August 29, 2017
From the densely wooded, tight fairways of Idlewild to the…still pretty densely wooded and tight fairways at the Lakeview DGC at Moraine State Park outside of Pittsburgh. The course (and the field) did open up some this weekend as a familiar cast of some of the best golfers in the world came together for the latest PDGA National Tour event, the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open. Back to Beast Mode In a stark contrast from last weekend, the scores were steadily below par this week with just over 75% of the field finishing in the red numbers. Paul McBeth used a dynamite second round performance to put him into the lead for good, and then did just enough to keep Michael Johansen at bay on the final day to bag the title. With Paul continuing his dominance even as the courses become more wooded, it’s going to be very tough for anyone to challenge his lock on the top spot. Solid performances from the likes of James Conrad (4th) and Chris Dickerson (T-5) allowed them to hold steady in their spots in the rankings, while a return to action and a T-5 finish for Ricky Wysocki kept him firmly in the #2 spot. Also reemerging from some time off was everyone’s favorite German gunner, Simon Lizotte, who matched a tournament-low 54 from the longs on the final day to sneak into a tie for 2nd with Michael Johansen. Simon holds his #3 spot in the rankings, while MJ continues his climb, jumping up 5 spots into the top ten at #9. While MJ now has enough qualifying points to remain in our rankings, the same cannot be said for Seppo Paju and K.J. Nybo, who were both inactive and both fell from the qualifying ranks. Other big movers included Paul Ulibarri, whose 8th-place finish at the PFDO boosted him 3 spots to 17, Austin Turner (10th) rising two places to 20, and Dave Feldberg, who didn’t play but bumped up due to slipups from Dustin Keegan (T-28) and Niko Locastro (T-47), who each lost 3 spots to land in the bottom 5 of our rankings. We have a majority of our top-25 registered to play this coming weekend at the DGPT Vibram Open, so plan on another hotly contested tournament and more movement on our men’s leaderboard.
August 22, 2017
We’re back in action after last weekend saw a lull in major tournaments with the exception of the kickoff of the 2-week-long 2017 PDGA Pro Master’s World Championship. Since entry is age-restricted the results won’t factor into our rankings, however it’s still worth mentioning that Barry Schultz held off a challenging field and took home the title. We’ll see if he can still hang with the young guns when he plays in MPO next week in Pittsburgh. This weekend featured one qualifying event on the men’s side, the exciting DGPT Idlewild Open, while the ladies played both there and at the Frisbeegolfin SM Finnish Nationals. Less Idle, More Wild The most recent tour stop for the DGPT was the beautiful but intimidating Idlewild DGC in Burlington, KY just 20 minutes south of Cincinnati, OH. The course’s tight fairways, dense foliage, and myriad trees made life rough for a significant portion of the field all weekend long, and over the entire tournament only 15 of 101 competitors shot under par. Those who could approach the layout strategically and hit their lines were rewarded, and so it’s no surprise our top two cards on the final day featured some of the biggest names in the game. Top-20 player James Conrad had the perfect combination of distance, accuracy, and poise to hold off a charge from Paul McBeth in the final round and lock in a hard-fought 1-stroke victory with a -13. That was enough to bump him up to the 16 spot, bypassing Philo Brathwaite (T-29th) and Seppo Paju, who took 1st in the Finnish Nationals, which unfortunately didn’t have enough players to qualify for the rankings. Also playing in the tourney was Chris Dickerson who delivered a tourney-best smoking hot -8 on the final day for a 3rd place finish and a 2-spot climb into the top ten to #9 in our rankings. Dickerson displaced Jeremy Koling (T-14) and Josh Anthon, who each slipped a spot. A solid 4th place finish at Idlewild by Paul Ulibarri (4th) popped him up a spot, and a respectable event for Dustin Keegan (T-18) gained him a spot as well. Michael Johansen continually improved his performance over the weekend and ended up tying for 5th with Nate Perkins, who held the lead spot coming into the final day, but succumbed to the trees and creeks. Johansen was playing in only his 4th qualifying event of the year and now has enough points to reemerge in the Power Rankings and he comes in strong in the 15 spot.
