With the Pro Tour Championship quickly approaching, many are beginning to consider how the top pros will finish in the championship bracket. One of the first places
people look when filling out their brackets (in most competitions at least) is to see how the favorites finished the year before. For the Pro Tour Championship we do not have the luxury of doing that for Simon. Last year Simon was home, rehabbing his knee.
This year is a different story though. This year Simon earned enough points to finish 4th in the Pro Tour standings. A fourth place finish gives him a bye all the way to the semi-finals. Since Simon did not compete in the championship last year, we will need to consider Simon’s performance this year and how the bracket is setup to give us some indication of where Simon might finish in the 2017 championship.
Simon’s Season: A Story of Second Fiddle
Simon has played 17 tournaments so far this season according to his PDGA records. Of those tournaments, he has only won two – the Open @ Temple and the Summer Slam Vol. IV. An A-Tier in Texas and a B-Tier back home in Germany. In three of his six Pro Tour events Simon has taken second place (making these his best finishes of the season at Pro Tour events). Simon has also taken second at one NT (Pittsburgh) and raked in a slew of thirds (Waco, GBO, World’s, & the European Open). Second fiddle serves as an accurate description for Simon’s performance this year – almost always in the top 5 but rarely pulling out the win.
However, there’s one more thing to consider with Simon’s season.
With three events left in the season (USDGC, Hall of Fame, and the Championship) Simon is playing with an entirely new bag.
After his final round at Discraft’s Green Mountain Championship, Simon gave away his bag. Simon has been practicing with his new bag and discs ever since then, but it will be important to watch how that new bag works for him over the next two events to see if Simon will be ready to take on the Pro Tour Championship Bracket.
How does the bracket look for Simon?
Since Simon is entering the semifinals as the four seed he will be paired in a bracket with James Conrad who is the five seed. They will be joined by the people who fill the Q1 & Q8 spots on the bracket. In theory, the Q1 spot will be someone who was qualified for the quarterfinals.
*Remember because of the Drew Gibson rule a player’s placement in the semi’s is determined based on their Pro Tour Standings.
However, the Q8 spot could be anyone ranked between 17 and 50. This makes it very hard for players to strategize how they will play the semi-finals round until the day before the round. In many ways this can be as nerve wracking (if not more than) as playing in the qualifier and quarterfinals rounds.
What we do know is that Simon has been bested by James at two events this year (Waco and Vibram). We have seen James start to hit his stride in the second half of the season and we will expect him to give Simon a run for his money on the New World courses.
It is clear that Simon is a wild card in this year’s semifinals bracket. His lack of a championship appearance last year and his new bag will put Simon in an interesting position for the semifinals on Saturday, October 21st. It will be important to watch his finishes over the next two weeks to truly gauge how he will finish at the championship.
This week you can catch updates from the USDGC on their website: http://www.usdgc.com and on appropriate DGWT social channels.
For the Tour Championship you will be able to follow along live every day starting at noon ET.
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