The Idlewild Open is in the books, and the Pro Tour has a new victor on the MPO side for the third time this season. Eagle McMahon snagged his first Pro Tour victory at Memorial to open the season, and Drew Gibson grabbed his from Eagle in a play-off at the inaugural Portland Open. This weekend, it was the Wonder Boy from Arkansas Kevin Jones who would bring home the victory. Kevin joined the Pro Tour at Ledgestone in 2017 and has not looked back. At Kevin's first event in 2017, he finished tied for 82nd. The past two and half seasons has been a testament to his continued improvement. In 2017 Kevin missed qualification for the Pro Tour finale in 2017, in 2018 he had a bye to the semifinals, and with his win today he moves into 2nd in tour standings.
Kevin started the day with a three throw lead on James Conrad, and James had three on Calvin Heimburg. Kevin took advantage of a slow start from James Conrad to gain up to a seven throw lead going into the back nine. Kevin's first blemish of the day came on the 368ft hole ten. A missed putt from inside the circle is what led to the bogey. James was able to bide his time, and it appeared that having a potential win in the bag began to get to Kevin. After trading birdies on the infamous KY hole thirteen, Kevin would card back-to-back bogeys to give James a shot at catching him. With a shot at eagle on sixteen James had a chance to move within three. His putt would come up just short, and he would need an eagle and a misstep from Kevin to have a shot of catching him. James drive had a chance to skip under the basket for a tap-in eagle on seventeen, but instead, it bounced just short OB. Kevin would have a misstep of his own and would end up settling for par to Jame's OB birdie. Going into eighteen all Kevin had to do was stay clean through the woods and he would be home-free for his first career win. When asked when he knew he was going to win, he said, "I thought I had it in the bag after the front nine and then the back nine of Idlewild showed its teeth." Immediately after his win, Kevin indicated that things would be more natural going forward. Asking him what he meant by that he said: "I think that being in the position to win and understanding you are in that position can add stress, now that I've done it it will be much easier to me." With all of the hard questions wrapped up, there was only one left to ask - How does it feel? Kevin replied, "It feels cold; I got the Rick Jones special." For those following at home, the Rick Jones special is a homage to Kevin's father, a hall of fame high school football coach in his home state of Arkansas. After finishing an interview with Cory Murrell Kevin's teammate, Charlie Cavalier dumped a jug of water on Kevin to celebrate his win.
Elsewhere in the field, Garrett Gurthie made moves, carding a nine-under-par round today. Garrett's round was set after he landed six birdies on the front nine and then avoided the bogeys on the back nine to move up to a third-place podium finish. Trevor Harbolt also had a great round going six down on the day. His single-bogey performance allowed him to move up into a fourth-place finish, his best performance at a Pro Tour event in his career.
Calvin Heimburg and Dan Hastings would struggle on the lead card today both taking uncharacteristic triple and double bogeys respectively. Calvin would end up finishing the day two under par for the round. This would result in a fifth-place finish. Dan had a little bit better day going three down on his round, but due to the deficit he was trying to make up from Calvin and Garret and Trevor's performances he ended up sliding down to a sixth-place finish.
It was a stellar weekend of competition at the Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati Disc Golf. The Pro Tour will take a break for Pro Worlds which will take place August 10-17th. The next Pro Tour stop will be at the MVP Open August 29-September 1.
Paige Pierce set the stage starting aggressive. On the par-four hole 1, she went for the pin on her second shot, parking it. On hole two she ran a Circle 2 putt on a fast green with water behind. Center chains. Paige birdied the first two holes and quickly had a two-stroke lead. On hole 3, her jump putt missed left, and her 12 foot tap out splashed right side. Three Putt. Catrina parks hole 4 for the easy birdie, and we are all tied up. And we were just getting started.
