challenge for the MPO field, with Steve Brinster, of Brinster Design, spending a day on the course giving insight as well. Madison Walker then came on board to consult on the FPO layout, which features four different tees and eight different baskets for the women.
Mark Huether also activated the volunteer power of the Charlotte Disc Golf Club, leading over five different workdays to clear new greens and fairways, install four brand new tees, and set thirteen new basket placements. Volunteer Coordinator, Dave George, was instrumental in this effort as well. All in all, the course remains the Hornets Nest that locals know and love but juiced up to challenge the best disc golfers in the sport.
While many of Houck’s changes were able to be implemented, there was limited time to install all recommendations. That said, there will be a chance to continue the development of the Gold Level Hornets Nest Layout with the Tour Championship returning to Charlotte for 2020. For now, it will be a thrill to watch the Tour Championship unfold on this well-loved track, with a new school layout!
EVENT FORMAT & FIELD
The Tour Championship is built to highlight the best in our sport, bringing together players who had top performances across a series of events during the regular season. The Championship features the top 32 men and top 16 women from 10 regular-season tour stops. Players drop their three worst performances to help create an equitable field for players who cannot make every event. The Championship is then flighted based on tour ranking with players moving through a qualifying, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals round.
This year features three changes to the format. First, cards are determined simply by Tour Standing. Players 1-4 play together, 5-8 play together, and on down the line. The card selection change matches an advancing change, which is that in the semifinals round, players with the four best scores will advance. This change removes the need to win your card to advance. The final change comes in the removal of the wildcard player in the finals round. With the top four scores advancing, there is no longer a need to highlight a player who may have carded a hot round but not be able to move to the finals due to someone finishing even better on the round. Ties in the qualifying, quarters, and semifinals round are broken based on Tour Standing. A tie for first in the finals round will lead to a play-off.
HOW TO WATCH
Each round of the Tour Championship is broadcast live on the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube channel, starting with the qualifying round for MPO. The 9 AM card featuring Philo Brathwaite, Nikko Locastro, Chris Dickerson, and Eric Oakley is the live card. The 8:40 AM round is post-produced by CCDG and features Brian Earhart, Andrew Marwede, Colten Montgomery, and Grady Shue. On the FPO side, the 10 AM card is broadcast live, meaning there will be MPO and FPO coverage coming at you in the same stream on day one. The 10 AM card features Jessica Weese, Lisa Fajkus, Paige Bjerkaas, and Hailey King.
The afternoon will feature the quarterfinals round for MPO and will include a new stream for the 3 PM live card of Joel Freeman, Austin Hannum, Reid Frescura, and Drew Gibson. Jomez Pro will be providing post-produced coverage of the 2:40 PM card, which features Andrew Presnell, Nate Perkins, Jeremy Koling, and Nathan Queen.
On Saturday, the MPO and FPO divisions will have the semifinals rounds. The 10 AM round will be broadcast live and post-produced. It will include Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Rebecca Cox. Central Coast will be covering the 2:40 PM card, which will consist of Calvin Heimburg, Adam Hammes, Alex Russell, and Chris Clemons. Jomez Pro will cover the 3 PM card and include Simon Lizotte, Kevin Jones, Garrett Gurthie, and James Conrad. The live coverage is designated to start with the 3 PM card, but there are plans to send cameras to the cards where players are playing well.
Sunday will bring the final round of each division with the FPO round starting at 10 AM being broadcast live and post-produced by Central Coast. The MPO round will be broadcast live at 3 PM and post-produced by Jomez Pro.
It is going to be an exciting weekend in Charlotte, NC. Make plans now, so you do not miss out on the action! We have spectator packages available for purchase in the DGPT Store if you are planning on watching the event in person. If you are planning on watching online make sure you are subscribed to the DGPT YouTube Channel, Jomez Pro, Central Coast Disc Golf, and Gatekeeper Media to be notified when videos are posted.
**All times are Eastern
Last year in a stellar performance at the MVP Open at Maple Hill, Hokom made a last-minute push to take first in Tour Points before traveling south to Florida and winning it all at the Tour Championship. This year, in a similar fashion, Hokom hit her stride late in the season, carding her first Pro Tour victory of the year at the Green Mountain Championship. While this was not enough to push her into winning the Tour Standings, it could be a good indication of what we can expect from Hokom in Charlotte next week.
