Discraft's Great Lakes Open has come to a close, and Paul McBeth is now a 2x Champion. Kevin Jones started the day with a one throw lead over the Paul McBeth, and it shaped to up be a battle throughout the day. Kevin gave Paul a stoke early going OB on his first drive of the day. Kevin would then have to settle for par on hole two while Paul landed a birdie and at that point, his lead was relinquished. Kevin would get back to a tie, grabbing a birdie on hole three to Paul's par and the battle was on. They went shot-for-shot on holes four and five before Paul grabbed two birdies to Kevin's two pars on holes six and seven. Kevin grabbed both of them back on eight and nine, and Paul and Kevin went into the back nine tied with a five throw lead on the rest of the field. On hole 11 Paul would throw his drive past the basket for a birdie two and Kevin would have to settle for a par giving Paul the lead. Paul and Kevin would again go shot-for-shot holes twelve-through the end of the round. Paul's birdie on 11 resulted in his victory, making him a repeat Discraft Great Lakes Open Champion.
Outside of the battle for first, there were several players in the hunt to make a top-five finish. Zackeriath Johnson started the day on the chase card after shooting one of the hotter rounds yesterday and proceeded to move up two spots into a tie for third place after birdieing three of the first five holes by the time he finished his round he found himself in solo third place. Adam Hammes also battled early to move up ten spots and into a tie for third place for most of his round. When it was all said and done, he ended up moving up seven spots in a tie for seventh place. Also in the mix were Zach Melton and JohnE McCray. JohnE threw the same round at Zackeriath yesterday. JohnE was able to move up four spots into a tie for fifth for most of the day. He would finish tied with Adam for sixth once the lead card finished the round. Zach Melton started the day in third place and was unable to stave off Zackeriath's push, so he settled for fourth place.
Tour Standings Update
Paul McBeth's victory this weekend represents his fourth victory of the season on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. His victory gives him a 100+ Tour Point lead with Ricky's absence from the event. Kevin's second place finish moved him up to 5th in Tour Points with three events left in the season. Adam Hammes's sixth-place tie helps him maintain his top 8 Tour Point standing. At the Tour Championship cut-off, 32 for the MPO is Thomas Gilbert who moved into that position with an 8th place finish this weekend. Make plans to tune in to watch the Idlewild Open July 26-28th; it's bound to be just as exciting!
The Discraft Great Lakes Open has come to a close for the FPO division, and the race for first was not even close. Starting the day with a seven throw lead, Paige Pierce was able to seal the win early.
Paige started the day four down through the first six holes while the rest of the lead card only was able to make two down. Gaining two throws on the field gave Paige a nine throw advantage going into the back nine. At that point, she was able to put her play on autopilot to bring home the victory. When asked about how it felt Paige said she was able to minimize mistakes on the course which was her key to victory. Paige had said earlier in the weekend a -6 was the round players would need to win. When asked how she felt about landing the -5 today and not quite getting to the -6 goal she said that it still felt great and she was glad to bring home the win. With this win Paige was able to increase her Pro Tour Standings lead, she had the following to say "It felt great, I'm really focused on player of the year and this improves my chances. I feel good about my game going into Worlds."
With the victory in hand for Paige, the race became all about second place. Lisa Fajkus was able to move into the under par category after hole three and added a second throw under with a birdie on hole four as well. With the second birdie, Lisa had caught Catrina and was in a tie for second place. Catrina would then struggle through the middle of the course having enough bogeys to offset her birdies as she moved to the back nine. Catrina's struggles meant Lisa had a grip on second place by one through for seven holes until hole 13 where a two throw swing moved Catrina back into the second place position. The battle heated up as Lisa would birdie fourteen while Catrina pared, bringing it back to a tie. On fifteen Catrina would regain the lead with a birdie, and the race was on to see who could finish in second. Catrina was able to hold on to second for two holes until she had to take a bogey on 17, and Lisa was able to snag a par after being in a good position on her upshot. The bogey/par switch provided a tie ball game going into hole 18. With a nasty rollaway putt on hole 18, Lisa would end up having to settle for a bogey and ending the tournament in third place. Catrina's easy par elevated her to a second place finish.