Over holes six through nine, Paige had four putts. Catrina had seven. And Paige was up by two again through nine. Not to worry though, on hole 12 Paige gets in trouble off the tee and ends with a double bogey. Catrina cards the par, and we are all tied up again. So through 12 holes, Paige has four birdies, two bogeys and a double while Catrina has two birdies and two bogeys. Very different ways to sit at even par.
On 13, Paige takes the lead.
On 14, Catrina ties it back up.
On 15, Paige takes the lead.
On 16, Catrina ties it back up.
If you did not watch this live, you need to go back and experience the drama. Today was an insane round between two incredible athletes, plus every once in a while, Madison Walker was within a couple of strokes. Idlewild has one of the most robust finishes in disc golf. This course tests all of your throws, the accuracy of your lines, and your mental fortitude. On hole 16, Paige carded a quad bogey on day one. Today, she played super safe, still threw OB, drained a huge Circle 2 putt, and still lost a stroke. On hole 17, Catrina set herself up for a straightforward par four. Paige continued her aggressive play and on her second shot, going for the green got an unfortunate kick OB. She was left with a 50 footer, with an OB creek just past the pin. Catrina was parked for the par. She could lay up and concede one stroke or go for it and risk losing two strokes.
Robert, Dixon, the hundreds of fans on-site and over 3,000 people watching online held their collective breath. Paige lined up her putt. The most crucial putt of the round, and she had hit some big ones to this point. Paige launches the disc. It is flat and true — chains ring. The crowd explodes. And we are tied going into the final hole of regulation.
Cat and Paige struggled on the fairway of the par-four hole 18. A very excited Dixon Jowers commentating on the live coverage said that every shot, for the last six holes, was a momentum swing. It could go either way — all day. Paige left herself with a 30 footer for the bogey. Catrina was under the basket for an easy bogey.
Robert, Dixon, the hundreds of fans on-site, and over 3,500 people watching online held their collective breath. Again, Paige's putt was accurate. Cat dropped in her bogey as well. Madison cards the only par on the 18th and finishes in third, two shots back.
We go to hole 1. Both players put up amazing drives, well over 400 feet. Catrina lined up her approach and pulled it way left. She found herself just outside Circle 1 with a tough putt on the elevated basket. Paige throws her approach about 20 feet past. Not an easy putt, but with the putter working the way it was today, we expect she will drain it. So it comes to Catrina, 35 feet from the basket. Again, everyone watching holds their breath.
Catrina's putt is low and right, but that is not the story. Her disc does a slow roll, for close to ten seconds, and finally settles down about 70 feet from the pin. Her approach/run draws metal, but the battle is over. Paige lays up and taps in for the victory and just like that we have a champion. One of the most epic battles in disc golf this season is ended with a deflating roll away.
It was a fantastic battle between the titans of the FPO. Thank you for sharing your skills and putting yourselves out there. Our heartfelt thanks to Catrina and Paige for another exciting chapter in the growth of women's disc golf.
Heather Young picked up her first golf disc in the Winter of 2017/18. 19 months later, she is on the lead card at her first Disc Golf Pro Tour event. Did we mention that she is 16? Cameras on cell phones have been around longer. Elaine King first picked up a golf disc in 1983. She has won more majors than you have fingers.
Elaine and Heather have become friends on the course and the Idlewild Open is the third time that they have competed. In August of 2018, at the Music City Open*, Heather's first pro event, Elaine beat Heather by 20. In May of 2019, at Tennessee States, Elaine and Heather were tied after regulation, with Elaine winning in the playoff. In July of 2019, at her first Disc Golf Pro Tour event, Heather finds herself on the lead card going into the final round, three strokes ahead of Elaine.
A quick history of Heather Young's disc golf career:
We have a story in the making in this 16 year old phenom. This home schooled disc golfer has three sisters and is an excellent student athlete. She excels at history (and all of her studies) and is learning to play the piano. In addition to that, she currently leads Elaine King by three going into the final round of her first Disc Golf Pro Tour event. She is also on the lead card due to her hot round.
