Champions, Underdogs, and Dark Horses: Who Qualified for the Tour Championship?
Article written by: Michelle Springett – DGPT Communications Coordinator
As the champions were crowned at the 2023 MVP Open presented by OTB, the ability to earn more DGPT Points ended. The tour point standings have been finalized! Coming out on top, Calvin Heimburg and Kristin Tattar earned the top seeds and the largest starting stroke advantage at the 2023 DGPT Tour Championship presented by Barbasol. Who is Qualified for the 2023 DGPT Championship? Let’s dive into the top storylines on who will be the possible Champions, Underdogs, and Dark Horses to watch.
Heading into the DGPT Championship this October at Nevin Park, Charlotte, NC, there are a few significant changes to be aware of.
- The FPO field is expanding with four more spots, totaling twenty, while the MPO remains at the top thirty-two players based on DGPT points.
- The previously utilized play-in event for the bottom slots has been removed.
- Notably, players who’ve clinched a win at any 2023 PDGA Pro Major, DGPT Elite, Elite+, or Playoff event but haven’t qualified will be invited to replace the lowest seed in their division.
The Championship has been divided into two parts: a semifinal and a final, consisting of two rounds each. Players are given starting strokes during the semifinals according to their seed from DGPT point standings. Following the semifinals, the top twelve men and eight women advance to the finals, where scores are reset, and players compete in regular stroke play.
If you’re interested in learning more about the DGPT 2023 Points System, we have a press release available to check out. This prestigious event will feature intense competition, showcasing the exceptional skills and talents of the participants. With its grand finale status, the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship is a must-watch event that epitomizes the pinnacle of disc golf excellence. Grab your spectator tickets now before they sell out!
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|DGPT Championship Starting Strokes by Seed: FPO|
|Seed||Starting Strokes Awarded
(Valid Only During Semifinals)
|1st – Kristin Tattar||-5|
|2nd – Missy Gannon||-4|
|3rd – Ohn Scoggins
4th – Holyn Handley
|5th – Ella Hansen
6th – Kat Mertsch
7th – Hailey King
8th – Catrina Allen
|9th – Sarah Hokom
10th – Macie Velediaz
11th – Jessica Weese
12th – Ali Smith
|13th – Maria Oliva
14th – Jennifer Allen
15th – Stacie Rawnsley
16th – Holly Finley
17th – Lisa Fajkus
18th – Lykke Lorentzen
19th – Juliana Korver
20th – Valerie Mandujano (Idlewild win)
Kristin Tattar Leads the Pack: Not surprisingly, Kristin Tattar (#1) sits comfortably at the top of the standings with a significant lead of 128.42 points, showcasing her dominance throughout the 2023 season. This season is her second in a row clinching the top of the points series, and she has the most significant advantage going into the Championship of her field with five starting strokes to her name headed into the two-round semifinal.
Kristin Tattar holds up her 2023 PDGA Worlds Championship trophy. Photo: DGPT/Gage Hamilton
Consistency Matters: As the second seed headed into the Championship, Missy Gannon (#2) has also had a standout season and will be one to watch as she competes for the win at the Tour Championship. While the top spots are given due attention, players like Ohn Scoggins (#3) and Holyn Handley (#4) have remained consistent throughout the season, securing their spots in the top 5.
Positional Changes in the Top 10: Major moves made. The DGPT standings have seen several positional shifts. Holyn Handley, Kat Mertsch (#6), Hailey King (#7), and Macie Velediaz (#10) have all climbed the ladder. In contrast, established players like Ella Hansen (#5), Sarah Hokom (#9), and Catrina Allen (#8) have all dropped one spot after the 2023 MVP Open. With these shifts, Holyn has earned an additional stroke off her score, while Ella has lost that extra stroke.
The Big Climb: Holly Finley (#16) came in 5th at the MVP Open with a phenomenal final round with all pars and only one bogey, which is an incredible feat to achieve on the formidable Maple Hill Course. After this weekend’s performance at the MVP Open, she made a remarkable jump up five spots to the 16th spot and has had a solid late-season performance.
Holly Finley gives out a fist bump at the 2023 MVP Open. Photo: DGPT/Kevin Huver
Valerie Mandujano’s Comeback: Despite being further down the rankings and not reaching one of the top 18 spots, Valerie Mandujano (#30) gained three spots this past weekend! But her previous win at the 2023 Idlewild Open automatically qualifies her to compete in the Tour Championship so we will see her in Charlotte either way.
Paige Pierce’s Absence: A notable mention is Paige Pierce’s (#33) drop in standings by four spots after the MVP Open. Paige hasn’t competed since the 2023 Preserve Championship powered by Prodigy, which happened earlier in the season. Due to her injury, she will not be able to compete; however, it’s worth noting that she has always been one of the FPO’s leading competitors and likely would have made the Championship if it wasn’t for an injury during practice at the 2023 PCS Open. Paige secured a spot in the Tour Championship following her victory at the 2023 Open in Austin, but Juliana Korver will now take her position.
On the Outside Looking In: Lykke Lorentzen, who placed 18th in the tour standings, managed to clinch the last qualifying spot for the Tour Championship, but not by much. The competition was fierce, and Lykke (#18) finished 18th at the MVP Open, giving her a slight edge over Juliana Korver (#19) in the standings. Coming in 26th, Juliana’s performance at last weekend’s tournament dropped her two spots in the standings, and she needed a better showing to make the cut (there are 20 spots for FPO at the Championship, but two players outside the top 20 – Paige Pierce and Valarie Mandujano – qualified automatically based on a DGPT Elite win).