The Toboggan course showed its teeth for many of the players this year at the Discraft Great Lakes Open; we will see how they fare on the Idlewild course July 26-28th. Make plans to tune in and watch!
Day two, moving day, at the Discraft Great Lakes Open has come to a close. JohnE McCray made some moves. Six birdies in a row pulled him onto the lead card for a brief moment before later playing player surpassed his total while he watched from the clubhouse. His 11 down, the hot round of the day, ended up moving him up 29 spots. His putter was on fire — three out of four from Circle 2. 100% in C1X. Moving day, indeed.
The lead card battle was a sight to behold as Paul McBeth carded seven birdies on the first nine holes which were reminiscent of his record-setting 18 down 2nd round from 2018. Overtaking everyone on the lead card, and earning himself a one-stroke lead going into the back nine, we could not help but wonder if anything could stop him. A couple of weeks ago at Ledgestone, McBeth birdied the last ten holes to win the tournament going away. That was not to happen at DGLO. At least not in round 2.
Kevin Jones, after missing a couple of opportunities to close, put the putter to the metal and birdied six of the last eight holes. Asked about the beginning of his round, Kevin responded, "I noticed McBeth was on fire, but the putter was actually working okay. I missed two or three C1 putts, but I answered them quickly and was able to come back from there." He left himself a total of two C2 putts, hitting one. His C1X putting was suspect, but when you give yourself enough opportunities, eventually you break through. Asked about how he feels going into tomorrow Kevin said, "I feel really good about my odds. If I do this again, it is going to be hard to catch me. I am going to go out there and stack up the birdies." Kevin took advantage of an uncharacteristic string of pars by McBeth to build a two-stroke lead coming into the final hole. Both players drove into Circle 2, and we were ready for these two Goliath's to set the stage. McBeth drained his 50 footer to put the pressure on Jones. Kevin missed, and the lead was down to one with one round to go. Last year Kevin Jones went into the final round of Idlewild with a lead.
Comparing tomorrow to day three of Idlewild last year Kevin had the following to say, "I feel like I am where I belong. I feel comfortable being on the top card because I belong there. Last year I may have rushed the moment, this year I am concentrating on playing my game. To close we honed in on the comment "rush the moment" and Kevin provided the following insight, "Any pro disc golfer knows what I mean. Whenever we are in a pressure situation, we need to think about the task at hand, not the pressure. When we feel the pressure, we want to rush the moment. We think about the pressure while we go through our routine and then when our routine is complete, we are not ready to throw. I'm much better at this now. Not perfect, but much better."
The stage is set.
Zach Melton and Anthony Barela join them on the lead card and sit four and five back respectively. This is going to be a thrilling final round! Make plans to tune in tomorrow at 3 PM ET to watch the final round of the Discraft Great Lakes Open.
With day two in the books for Discraft's Great Lakes Open, the play was stellar as the rain held off for the morning round. Starting the day hot, Catrina Allen birdied four of the first six holes. She was able to close the gap between her and Paige Pierce to three strokes through 14 holes. This gap was a manageable deficit. Come back tomorrow, hit your lines, drop some C2 putts, and this is anyone's event to win. Then Paige Pierce closed it out. She birdied four of the last six holes including a basket hit on hole 15, missing another ESPN moment by inches. Except for an off-target drive on 18 which hit the OB wall to stay in, she was flawless to close out the round.
After Paige's four down, Lisa Fajkus had the second-best round with a two under. When asked about her chances to win, Lisa Fajkus replied, "I'm eight shots behind Paige [Pierce} with one round to go. I have a good shot at second." She went on to explain that Paige can be caught but implied that the field, which is seven or more strokes behind, would need some help. The exciting thing about tomorrow is that Paige Pierce does not know how to play safe golf and we would fully expect her to come out guns blazing and look to put this one away as early as possible.