*It should be noted that Madison Walker won the Music City Open
With another day of perfect scoring conditions came another set of blazing scores from the MPO division. With a solid log jam after first and second place on the leader board after round one, many players were looking to make their mark on moving day.
A group of early movers includes Alex Russell, Armando Ensenat, and Logan Bowers who all finished the day carding two six-under and a five-under respectively. Alex and Logan finish the day in a tie for 26th place after moving up 25 and 20 spots respectively. Armando would use his six-under performance to move up 23 spots into a tie for 23rd place.
Another early mover was Edward Ward who used an ace on hole three to help propel him to a seven-under performance. Edward was not able to stay bogey-free, but his seven birdies and one ace helped move him up 19 spots into a tie for 17th place.
The big movers were Nathan Queen, Trevor Harbolt, and Chris Clemons who threw -10 and two -9 rounds to move up 39, 25, and 29 spots.
Nathan's performance was one of the best of the day. He started with three birdies but said that the double bogey that he took on five was what probably propelled him to make so many more birdies across the rest of the round. He would go bogey-eagle on holes seven and eight before turning on the heat. Queen carded birdies on the next seven of the final ten holes. While he moved up 39 spots it looks not to be enough to make it onto the lead or chase card tomorrow. With a -10 under his belt, Nathan could be in a position to make a push for a podium finish tomorrow.
Trevor Harbolt and Chris Clemons both carded -9 today and will be in a position to maintain and push for a top ten finish tomorrow. Chris's round started hot with him carding four birdies in the first five holes. He would then use a birdie sting on 11 through 14 to solidify his bogey-free performance; he is going into tomorrow just inside the top ten. Trevor, on the other hand, had a seven-hole par-streak to stay bogey-free for the day and finished eagle, birdie to land well within the top ten going into tomorrow.
On the lead card, Emerson Keith played safe golf staying bogey-free until hole seventeen and picking up eagles and birdies when he could. While Emerson's scoring was sparse, he did card an eagle on hole eight for his first hole under-par for the day. A few birdies across the back nine helped keep him on chase card going into the final round.
At the top of the card, Kevin Jones and James Conrad sparred as Kevin held a three-throw lead going into the round and Conrad sought to unseat him. They would go shot-for-shot on the first three holes before James was able to get an edge, carding a birdie on hole four to Kevin's par. Kevin gained the throw back on hole five, and they returned to going shot-for-shot until hole nine. On holes nine and ten, Kevin would play himself, birdieing nine and taking a bogey on ten while James carded pars. They returned to their dueling shot-for-shot game until the challenging hole 15. Kevin was able to avoid going over par on the hole for the first time since round two last year when he birdied the hole. It would be James who carded the birdie today moving the score within two.
James would eagle sixteen while Kevin carded a birdie to move within one. On the tricky hole seventeen Kevin would walk away with a birdie while James had to save bogey to give Kevin his original three throw lead. After carding pars on the 18th, the stage is set to see if James, or someone else, can climb the leader board again to challenge Kevin. They both shot double digits under par. For Kevin, it was two worse. For James, one better. Unless Calvin Heimburg catches on fire, one of those two is likely to be our 2019 Idlewild Open champion.
Rounding out tomorrow's lead card will be Calvin Heimburg and Dan Hastings. Calvin played consistent golf all day to help keep him in a stable third-place position going into the final round. Calvin's two falters on the par-four holes five and twelve would keep him from making any further moves today. Dan also put together a day of stellar play that had all but sealed his spot on the lead card until he carded a bogey on the rolling, long hole sixteen. He would bide his time until the lead card finished and Emerson Keith carded a bogey on his final hole to find his spot on the lead card.
Make plans to tune in and watch the final round of the Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati Disc Golf live tomorrow starting at 3:30 PM ET.