August 8, 2017
All of the action this past weekend took place in scenic Peoria, IL at our very own DGPT Ledgestone Open. With healthy turnouts on both the men’s and the women’s sides and some new names topping the leaderboards for the first time in a while, the results shook up our Power Rankings a bit more than we’ve experienced in the past month. An Old Star on the Rise Again? The winner at Ledgestone might have come as a surprise to some, but those of us who have been following professional disc golf for a while are probably familiar with the name Josh Anthon. For folks new to the disc golf scene, know this: Anthon is back and he appears to be poised to return to his early 2000’s form where he amassed 42 victories and over $100k in tour winnings. This weekend Josh was hot out of the gate, built a 9-stroke lead over Paul McBeth heading into the final round, and never let up the stellar play, ending with a dominant -33 score and a 10-stroke victory over Paul McBeth. Not only did he pocket a cool $6500 prize, he jumped up six spots to number 9 in the Power Rankings. The top 3 held firm with McBeth (2nd) and Ricky Wysocki (4th) turning in strong results, and Simon Lizotte not playing a qualifying event, but of course, one player can’t move up the rankings without others falling. So let’s look at some of the movement. Nate Sexton showed that not playing a qualifying event can work to your benefit, as he bounced up to 4th, swapping spots with Cale Leiviska, who took 9th place at Ledgestone. Other strong Ledgstone performances led to big jumps in our Power Rankings as well: Paul Ulibarri (3rd) moved up four spots to 22; Nikko Locastro (T-11th) took a five spot bump to 19; Chris Dickerson (T-11th), Dustin Keegan (T-15th), Philo Brathwaite (T-15) also jumped up in the rankings; Chris Clemons took the biggest tumble of the week dropping five spots out of the top ten to #14 after a T-26th finish this weekend.
August 1, 2017
On the Men’s side we had two qualifying events – The Kyy Open in Finland and the Brent Hambrick Memorial Open in Columbus, OH. The Women’s side featured those two tournaments as well as the Des Moines Challenge and the Rocky Mountain Championships. With many of the top men’s players taking the week off or playing in non-qualifying events, and with the parity among everyone not named Paige Pierce on the women’s side, there was very little movement in either set of Power Rankings. Let’s take a look at some details. American Exceptionalism Two American players took top honors in Finland at the Euro Pro Tour Kyy Open as Gregg Barsby won by one stroke for a little bit of redemption after disappointment at the Euro Open last week, while Jeremy Koling held on for a share of 2nd place. A slew of Nordic players rounded out the leaderboard, though a 12th place tie for Jalle Stoor wasn’t enough for him to hold onto his spot in the Power Rankings as he slipped two places to 19th. Back over on this side of the pond, Paul Ulibarri was victorious at the BHMO, which kept him just barely in our top 25. 2nd place for Chris Dickerson allowed him to retain 10th in the Power Rankings. Though a number of top MPO players competed in Des Moines and Bozeman, nether tournament qualified to be included on the men’s side, with the former having only seven 1000+ rated players and the latter, six. We’ll look for more movement in our rankings next week when an all-star field takes on the Ledgestone Open.
July 25, 2017
There was again only one qualifying event this week, but it was a big one: The DGWT European Open. While the men’s tournament was a real nail-biter, the top 10 Power Ranking spots remained largely unchanged with the majority of the movement taking place in the bottom half of our top 25. Similarly for the women, the results from Finland did very little to shake up the rankings. Barsby denied, McBeth still on top The European Open provided a thrilling four days of disc golf that saw Gregg Barsby lead for the first three rounds and 17 of the final 18 holes, only to be denied the wire-to-wire victory by an exciting come-from-behind win from Paul McBeth. While McBeth’s win kept him firmly in first place, Barsby couldn’t crack the top 25 even with his stellar 2nd place overall finish. His win percentage jumped up from 40% to 45%, placing him in 31st. Simon Lizotte is regaining some consistency in his game and a solid third place overall finish helped bump him to third in the Power Rankings, barely edging out Cale Leiviska by three hundreths (.03) of a percentage point. He also jumped Nate Sexton, who dropped two spots to fifth in the rankings despite tying for 7th in the Euro open with Ricky Wysocki, whose spot in the rankings remained unchanged. No other players in the top 11 moved this week. A 4th place finish by Nate Doss and a 5th place finish by Eagle McMahon helped them get closer to moving up the rankings. The bottom half of the top 25 saw some spot-swapping, with Philo Brathwaite rising three spots in the Power Rankings to 14th on the strength of a 13th place finish in Finland. David Feldberg also carded a -21 to tie at 13th for the weekend, but he slipped a spot in the rankings due to a smaller number of qualifying events played. Finnish players Seppo Paju and Jalle Stoor both turned in decent results at the Euro Open, but were outpaced by the majority of their top 25 competitors and dropped 4 and 3 spots to sit at 16th and 17th, respectively. Finally on the men’s side, a 6th place result for Paul Ullibari moved him up into our rankings and bumped Calvin Heimburg out of the top 25.