Sarah Hokom (2nd) and Jessica Weese (4th) were the only other players to shoot under par on moving day. Sarah did it by taking what the course gave her, carding two birdies and one par. She was 100% in C1X and put herself in a great position to be on the lead card and attack for first if there is an opportunity. Jessica Weese had trouble with the putter but gave herself many more chances at birdie, carding four of them on the day. Ellen Widboom started with birdies on two of the first three holes, but let it go carding three bogeys down the stretch. She joins Madison Walker and Holly Finley on the chase card.
Paige Bjerkaas shot two down and moved up 12 spots. A couple of years ago, it was rare even to have 12 women in an event, so this demonstrates the tremendous growth and support we have seen on the women's side. Good luck to everyone tomorrow, the Toboggan can tighten things up, but if someone is going to challenge for first, they may need some help from Paige Pierce as well as a scorching start.
The race for third in Tour Points
With three events to go after DGLO, the race for third, which gets a bye into the semifinals at the Tour Championship, is heating up. Jessica Weese and Sarah Hokom both find themselves ahead of Rebecca Cox and Paige Bjerkaas at the event, while the opposite is true in Tour Points standings. There is more than just a title on the line in tomorrow's final round.
Get ready to watch, nice and early. Sunday's round will go live at 8:30 Eastern. All tee times are being bumped forward 30 minutes due to the expected weather that is coming in tomorrow afternoon.
Round One is in the books for the FPO division at Discraft's Great Lakes Open, and the scores were just as hot as the weather at the Toboggan course. After round one under par was where you wanted to be as only the players on tomorrow's lead card finished under par for the day. With an early tee time, Paige Pierce was able to set the pace early.
After the round, Paige confided that she played the course blind. She said she had played the course five or six years ago, but with the changes, it was definitely different. Paige started the day -4 through four and was able to hold those four birdies in her back pocket throughout the round and finish -4 on the day. Paige credited her success to being able to watch coverage from last year to help prepare for the event.
Also under par for the day was Catrina Allen and Madison Walker. Madison Walker was on the first card of the day and took advantage of the low humidity to land her under par round. At -1 for the day, Madison finished four throws better than her performance last year on day one. She accomplished this feat by only taking one bogey on the par three hole eight and cleaning up birdies on holes three and sixteen. Last year Madison failed to land a birdie on day one showing she was able to make some adjustments from last year to increase her scoring odds.
Catrina Allen did her scoring today on the front nine. She was able to land two birdies on holes three and eight to help offset her bogey on hole six and stay under par. Catrina was the only one to get the birdie on hole eight while the two other players under par for the day in the FPO division both bogeyed the hole. Hole eight could be a prime place for her to make up more throws tomorrow on the field.
Rounding on the lead card tomorrow will be last year's champion Sarah Hokom. Sarah broke the tie at even with Holly Finley and Ellen Widboom based on her PDGA number to make it onto tomorrow's lead card. Sarah had two birdies on the front nine early (holes two and three) before she settled into par golf for much of the middle of the round. She would get tripped up with two bogeys on 12 and 14 to move her to even par.
Holly and Ellen both had their shares of birdies and bogeys today as Ellen bookended her bogeys on holes seven and twelve with birdies on six and sixteen. Holly had a birdie early on hole three but would give it back on hole seven before parring out for the day.
Rounding out tomorrow's chase card will be Jessica Weese and Lisa Fajkus. Jessica shot the hot round day one last year. She was on pace to do the same early today going four down through the first five holes but a turkey of bogeys to finish out the day moved her down into sole ownership of seventh place. Lisa finished the day +2 after taking an early bogey on hole one, recovering with birdies on two and four but not really able to keep things together for the rest of the round.
Tomorrow's competition should be exciting to watch with plenty of players still in the mix. The women's lead card will be live at 9 AM ET and will feature Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Madison Walker, and Sarah Hokom so make plans to watch.
Discraft's Great Lakes Open starts tomorrow, and there is no time like the present to discuss McBeth's blistering -18 performance which took place on this very course less than a year ago. A lot of things have changed since last year in both the open division and on the course which could make a repeat performance difficult.