Idlewild has a way of taking and not giving and the women of round two did their best to hang on. The previous seven Pro Tour events have averaged winning scores on the FPO side of 15 down. Two rounds in, it is clear that Idlewild even par would be a great score. Through 13 holes, Paige Pierce (Dynamic) was one under par and had closed the three stroke deficit to Catrina Allen. "I'm still having trouble off the tee. My putts are good but I need to clean things up off the tee.", Paige Pierce said. She was 80% on fairway hits, which is critical to success at Idlewild. She was also 100% in C1X and hit a Circle 2 putt for birdie on hole 9.
Meanwhile, Catrina Allen (Prodigy) carded a double bogey early, going OB on hole 2. Her card was very clean other than that, with par seeming to be the order of the day. Through 13, she carded just two birdies and two bogeys.
Madison Walker (Innova) put herself in position to be in contention should both Paige and Catrina stumble and Jessica Weese (Innova) recovered very well from a trio of consecutive of double bogeys on holes 3, 4 and 5, carding four birdies on the final ten holes and putting herself in a three-way tie for fourth. Madison said, "I played well today, minimized my doubles and played well on holes that I had trouble on in round 1. I'm excited to be back in the woods." Sarah Hokom (MVP) struggled today but maintained her position. She sits in fourth.
Catrina kept her parbecue (thanks YouTube chat) going on hole 14 with a clean drive and upshot while Paige went wide and was unable to scramble, losing one stroke. Paige scrambled for par on hole 15. Catrina set herself up for par on 15 with two controlled shots and missed her third C1X putt in a row, making this her fourth shot lost on the putting green to Paige and tying them up.
As Paige prepared to drive on hole 16, the tension was thick as we imagined Dixon Jowers and Robert McCall discussing Paige's quadruple bogey on this hole yesterday. Paige's drive flew flat and far but hyzered out of bounds, going about 150 feet farther than her round one drive before going OB. Everyone watched in anticipation to see if Paige could save the par or if the wheels would fall off on hole 16 again. The live coverage bounced back and forth between cards as the tension mounted. Paige's third shot (counting the OB stroke) was crushed and put her in C2 putting for birdie! She hit the front cage but improved by four, and the pressure shifted to Catrina.
Where Paige through flat and straight, Catrina played hyzer the whole way, landing on the left side of the fairway and skipping OB. Her distance was very similar to Paige's, jumping out of bounds at the almost identical spot. Her next shot, however, was very different, flying OB again, then failing to get up and down, carding the double bogey. With just two holes left in the round, Catrina had not only lost her three-stroke lead; she was now down by two to a particular round by Paige.
After pars on hole 17, hole 18 came up and bit in every way. Paige went off the fairway early and never recovered until carding the triple-bogey seven. Meanwhile, Catrina put herself in an excellent position to take the lead back on the final hole. Her 50-foot putt for par and a one-stroke lead was a putt of beauty, catching chains pro side. As Catrina picked up her mini, the disc sliced through the chains and dropped out the backside. Catrina's reaction showed her disbelief and left her tied with Paige Pierce for the lead. Paige predicts, "one over will win it. Every time I make a bogey, I know I can get a birdie." When asked where she has the advantage on the field, she replied, "I think holes 13 and 14 are ones I can get." We will get to see tomorrow if that comes true.
Meanwhile, Madison played a very consistent round, one stroke worse than her day one score, and finds herself just one stroke off the lead. 100% C1X putting, draining a Circle 2 putt for birdie on hole 4, and only having one double bogey or worse were her keys to staying in the mix. Heather Young, who tied Catrina Allen's +6 for the third-best round of the day, moves up five spots and secures a place on the lead card. She is five shots back.
The final round starts at 9:00 Eastern on Sunday, July 28th. Watch it here!
Last year Kevin Jones jumped out to the lead with a -10 down in round one of the Idlewild Open and maintained the lead until hole fifteen on the final day. This year Kevin will hope to carry the lead the entire tournament and bring home his first Pro Tour win.