Hokom has been a supporter of the Tour since Day one. In 2016 she won the Tour Standings by a margin of 35 points and finished second at the Tour Championship. In 2017, she finished second in Tour Standings and 4th at the Tour Championship. Then last year, she was able to unite the crowns finishing first in both Tour Standings and at the Tour Championship. Hokom is not a stranger to the Tour Championship and is in a unique position to be able to possibly be the first player to be a repeat Tour Champion.*
What do the stats say?
If you have been following Hokom's performances this season, one will quickly note that it has taken her quite some time to get comfortable with her new discs. This season, while Hokom finished 3rd in Tour Standings, the only statistics which she was third or better in was scramble percentage and OB rate. What is more interesting is when you narrow down her stats to look at GMC and MVP her two most recent Pro Tour events, those same stats are practically the only ones where she was first (at MVP she was also first in fairway hits).
Sarah finished second at MVP and first at GMC thanks to her precision and scrambling in the woods. For Sarah, GMC was won on Brewster Ridge but was not lost at Fox Run Meadows, thanks to her ability to keep her drives in bounds. All of this to say, her game is set up well for a strong performance at Hornet's Nest. If she avoids the OB on the Hornet's course and stays on top of the scramble percentage, she has an excellent shot at being the back-to-back Tour Champion.
So what about this course?
Sarah was the only player in the FPO division of the Tour Championship other than Catrina Allen to play at Hornet's Nest during 2012 Worlds. What happened? Hokom received her World Title there. Now, Worlds was not won by Hokom at Hornets, but the good karma associated with a World Title cannot go understated.
Looking at Hokom's stats on the wooded courses shows that she is set up for success at Hornet's Nest. Her precision sidearm allows her to get out of trouble with ease. It also gives her the ability to carve up a wooded course with unparalleled accuracy.
It should be an absolute delight to watch Sarah Hokom take a shot at defending her 2018 Tour Championship title. The course is looking phenomenal thanks to the design efforts of John Houck and the diligent work of Mark Huether and the Charlotte Disc Golf Club. If you have not already, make plans to watch the Tour Championship October 18-20th. It will be one tournament you will not want to miss!
*Chris Dickerson is also in the same position this year, though because the FPO play in the morning should Hokom win, she technically would be the first due to timeframe. Also, Dickerson has to play through the qualified round yet again while Sarah has a bye to semifinals.
James Conrad is no stranger to making final round lead cards. When he plays in October at Tour Championship, all he will need is to advance through the semifinals round to find himself there again. While James finished sixth in Tour Standings this season, his most notable finish comes this past week with his first Major victory at the United States Disc Golf Championship. When James makes his way 45 minutes north of Rock Hill to Hornets Nest, he will have the opportunity to be the first player to win both the USDGC and the Tour Championship in the same year.
After winning the USDGC, James noted that he began touring full time in June of 2016. In 2016 James played every Pro Tour event and finished 6th in Pro Tour standings. He would fail to make it out of semifinals, though. In 2017 James finished 5th in Pro Tour standings thanks to his first Pro Tour victory at Idlewild. He would advance past the semifinals and would end up taking 4th place at the Tour Championship. In 2018 James would finish 3rd in Tour Points, only finishing outside of the top ten at three events. He would yet again not be able to advance past the semifinals round. This year he will look to change that and proceed to the finals round in Charlotte.
What can the stats tell us?
James's best stat on the Pro Tour is birdie percentage, where he finished 12th on the season. Outside of this stat, you have to go pretty far down the stat sheet to find a bright spot. Much like our other successful players, his second and third best stats are C1 and C2 in regulation. He finished 17th and 20th, respectively.
To get a better look at where James can be successful, we need to look at his tournaments played this season. James finished T6th at Waco and outright 6th place at MVP. Two of the more wooded courses with a top ten performance will bode well for James. His best finish, 2nd at Idlewild, only helps bolster his possibilities for a Tour Championship final round appearance. Many already know of James's ability in the woods, but let's take a more in-depth look now at how he will stack up in the woods.
Can a wooded course spell success for Conrad?