On the Course
Last year there were very few OB spots on the entire course with Hole 18 being the only hole with a noticeable OB hazard. This year, things have changed. With a lengthened and OB strapped hole one, the challenges added to the course come early. Two holes will see the mound separating them become OB (between holes three and thirteen) which will take away the natural bail-out spot for the booming drives which came off the top of hole three last year. OB rope is also on holes fifteen and seventeen for good measure. The only hole getting "easier" this year is hole nine which was moved back 25 feet last year for the men but will return to its original tee position for this year's contest. The 425 ft, par three, played as pretty accurate to par last year averaging 3.13 throws across all three rounds. Moving this hole up will create more scoring opportunities for those with controlled uphill distance.
This year there are nine fewer competitors in the Open field. The reduction in player numbers is due to adding more spots to the FPO field as well as a few last minute drops. The total field size is only two players less than last year. The competition will be fierce as 32% of the field is 1000 rated or better. The competitive portion of the field cannot be understated as last year the player who took second place was not even 1000 rated, showing the Toboggan course presents an equal opportunity for players across the board to score.
The two main stories from last year's competition at the Discraft Great Lakes Open centered on the aforementioned -18 carded by McBeth and the equally as stunning performance of local Willie Prince. On the final day of competition, Willie Prince stormed up from the chase card with a -14 performance. He played the front nine the same way McBeth had played it the day before, birdieing every hole and taking an eagle three on hole two. Willie will be joining Paul McBeth on the live coverage for day one.
Other competitors in the field include Calvin Heimburg who did not attend last year's event but is the second highest rated player in attendance this weekend. After starting the season hot, with a win at Las Vegas, he has cooled off with his only other Elite Series podium finish coming at San Francisco where he came in third place. While Calvin has not finished outside the top ten at National Tour events he has struggled at Pro Tour stops so it will be interesting to see how he navigates the hills of the Toboggan course this weekend.
The next two highest rated players in the field this weekend are Kevin Jones and Andrew Fish. Last year Kevin made the lead card for the second round of the tournament but was not able to keep up with McBeth's -18 pace and ultimately dropped six spots on the second day but was still able to finish in a tie for 7th place. Andrew Fish is playing the Discraft Great Lakes Open for the first time. A regional Pro from Maryland, Andrew has a handful of A-Tier wins under his belt but is still chasing the elusive Elite Series win (or podium finish). Andrew dominated the podium at Iron Hill before the event becoming an NT, so he has cut his chops on some challenging courses. It will be interesting to see how he takes on the Toboggan course this weekend.
Also on the registration list is last year's third-place finisher Nikko Locastro. His finish last year at this event was his best Pro Tour finish during the regular season. Outside of the MVP Open where he finished 8th, it was also his only finish inside the top 10 last season. Nikko has missed a few more events than he did last season and this season he is averaging over 20 spots worse in finishing position, but maybe the Toboggan course will carry some magic to help him get his season back on track.
Finally, just like last year had Willie Prince who made a push towards unseating Paul, this year a storied Pro will be making a push to upstage Paul two weekends in a row. Last weekend at the CCR Open Garrett Gurthie came from behind during the final round to best Paul McBeth by two throws. On the heels of his first National Tour victory in May, Garrett could also be hitting his stride and be ready for his first Disc Golf Pro Tour victory as well. If he can overcome his 24th place performance from last year, he could be able to challenge McBeth this weekend.
It is clear that there is not a shortage of talent in this year's DGLO tournament. The question remains will one of the other 42 1000+ rated players step up to challenge McBeth, or are we destined to see another repeat victory for the McBeast? You can tune in to watch live starting tomorrow, July 5th at 3:30 PM ET on the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube channel. CentralCoastDiscGolf will be providing the edited MPO Feature and Lead card coverage this weekend to make sure to tune in to watch for their videos coming down the pipeline. This is an event you will not want to miss!
It is almost time for Discraft's Great Lakes Open and the competition this year is shaping up to be stronger than last year. Last year only nine women rated over 900 competed in a field of 28 players. This year with the field expanded to 35 players, 21 of those competitors have a rating above 900. A shifting field has led to the potential of closer competition for the top of the leaderboard and an opportunity for players who were not in attendance at last years event to potentially take the place at the top of the podium.