Before Kevin and the feature card came out the early leaders were Corey Ellis and Sam Lee. Both players shot a -7, one gaining most of their throws in the front nine and the other in the back nine. Corey Ellis came out guns blazing carding nine birdies before taking back-to-back bogeys on fifteen and sixteen. He would birdie seventeen and then give the throw back on eighteen finishing with a bogey. Corey is not new to top performances at Idlewild. Last year Corey started the final round -8 for the tournament and in the top ten before having a rough last round and finishing 16th.
On the other side of the coin was Sam Lee, Sam's hot round materialized late when he carded back-to-back eagles on sixteen and eighteen. Sam is a Kentucky player from about two hours south of the Idlewild course. Sam has cashed in every event he has played this year minus one C-Tier Ice Bowl at the beginning of the season. His cashes include tournaments like Memorial, Tennessee States, Ledgestone, and most notably a 16th place finish at Discraft's Great Lakes Open. While Sam may be a new name on the course, he has the chops to hang at the top of the field for the tournament.
On the lead card for tomorrow will be the Kevin Jones as mentioned earlier along with James Conrad, Calvin Heimburg, and Emerson Keith. James Conrad won the Idlewild Open in 2017 and took second place last year, so his presence at the top of the leaderboard was not unexpected. What was surprising was the ACE James carded on hole nine. James would finish the day -9 three throws behind Kevin Jones.
Calvin Heimburg started the day on the GK Pro Post-Produced card. He landed a double bogey on the same hole that James Conrad landed his ace. Calvin was able to build a come-back with an eagle on sixteen and a birdie on seventeen to finish in a three-way tie for third.
Calvin is tied with Emerson Keith and Zach Arlinghaus. Based on PDGA numbers, Calvin and Emerson will be on the lead card with Zach leading the chase card tomorrow. Emerson Keith was the other player to card an ace today, landing the ace on hole three. Emerson made an impressive eagle on seventeen to be in the hunt and could have been in a tie for second if it had not been for an unfortunate bogey on hole eighteen.
Notable mentions, only four people went bogey-free today. Zach Arlinghaus, Nate Perkins, Andrew Marwede, and Ryan Kenny were the only players who were able to avoid the teeth of Idlewild. Zach will be on the chase card tomorrow, Nate Perkins and Andrew Marwede are both in a tie for 8th place after going -6 bogey-free and Ryan is T21 with a four down.
You can watch the lead card moving day action tomorrow starting at 3:30 PM ET. On the card will be Kevin Jones, James Conrad, Calvin Heimburg, and Emerson Keith. Make plans to tune in and watch!
Round One of the Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati Disc Golf is in the books for the FPO division. With a challenging track like Idlewild, many players in the field had the goal of avoiding big numbers. With the worst scores being quadruple-bogey eights for many players most of the field were able to keep the larger digits in check.
The feature card only had one player, Sarah Hokom, looking at the lead card tomorrow. This left the rest of the rounds worthy of tomorrow's lead card to come from players who finished earlier in the morning. Those scores came from Catrina Allen, Holly Finley, and Elaine King.
The past two years at this event, Catrina Allen finished in 8th place. Catrina started the day with seven pars before landing her first bogey. She was able to get back to even two holes later when she carded a birdie two on the short hole eleven. She would go bogey birdie again on holes twelve and fourteen before finishing the last four holes with three bogeys. With a four-over performance on day one, Catrina was able to complete the day with the lead.
Elaine King is playing her second Disc Golf Pro Tour stop of the season. She started the day with some stellar play to make her way onto the lead card tomorrow. Elaine began her round with three bogeys through her first seven holes before taking advantage of the birdie opportunities on eight, nine, and eleven. She had an eagle look on 16 which could have moved her into solo first place. After missing a long putt from C2 and then two-putting inside the circle, she would settle for a bogey. Elaine would bogey out from there and finish +5 for the day in a tie for second place.