Hornet's Nest is considered by many to be a fair but challenging wooded course. The last time James played a rated round in Charlotte was Pro Worlds in 2012, his only Pro event of the year, and he finished 42nd. While James is from just north in Virginia, he very rarely made the trip down to North Carolina to compete. That being said, the courses in Virginia are similar to that of Hornet's Nest, so we can expect James to feel right at home in Charlotte. Look for plenty of putter drives from Conrad as he seeks to carve up the Hornet's Nest course and hopefully advance from the semifinals to the finals round at the 2019 Tour Championship.
As we look forward to October 18-20th for the Tour Championship, we cannot thank John Houck and Mark Huether of the Charlotte Disc Golf Club enough for helping put together a Championship level course at Hornet's Nest. We are excited to see the best in the game compete for top honors in less than two weeks. Make plans to watch live or in person as we look to crown the Champions for year four of the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour is excited to announce its 2020 schedule. 2020 marks the fifth season of the Disc Golf Pro Tour. The Pro Tour will retain all eleven stops from the 2019 season.
The 2020 Tour is split into four distinct regions, The South, The West Coast, The Midwest, and The East Coast. Each area will feature Elite Series events from both the Disc Golf Pro Tour and The PDGA National Tour.
The Disc Golf Pro Tour will officially kick off the PDGA's Elite Series events with the Memorial Championship February 27th - March 1st. It will be one of only three tournaments in 2020 to span four days of competition (the other being the Ledgestone and GMC). The Tour will then take a break for two weeks before returning March 13-15th for the Waco Annual Charity Open. Following the Waco Annual Charity Open will be the first National Tour Event, the Texas States, which will be in Tyler, Texas. The next week will be Collegiate Nationals (a PDGA Major), which moves to Rock Hill, SC, for 2020. The Disc Golf Pro Tour will pick back up in Jonesboro, AR for the Jonesboro Open, April 17-19th. The South quadrant of events will wrap up with the Glass Blown Open a PDGA National Tour event, April 29-May 2nd.
The West Coast
Two weeks after GBO, the National Tour will have its third stop at the Masters Cup in Santa Cruz, CA, May 15-17th. The next weekend will be the USWDGC a PDGA Major in Placer Valley, CA. The fourth stop on the Pro Tour will be the San Francisco Open, which will take place May 29-31st. The Disc Golf Pro Tour will take another month break for a slate of PDGA Majors and an NT, which include Tim Selinske, USADGC, and Pro Worlds, the last of which will be in Ogden, UT June 13-20th. The National Tour will pick back up with the Beaver State Fling June 26-28th in Estacada, OR. The Disc Golf Pro Tour's fifth stop will be the Portland Open July 3-5th. The Portland Open will complete the West Coast swing and give players time to head overseas for the European Open before returning to the Midwest for the next section of the Tour.
The Great Lakes Open will kick off the midwest section of the Tour as the sixth stop of the 2020 Disc Golf Pro Tour. It will take place on July 24-26th. Two weeks later will be the Idlewild Open in Burlington, KY August 7-9th. The next week, August 13-16th will be the eighth stop on the Pro Tour the Ledgestone Insurance Open. The Disc Golf Pro Tour will then take a two-week break as it transitions over to the East Coast for the final leg of the season.
The East Coast
The East Coast leg of the Tour will pick up with the MVP Open, August 28th-30th. The next weekend will feature the final stop of the regular season for the Disc Golf Pro Tour, the Green Mountain Championship September 3-6th. With the Disc Golf Pro Tour season wrapped up, the Tour will move to the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge the next week, September 11-13th. The National Tour will then conclude at the Music City Open September 25-27th. The season will wrap up with the USDGC October 7-10th and the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship October 16-18th.
The DGPT is excited to announce a change in our test event program in the near future. We are currently working with 2019 test event TDs to establish the final details of a new series that will bring more prominence to events affiliated with the Pro Tour at the previous level of test event. If your event is interested in being considered please fill out the linked form. For the PDGA’s release and A-Tier selection please review the linked post.
We are excited about the 2020 season. We hope you are too! Let us know in the comments which event you plan to spectate at, and we will look forward to seeing you out there!