Last year the tournament was won by Sarah Hokom who at the time was rated 961, was the highest rated player in the FPO division a full 20 points ahead of the next closest competitor. She was able to easily bring home the win besting Paige Bjerkaas who brought home second place by six throws. Sarah is aware that last year may have been an anomaly but she is not shifting her gameplan with the inundation of new players in the field, "I am aware that Paige and Catrina's absence last year may have factored in to my win. But, whether they are here or not, I'll be playing MY game. I'm not going to try to pull off crazy shots to match their distance. I will rely on my accuracy and experience to keep me in the hunt..."
The event was Paige Bjerkaas's first outright 2nd place finish at a Pro Tour stop and came right around the time where she made her decision to tour full time and not return to school in the fall of 2018. Paige had the following to say about last year's performance, "Well actually, it was Ledgestone last year where I made my decision. But DGLO was important as well. After DGLO, my touring partner was going home and I didn’t know if I should do one more stint before the school year or just head to Emporia to get some hours in at work and prepare for the school year. I told myself depending on the outcome of the tournament, I’ll do that extra leg or not. I ended playing really well and surprised myself. Coming down the stretch of the final round, Jessica Weese was catching up to me. We were battling for 2nd place since Hokom had a HOT second round and had a 6 stroke leading going into the final round. After a couple clutch drives and upshots, I was able to hold her off. Being able to play well under the pressure was something I haven’t experienced before. After that round, I knew I had to continue. I felt like I belonged on the road. I’m definitely excited to play it again this year and try to make a run for the title! " Paige will start the tournament on the live feature card Friday thanks to her second place finish so make sure to tune in to watch and see if she is able to make that push.
This year both Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce are in the line-up for the tournament after missing the stop last season. This weekend will be Catrina Allen's first time to play the event since her win in 2016. It should be noted that Allen's 2016 victory did not take place on the storied Toboggan course but instead took place on two other courses in Michigan. Paige Pierce is returning to the event for the first time since 2013 when the tournament was played in Ann Arbor, MI and she took second place to Sarah Hokom. Both players are at the top of their games right now. They are in a race to see who will bring home the season-long points victory this year, trading first and second place finishes at each stop except one (this is where there first dropped stop of tour points helps to clear the water). Currently, it is advantage Paige coming off the Ledgestone victory Paige Pierce has three first-place Pro Tour victories to Catrina's two. The one win advantage gives Paige a 15 point Pro Tour Standings lead over Catrina.
Moving into the second half of the season it is time to start thinking Tour Point standings, and you can bet the players will have this in the back of their minds as they jockey for position this weekend.
Back at the beginning of the article, we mentioned how last year there were only nine 900+ rated players in the field. This year some of the increase can be attributed to players who were under 900 last year moving above 900. Lauren Butler, Sarah DeMar, and Alisha Grace-Schafer have all increased their ratings and will each be a force to be reckoned with on the course this weekend. Last year Lauren Butler finished two spots outside of cash and will be looking to use her noted increase in skills to make it above the cash line this weekend. Sarah DeMar is a local pro who has been playing the event off and on for years and was able to bring home a 7th place finish last year. She is a player you can expect to make another top ten finish this year even in a stronger field given her proximity to the course and the skills she displayed last year at the event.
Other players who finished inside the top ten at this event last year include Rebecca Cox who is currently third in Tour Points and Jessica Weese who is 5th in Tour Points. Rebecca will be looking to improve upon last year's 6th place finish while Jessica will be hoping to maintain or surpass her 3rd place performance from last season. Another player in the mix will be last year's 4th place finisher Ellen Widboom. Ellen has taken a step back from the tour life this year opting to play events centered around visiting friends and family. While this has led to a decrease in time spent playing this has not led to a decline in skill. We would hope to see Ellen inside the top ten again this year and possibly make a run at the title even with a stronger competitive field.