Also tied with Elaine is Holly Finley. Holly had her share of the lead at one point early in today's round, but a rough final four holes left her status on tomorrow's lead card in question until the feature card was complete. Holly did not drop off her prospects of the lead card until hole fifteen. It was hole sixteen which really put things in limbo when she threw three OB throws ultimately taking an eight on the hole. Holly would finish her round five over par which would be enough to put her into a tie for second after the rest of the cards had made it through the treacherous hole sixteen.
Rounding out tomorrow's lead card will be Sarah Hokom. Sarah has taken second the past two years at Idlewild, and she fought through the course to stay on the lead card for day two of this year's event. Sarah's only birdie of the day came on the short hole eleven. The key to her success was to avoid taking double bogeys while saving par and bogey out on the challenging Idlewild course.
Someone who was not able to keep the larger digits in check was last year's winner Paige Pierce. Paige set the pace early in the round but had two holes which ultimately dropped her into a tie for 7th at plus seven. On hole seven Paige landed a triple bogey and was able to fight her way back up into the lead until hole 16 where she carded the largest number of the field - a nine after taking four OB throws. Watch for Paige to overcome those two hiccup holes tomorrow and make a push to be back on the lead card for the final round.
Tomorrow's live coverage kicks off at 9 AM ET with Catrina Allen, Elaine King, Holly Finley, and Sarah Hokom. Tell your friends and tune in to watch.
The Idlewild Open driven by Innova Discs and The Nati kicks off this week and if history and this year's most recent competition tell us anything - Paige Pierce is going to win.
Paige Pierce winning is nothing new, but between her current success (she has won every event since Santa Cruz) and the past two years at Idlewild (in 2017 Pierce won by nine, 2018 she won by seven); you can almost say with certainty that she will win again. What has her path to success in the previous two years? In 2017 Paige struggled a little bit on making C2 in regulation but made up for things by dominating the putting stats boxes. In 2018 she was able to shore up her drives but lost strokes with a drop in scramble percentage and putting. The one question in Paige's game going into Idlewild will be how she will handle her C1x putting. Currently this season she is 21st in the FPO field in C1x putting. If there were going to be anything that was going to stop Paige (at least on paper), it would be her putting.
Another constant in the FPO competition is Sarah Hokom taking second at this event. In 2017, the race for second place was relatively close. Sarah only took second over Lisa Fajkus by two throws. In 2018 while Sarah lost to Paige by seven, she outpaced Rebecca Cox by thirteen. In 2017 Sarah was able to edge out the competition for second place by being 1st in C1 in regulation and 2nd in C2 in regulation. Her driving put her in a position to outstretch Lisa. In 2018 it was the same two stats that helped propel her above the competition. This year Sarah has switched sponsors (to MVP) and has struggled to maintain the top three spots (and Tour Points and Championship title) that she had last season. The one place on the stat sheet where Sarah is still hanging on is scrambling. Given the technical aspects of the Idlewild course, scrambling is critical, so this could be an advantage for Sarah in a potential shot at repeating for second place.
Elsewhere in the field, local-pro Rebecca Cox was able to improve her standing from 5th in 2017 to 3rd in 2018. Her success on her hometown course the past two years is very similar to her success in the 2019 season. This year Rebecca has been able to stick close in the Tour Points race and is currently 3rd in Tour Points behind Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce. Rebecca's performance last year at Idlewild and her performance so far this season indicates that she might be in a prime spot to leap-frog Sarah into second place. Rebecca is not only positioned to take second but given Paige's travel schedule coming back from the European Open, she could make a run at winning her first Pro Tour event.