Last year going into the Tour Championship, Garrett Gurthie was a player to watch. Garrett joined the tour in 2018 after observing the top pros play the course he managed, New World Sports Complex, for the Tour Championship in 2017. He realized he could still compete with the top Pros and wanted to be in contention to win the Tour Championship on his home course in 2018.
Last year Garrett finished 6th in Tour Standings, which gave him a bye to semifinals. Not too bad for his first season back on tour. He would, however, be unable to advance to the finals on his home course, carding only a three-under-par round. On his card was Nikko Locastro, who carded a -9 on the day, and -10 was the wild card score. While Double G was able to make the Tour Championship in the same year, he started back touring he was unable to use his home-course advantage into a Pro Tour finals appearance. Before we look into how the Tour location change will affect Garrett, let's dive into his stats from this year.
Does having a big arm help that much?
When you dive into Garrett's stats for this year, you might be surprised to hear that the only stat that Garrett holds in the top ten is a 6th in parked percentage. His next closest stats are 11th in C2 in regulation and 13th in C1 in regulation.
On the stats sheet alone, Garrett's performance this year is not the 6th place in Tour Standings finish that he secured. Garrett's 6th place finish came from his second-place finish at Jonesboro and MVP, and then a third and fourth-place finish at Idlewild and Ledgestone. It's Garrett's penchant for sustainable finishes that helped move him up to his bye worthy finish on tour. Looking at his stats shows that it's more important to consider the course Double G is playing than one or two specific stat, to determine his potential for success at the Tour Championship.
No Home-Field Advantage? No Problem.
Garrett was looking to take advantage of his familiarity with the New World Course last season. He also had a band of adoring fans following along during the semifinals round. However, while on paper, the course played well in his game, none of these factors helped him advance to the finals in 2018.
Looking forward to this year, coupling together all of Garrett's successes on tour, it seems like his lack of home-field advantage should not be a problem in Charlotte. The last time Garrett played Hornet's Nest for a rated round was in 2013 for the Carolina Clash. He carded a -3 55 on a par 58 layout. Garrett ended up taking 6th in the event. The previous year he finished 15th at Charlotte Worlds missing the finals and not playing Hornets.
This year, Garrett will be taking on a modified Hornets Nest layout adjusted by John Houck and made playable by Mark Huether and the Charlotte Disc Golf Club. If we look at Garrett's success on tour, we can look no further than his first-place finish at the Santa Cruz Master's Cup National Tour event to show that he has what it will take to succeed on a course like Hornets. His skill at courses like Hornets is reinforced through his MVP and Idlewild successes this season. While it will not be near as fun to follow Garrett on the course this year at the Finals given his multitude of fans he had last season, we still look forward to him putting on a show and having a legitimate shot at advancing to the finals.
Make sure you are ready to watch live or in-person October 18-20th to see who will bring home the Tour Championship victory this year from Hornet's Nest Disc Golf Course in Charlotte, NC.
Catrina Allen has finished the top four in Tour Points all four seasons of the Pro Tour so far. This year tied her best Tour Points finish with year one; second in Tour Standings. In year one, she was able to turn a second-place tour finish into a Tour Championship victory. In 2017 and 18, she would finish second fiddle to Paige Pierce and then Sarah Hokom. It remains to be seen if she can materialize a top finish at the Tour Championship this year.
This season Catrina would finish 4th at Memorial. There was a stacked field, which included Evalina Salonen taking home the victory. Catrina would then kick things into gear, finishing first or second at every event until MVP. While she finished round one at MVP only three off Paige Pierce's lead, she would struggle to maintain that pace and ultimately ended 13 back of first. Things would get worse at GMC, where she ended up finishing in 6th place. It is safe to say that the last few events have not been up to par for Catrina's standard game. Let's take a look and see what Catrina can improve on or hopefully continue to do to make a push for the finals round at the Tour Championship.
Stat to Watch: Putting
The stat to watch for Catrina will be her putting percentage. Catrina leads the field in parked shots and is second in both birdies and C2 in regulation. Saying that, for the most part, her driving is not the issue. Where things become problematic is her putting percentage. Catrina is currently 28th in C1x putting. As noted in our Paige Pierce preview article, there will not even be 28 players in the FPO field for the Tour Championship. For Catrina or Paige to take home another Tour Championship title, they are going to need to start bagging more putts inside the circle.