This year is shaping up to be the most competitive Great Lakes Open in the FPO field. Between last year's top two contenders in Sarah Hokom and Paige Bjerkaas and this year's leading competitors Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen, it is anyone's guess as to who will come out with the victory. Some would give the advantage to the players who have played the course (Sarah and Paige B.) while others would give the edge to the two players battling for it all (Paige P. and Catrina). Sarah Hokom had the following to say in this regard, "I have played this course many, many times.... even before last year, so I think that will definitely be an advantage. However, Paige, Cat and a handful of others are really talented golfers, so it will be a battle, regardless of how many times one may have played the course prior." That is why you should make plans to tune in and watch Discraft's Great Lakes Open live July 5-7th at 10:30 AM ET. Post-Production coverage of the feature and lead card will be provided by GK Productions and released July 17-19th.
Discraft’s Great Lakes Open is in the books, and we have another Fantasy Wrap-Up article for you to read. If you would like a chance to win prizes for making fantasy picks after each Pro Tour event then get signed up today! We have both a free league and a separate league for our Patreon supporters. You can be a part of one or both.
If you have been following the Disc Golf Pro Tour this weekend, you can probably tell there was something special about what was happening at the Toboggan course. On day one the gallery was one of the largest of the season and rivaled some of the largest galleries to grace a Disc Golf Pro Tour event. The disc golfers in Michigan were craving a tournament with the top pros and Discraft’s Great Lakes Open did not disappoint.
There is not much that can top yesterday’s 18 under, but the players did their best to put on a show for the final round of Discraft’s Great Lakes Open. The story of the day happened on the third and chase cards as young players on tour worked to take a shot at Paul McBeth’s historic -18.
After a historic six under on moving day, Sarah Hokom was able to turn on the cruise control today and bring home her second Pro Tour win of the season. Sarah started off the day the same way she started yesterday, four under thru four. She then played for the win, not running any putts and accepting her bogey on hole eight without attempting to save the par.
Day two of Discraft’s Great Lakes Open had plenty of fanfare and atmosphere to go with it. To encompass the festivities surrounding DGLO we have to step back to last night’s player’s party. The player’s party took place at Witch’s Hat Brewing Company and featured a special Buzzz mystery box spectacular which included not one, but two sets of limited run Buzzzes up for grabs.
The first round of Discraft’s Great Lakes Open is in the books for the FPO division. Today had a feature card which included Sarah Hokom, Ragna Bygde Lewis, Courtney Cannon, and Krystal Fromm. The fans voted and expected Ragna to come out and wow, she struggled on the putting green early and was never able to put together a solid round. She started the day with a bogey, and at one point on the back nine remarked that she had not had a three all round.
The Midwest is excited for the arrival of the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
As a premier course in the country, the Toboggan Disc Golf Course has hosted many amazing tournaments. But with events like USADGC, most noteworthy tournaments have only been open to true amateurs. The Toboggan is in Milford, Michigan.
Depth of Field
Ellen Widboom won her first A-Tier at the St. Louis Open, earning over $500 for the first time in her career. Sarah Hokom has won three of her last four events. Ragna Bygde Lewis has won four of her five events this season. Except for a poor showing at the Beaver State Fling, Jessica Weese has gone 4th, 3rd, 2nd in her last events. Madison Walker pushed Sarah Hokom at the Majestic, losing by one stroke, but showing that she has made a full recovery from her wrist injury of last year.
The sixth stop on the Disc Golf Pro Tour is at the famous Toboggan Disc Golf Course home of the United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship. This year Discraft’s Great Lakes Open stepped up to become an addition to the tour, and consequently, the Toboggan course has stayed open since Memorial Day.
Feature Card Selection
Players must have given the approval to be considered for inclusion on feature cards.
Three MPO and one FPO Fan Vote winners will play.
Players can be Fan Voted into feature cards max of three times per season
Players cannot be Fan Voted into feature cards in back to back events
We started the season with Paige Pierce going 3-for-3 in Disc Golf Pro Tour events and 3-for-3 in National Tour events. It looked like she was on pace to win out the season. Then on the second stop of the west-coast swing, we saw a new leader at the end of the San Francisco Open: Sarah Hokom.
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