July 18, 2017
There was only one qualifying event this week, the Prodiscus Estonian Open. On the men’s side, it had an impact, while most of the women stayed in the states. Simon Drops, Paul and Ricky continue to battleBeing at the top means there is less room to move up – and a lot of room to move down. At the Prodiscus Estonian Open, which had ten 1000 rated players, Simon Lizotte finished fifth. He earned four losses (to the four players that beat him) and five wins (to the five players he beat or tied). While most mortals would think that was a quality finish, as far as the Power Rankings go, that was subpar for Simon. His win percentage dropped from 90.1% to 89%, enough to cost him two spots in this weeks rankings. Nate Sexton and Cale Leiviska were the beneficiaries, as they both moved up one spot. Eagle McMahon tied Ricky Wyscocki for second place. This increased his win percentage by .6%, enough to move him up two spots thanks to the poor showing by Jalle Stoor, who dropped three spots. Ricky Wysocki, who has even less room to move up than Simon Lizotte, cards the second place finish and drops .2%. Meanwhile, the man he is chasing, Paul McBeth’s dominating first place finish, which the Power Rankings would expect, increases his win percentage by a tiny .07%. Here are Paul and Ricky’s wins and losses against Quality Players at Qualifying Events this season:
- Paul McBeth / 296 Wins / 7 Losses
- Ricky Wysocki / 365 Wins / 13 Losses
July 11, 2017
As the second half of the season gets into full gear, the players have a couple more weekends to pick and choose among many quality events. The top women split up and each took home a victory. The tip top men battled in Europe, giving several Europeans a shot at earning some qualifying points to break into the Top 25. Men Jockey for PositionWhile the women had four qualifying events, the men only had two and our Power Rankings leader, Paul McBeth, took the weekend off. At the Skellefteå Open, Ricky Wysocki beat out Teemu Nissinen by one stroke for the win. This was Teemu’s second qualifying event, so his 81% winning percentage does not have enough data behind it to put him in the rankings, but if he did he would be the 7th best player in the world. Cale Leiviska beat out Paul Ulibarri at The Majestic.
July 4, 2017
The week after Pro Worlds is traditionally a quiet week in the pro side of disc golf and last weekend was no different. On the Men’s Side, the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge was the only qualifying event. On the Women’s Side, the Red White and BOOOM tournament in Dayton, OH also qualified. Welcome to the Top 25Manabu Kajiyama’s 38th at Pro Worlds qualified him for the Power Rankings, landing him in 28th. His fourth place finish in Delaware moved him up to 25th (52.7%), knocking Drew Gibson to 26th at 52.6%. Another name to watch is Andrew Fish. He does not yet have enough qualifying points to be ranked. If he can maintain his 81% winning percentage over a couple more events, it would put him solidly in the top ten. McBeth, Wysocki, and most of the other big names took the weekend off and there was no movement in the top 24.
June 27, 2017
It’s Tuesday, and that means it is time for the Power Rankings update. With Worlds being the lone event from last weekend, players had an opportunity to make some moves. McBeth Wysocki BattleOn the men’s side, Paul McBeth, the top ranked player in the world, bested everyone in the field except Ricky Wysocki, good enough to increase his win percentage from 97.5% to 97.61%. Ricky Wysocki, now a 2X World Champion, who has traded the top spot with McBeth for over a year, increased his win percentage by over .5% to 96.66%, less than 1% behind McBeth. Big Jump UpsChris Dickerson jumped 11 spots with his 5th place finish, increasing his win percentage by 13%. Calvin Heimburg’s 12th place finish raised his win percentage by 18%, jumping him 15 spots to 24th. Simon Lizotte and JohnE McCray, who tied for third at Pro Worlds, both jumped two spots to 3rd and 6th respectively. Precipitous FallsOn the downward side, Dave Feldberg (57th) and Josh Anthon (29th), lost double digits to their win percentages, dropping to 21st and 17th respectively. They only have four events under their belt this season, so with a couple solid finishes look for them to bounce right back.