Henna (#20), 20 points behind Juliana (19th), followed closely and landed just outside the top 18. Henna would have had to earn 6th or higher at the MVP Open to hit the cut line. Since Paige isn’t able to play, Juliana is next in line for a spot and will compete at the Championship as the 19th seed.
Lykke Lorentzen tees off at the 2023 PDGA World Championships. Photo: DGPT/Gage Hamilton
|DGPT Championship Starting Strokes by Seed: MPO|
|Seed||Starting Strokes Awarded
(Valid Only During Semifinals)
|1st – Calvin Heimburg||-6|
|2nd – Isaac Robinson||-5|
|3rd – Gannon Buhr
4th – Ricky Wysocki
|5th – Eagle McMahon
6th – Matthew Orum
7th – Simon Lizotte
8th – Kyle Klein
|9th – Anthony Barela
10th – Cole Redalen
11th – James Proctor
12th – Ezra Robinson
13th – Alden Harris
14th – Aaron Gossage
15th – Chris Dickerson
16th – Ezra Aderhold
|17th – Kevin Jones
18th – Adam Hammes
19th – Bradley Williams
20th – James Conrad
21st – Ben Callaway
22nd – Corey Eillis
23rd – Joel Freeman
24th – Chris Clemons
|25th – Niklas Anttila
26th – Väinö Mäkelä
27th – Nikko Locastro
28th – Emerson Keith
29th – Andrew Presnell
30th – Mason Ford
31st – Paul Ulibarri
32nd – Parker Welck (Dynamic Discs Open win)
Vinny comes out on Top: With Calvin Heimburg (#1) leading the pack and a significant lead of 162.84 points from the #2 player, Isaac Robinson, Calvin has firmly asserted himself as a dominant player this season. Calvin has also retained his season-long streak of a first-place spot in Fairway Hits, Shots Parked, Circle 1 in regulation, Circle 2 in regulation, and Birdie percentage. His precision-long performance has been consistent but has yet to win him a major this season.
Calvin Heimburg lines up a shot at the 2023 MVP Open. Photo: DGPT/Kevin Huver
Tight Race for Second and Third: The difference in points between Isaac Robinson (#2) and Gannon Buhr (#3) is minimal. This race between the two teammates has been ongoing throughout the season and has been quite fun to follow on social media. Isaac edged out Gannon by a little under 4 points and made a light jab at his friend at the trophy ceremony this past weekend after the MPO final round of the MVP Open by saying, “Wow, this second-place trophy is way bigger than the third-place trophy.”
Familiar Faces: Established and recognized players like Ricky Wysocki (#4), Eagle McMahon (#5), and Simon Lizotte (#7) are in the top ten but not at the very top, which affirms the increasing level of competition coming alongside the rise of some newer stars such as Isaac Robinson and Gannon Buhr.
BIG Movers: Matthew Orum (#6) and Aaron Gossage (#14) have made significant gains, jumping up five spots and showcasing their impressive performances and season-long consistency. MattyO moved up from 11th to 6th, earning him an additional stroke off his starting score with his well-deserved win at the 2023 MVP Open presented by OTB! Over the weekend, Aaron tied for 2nd place, moving up from 19th alongside MattyO’s performance.
MattyO celebrates his win at the 2023 MVP Open. Photo: DGPT/Kevin Huver
Dropped Spots in the Top Ten: The likes of Kyle Klein (#8) dropped from 7th, Anthony Barela (#9) dropped from 6th, and James Proctor (#11) dropping from 8th saw a last-minute decline in their rankings but still retained their top 15 spots standings. Discussing the intense pressure at the MVP Open, a cornerstone event on the Tour, and the venue for the inaugural DGPT event, it’s evident that even the best can falter. This year, Kyle finished tied for 25th, Anthony tied for 69th, and James who tied for 42nd all unfortunately didn’t deliver their usual standout performances that have allowed them to climb so high in the rankings this season.
Paul McBeth’s Points Position: One of the most recognizable names in disc golf, Paul McBeth is at #23 in the standings, which is lower than many would expect. Paul spent much of this season in Europe and then dropped from some tournaments due to injury. Paul will not compete in the Championship due to ongoing recovery and an exciting recent announcement that his first child will be born soon!
So Close to the Cut-Off: The battle for the Tour Championship qualification was extremely tight. Mason Ford barely reached #31, with Paul Ulibarri (#32) and others just outside the cut-off. With Paul McBeth’s drop from the Tour Championship, Paul Ulibarri has taken his spot and will compete as the 31st seed.
Special Qualification: Parker Welck (#54), who failed to qualify for the DGPT Championship with points, will still play due to his break-out win at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open. Adding excitement to the upcoming Tour Championship, Parker might be a dark horse contender. Next month, he will take the 32nd and final spot in the MPO division behind Paul Ulibarri at the Championship.
Parker Welck lines up his shot at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open. Photo: DGPT/Kevin Huver
The drama, the ups and downs, and the unpredictability of the FPO and MPO divisions have made this season an amazing one to watch. Established champions have faced unexpected challenges, while rising stars have carved their niches, constantly shuffling the leaderboard and leaving fans guessing. The crescendo of this roller-coaster journey is the 2023 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, where the culmination of this season’s trials and triumphs will play out, promising an event filled with suspense, skillful plays, and, potentially, a few surprises.
Be sure to experience the Pinnacle of Disc Golf! Witness the electrifying competition as the crème de la crème of disc golf showcase their unmatched skills at the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship’s grand finale. Secure your spectator tickets now and be part of this monumental event. Selling fast – once they’re gone, they’re gone! Can’t be there in person? We’ve got you covered! Subscribe to the Disc Golf Network and catch every exhilarating moment live. Tune in and be part of the action!
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