One player who has seemingly struggled at this event the past two years has been Catrina Allen. In 2017 Catrina's T5th finish was among one of her three worst finishes on the pro tour that season. In 2018 her 8th place finish at the event was also her second-worst finish. While top ten finishes on tour are nothing to shake a stick at, one would expect a player with the win record of Catrina's to be dominating across the board at events. In 2017 Catrina struggled to make it onto the fairway, and she also failed to make a single C2 putt while playing at Idlewild. In 2018 at this event Cat struggled to make it onto the fairway, which in turn hurt her scramble rate. Coupled with a low putting percentage, Catrina ended up barely making the cash line. Based on the stats it would seem Cat's inability to get clean off the drive is what has hurt her performance at Idlewild the past two seasons. This season though Catrina has cleaned things up, she is 2nd in the field in fairway hits across all events and leads parked and C2 in regulation percentages. If she can power through her past mistakes on the Idlewild course, it is possible that she will be set up for success.
Another story this season is the expanding FPO field. In 2017 twelve FPO players attended Idlewild, in 2018 there were nineteen, this year there are currently twenty-seven players registered for the division. A few notable players who will be in attendance for the first time this year include Callie McMorran, Hailey King, Vanessa Van Dyken, and Elaine King. Callie McMorran and Hailey King have toured together this summer, and both have had their successes on the course. Hailey King most recently had a strong performance at the Ledgestone Insurance Open. Vanessa Van Dyken has been touring this year with more veracity than years past, and this has resulted in her making it into the top ten in DGPT standings. She has consistently finished within the top ten this season. Finally, Elaine King is a stalwart in the FPO division and her precision on the course could lend itself to competitive success at Idlewild this weekend.
The Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati kicks off July 26th and will include two feature cards from the FPO division. The live feature card will consist of Paige Pierce, Sarah Hokom, Jessica Weese and the winner of the fan vote. The post-produced feature card from GK Pro will include Madison Walker, Christine Jennings, and Rebecca Cox alongside the runner-up in the fan vote. You can watch the live-action on the DGPT YouTube channel and the Disc Golf Network starting at 9 AM ET each day. Tell your friends and tune in to watch!
The Idlewild Open driven by Innova and The Nati Disc Golf kicks off this week with a top MPO player set to play Idlewild for the first time on the competitive stage and a few of the top players not in attendance due to the Europe Swing and Am Worlds.
To the jubilation of many Cincinnati locals, Ricky Wysocki will be making his way to the Idlewild Open this year. He is excited to play the course, noting: "This is my first trip to Idlewild. I've heard it's my kind of course tight wooded par 4s and 5s." Ricky has previously been unable to attend due to his European travel. He knows fans have wanted to see him play the course, and he is anxious to play it as well
Regarding missing the event in the past, Ricky said: "I have to do what makes the most sense for my tour schedule. I know it's really close to my home state of Ohio so it will be good to be back with the semi home state fans. But the tournament has always overlapped with my Europe trip, so it was never really possible until this year. Let's hope I can make up for the times I missed this event." Ricky noted the timing of the event would impact his practice schedule, but he is still hopeful for a good showing: "I will be getting less practice than my normal tournament routine due to the long trip back to the states. I'm going into this event knowing this, but I'm still excited. Let's hope one round of practice is enough." When pressed further about his practice routine, Ricky said he plans on doing the following to prepare his Idlewild game plan: "I will form my game plan and shot selection during the practice round. I will throw a lot of practice shots on every hole to see what works for me and what doesn't. Then I make an adjustment based on all my practice round shots. But for the most part, I can see a hole and know pretty much exactly what I'm going to do. I'm also good at adapting and changing my game plan on the fly based on wind, rain, and all the other variables in our sport." Based on Ricky's enthusiasm, it looks like it will definitely be exciting for fans of the sport to finally have the opportunity to see how the Sockibomb takes on the tight fairways of Idlewild.
One player who has been in attendance the previous two years will not be playing this year, and that is Paul McBeth. Paul will not be in Europe but will instead be in Pennsylvania to take part in the Amateur World Championships festivities. Other players not attending the event will be Eagle McMahon and Simon Lizotte. Neither competitor has had the opportunity to play the Idlewild Open due to the scheduling of the European swing.