One place where Catrina has a chance to shine on the stats sheet beyond parked and birdies will be her scramble rate. Catrina is currently 3rd in scramble percentage. If she can maintain or improve her scramble success rates on the challenging Hornets Nest course, Catrina should have an easy path into the final round of the Tour Championship.
Wooded Course? No Problem!
One other place where Catrina has found success this season has been on the wooded courses on Tour. Catrina found her first win on the Disc Golf Pro Tour this season at 'The Beast' in Waco, Texas. She would also go into a one hole play-off with Paige Pierce at Idlewild to take second place. More recently, she brought home a victory on the National Tour at Delaware.
In 2012, Catrina did make the final nine and play at Hornets Nest, but she would end up in third place after Valarie Jenkins carded a better final-nine round than she did. At the Tour Championship, Catrina and the rest of the Pros will be playing a John Houck modified version of the Hornets Nest layout. She will have an opportunity to avenge her 2012 finish at the course and hopefully draw from her mid-season success to make the final round of the Tour Championship on October 20th.
As we turn to the DGPT Championship October 18-20th, our next player with a bye to the semifinals is Kevin Jones. Kevin was able to get his first hallmark win on Tour at the Idlewild Open in July. After a break-out performance at the USDGC in 2017, Jones has now secured an Elite Series win and can look towards a potential Tour Championship signature finish.
Jones struck out on the Disc Golf Pro Tour during the second half of the 2017 season. He came up just short of qualifying for the tournament, finishing T58th in a year when the top 50 players made the Tour Championship. In 2018 Kevin decided to tour full time and the lead to a 7th place Tour Standings finish, which was parlayed into a finals finish last year. Kevin's 7th in Tour Standings in 2018 secured his bye to the semifinals, and then he was able to win the wild card spot in the finals with a -10, the hottest round not winning a card. In the finals, Kevin struggled to get anything going but was able to hang on until he took a quad bogey on hole fourteen. Kevin will be looking to avenge his 2018 performance this year at Hornets Nest.
Where can the stats help Jones?
Diving into the Udisc stats for this season, he's not close to leading in any category. His best stat is his birdie percentage for which he finished 8th in the regular season. He will need to improve his 57th in scramble percentage and 54th in C1x putting stats to have a shot at the finals.
On the surface, it does not look promising for Kevin, but let's take a look at his stats specifically from Idlewild, where he found success this season. More importantly, Idlewild is one of the courses most similar to Hornets in play on tour. At Idlewild, Kevin was able to use his 1st in parked and C1 in regulation percentages to secure his first Elite Series victory on tour. He struggled again in the scramble and C1 putting rates finishing 34th and 29th for the tournament, respectively.
Looking at the stats, Kevin's best shot at a Tour Championship victory is to get on the birdie train early and maintain that performance across two rounds. Kevin will benefit from the single round format, where scores do not carry over, assuming he can make it out of the semifinals round.
What does playing Hornet's Nest mean for Jones?
In 2012 while players like Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki were playing a final nine to see who would win the World Championships at Hornets Nest; Kevin was finishing up summer break about to head to high school. Now in 2019, Kevin will be joining the likes of Paul McBeth and a few others who were playing in 2012 to play for the Tour Championship. Kevin was able to flourish at the Idlewild course but struggled at other wooded courses on Tour this season. Before Worlds this year, he indicated he was more comfortable playing at Lake Eureka as opposed to the wooded Northwoods track. He played nine throws better each round at Eureka as opposed to Northwoods through the first four rounds of Worlds. Kevin will need to overcome whatever is challenging him in the woods and take advantage of the open holes at Hornets to have a shot at the final round this year. If he can channel the good vibes from his Idlewild, DGLO, and Ledgestone performances to the Tour Championship, he may have a shot.
We are looking forward to watching all of the action October 18-20th on the John Houck modified Hornets course. We cannot thank Charlotte Disc Golf Club and Mark Huether enough for their work in finalizing the course to make sure it is Championship ready. If you have not already, make plans to watch in person or live this is going to be one event you will not want to miss!
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