Who will be in attendance, though? Two names which should stick out to you are James Conrad and Kevin Jones. James Conrad won his first Pro Tour event in 2017 at Idlewild. James has shown that the fairways of the Idlewild course make him feel like he is back at home in Virginia. In 2017 James was able to bide his time to bring home the win. He threw three off the pace in the first round, one off the hot round in the second, and maintaining a respectable five down on the final day to fend off a charging Paul McBeth. Last year, James threw four off the pace round one, a slowed down four-under in round two and then a six down in round three but was unable to catch McBeth. James will be one of the players we expect to see at the top of the leaderboard this year.
Last year Kevin Jones stormed onto the scene with a hot round day one which helped him maintain the lead going into the final round. Kevin was making up for his 52nd place performance the year before. Kevin would ultimately finish in 5th place for the tournament after the wheels fell off during the back nine of the final round. On hole 15 Kevin took a triple-bogey seven after going into the rough on his drive and struggling to make it back to the fairway. Kevin will use his recent performances at Ledgestone, DGLO, and the Presidents Cup to muster the resolve to overcome not only hole 15 but potentially put himself in position for his first Disc Golf Pro Tour win.
Also coming off a strong performance is local disc golf prodigy, Zach Arlinghaus. Zach recently won the 18 and under division at the Junior Worlds Championship in Emporia Kansas. He did so in commanding fashion averaging 1021 golf. In 2017 a 1021 average would have resulted in a top ten finish at Idlewild, in 2018 a top sixteen finish. Last year Zach placed 52nd at the event. Maybe this year Zach can do the same thing Kevin Jones did last year and catapult himself into the lead early on the Idlewild course.
Other players in attendance will be Chris Dickerson who has had two top-ten finishes at Idlewild and is the current defending Pro Tour Champion. Currently, Dickerson is right outside the Tour Points line and will be looking for another top ten finish in hopes of securing another entry into the Pro Tour Championship. Nate Perkins and Michael Johansen have both had top-five finishes at Idlewild the past two years and should be in serious contention for podium finishes this year. Zach Melton will also be looking to follow-up on last year's podium finish at this event.
These are just a few of the players who will be looking for their shot at bringing home the Idlewild Open crown. There will be two feature cards on day one, live and post-produced. The live feature card will include James Conrad, Kevin Jones, Ricky Wysocki, and the fan vote winner. The GK Pro post-produced card will feature Garrett Gurthie, Jeremy Koling, Zach Arlinghaus and fan vote runner-up. You can follow all of the scores this weekend on Udisc Live and tune in to watch the live feature card starting at 3:30 PM ET.
2018 Idlewild Open presented by Innova Event Recap: Familiar names weather the storm to emerge victoriousRead Now
The final round of the 2018 Idlewild Open presented by Innova Champion Discs and Nati Disc Golf is in the history books for the FPO Division. Over the first two days of the tournament we watched Paige Pierce and Sarah Hokom, arguably two of the top women players in the sport at this time, strategically dissect the technical fairways and greens of the Idlewild course as they traded the lead back and forth and distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
After an early pause on play yesterday, Kevin Jones is in first place with a stunning 10 under par. Trailing him by only 1 throw is none other than McBeast at 9 under par. The two may not face off on the same card this afternoon but that won't stop them from pushing as hard as they can.
BURLINGTON, KY-- There are only 53 points of margin among the top four female contenders for this year’s Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship. In a season where Paige Pierce dominated from the out, that storyline had all but faded as Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Jessica Weese have risen to the occasion and put up some incredible finishes in the past few events.
We are less than four days away from the start of the 2018 Idlewild Open driven by Innova Discs and The Nati Disc Golf. This is the second year for the Idlewild Open as a stop on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. Before we kick off the event we thought it would be helpful to take a dive into the stats from last year’s event to see what it takes to win at the Idlewild Open.
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