The Power Rankings are an analysis of the 2017 season. After the Tour Championship, we will be able to announce our 2017 Player of the Year, which will be the player that has the highest winning percentage against quality players at premier events.
October 17, 2017
Well folks, there’s a cold nip in the air and the leaves are starting to change and fall down (depending on where you’re reading this), which can only mean one thing: We have reached the end of the road for the 2017 season…And what a time it is to be a fan of the sport! This past weekend we saw an incredible battle of some of the finest players of the world in the National Tour finale—the Ed Headrick Disc Golf Hall of Fame Classic. If you haven’t had time to review the results or watch the footage—what are you doing?? Seriously, check it out—stop reading, right now, surf over to YouTube and watch the fantastic coverage from Jomez Pro. If ever there was a must-watch event, this was surely it. Go on now, I’ll wait…
Pretty amazing, right? Let’s take a closer look at the results and how they affected our DGPT Power Rankings.
One for the Ages
A fantastic three days of play culminated in a finish for the ages with an excitement-packed 3-man playoff. Our final day of play saw a lead card of Ricky Wysocki, Devan Owens, Austin Turner, and James Conrad all tied up, with the entire chase card only one stroke back. Ricky fought through some unfortunate missteps, including a spit-out from less than 10 feet, to find his way into a 3-way tie with Simon Lizotte, emerging from the chase card, and Paul McBeth, charging from the 3rd card with an incredible final round 54. It took 3 nerve-wracking extra holes for Ricky to see Paul/Simon slip slidin’ away and emerge as champ, though he still couldn’t quite overcome Paul for the top spot in the Power Rankings. Simon’s finish didn’t move him either, as he stayed firmly in 5th.
Owens has been playing some great golf lately and his 3rd place finish bumped him into our rankings at 25. Similarly, James Conrad moved up 2 spots to 17 with his T-5 finish with the young gun Austin Turner, who held steady at 23. A T-8 finish for Michael Johansen moved him up one to 11, but dropped Zach Melton one spot to 25. Philo Brathwaite and A.J. Risley, who celebrated a birthday with an incredible opening round 50, tied for 10th, but Philo’s ranking didn’t move and Risley couldn’t quite crack the top 25.
Despite a solid T-16 finish for Jeremy Koling, he slid a spot to 10th, while Paul Ulibarri’s T-24 also knocked him down two places to 19th, and JohnE McCray tumbled four spots to 12 after tying for 19th. On the other side of the moves, K.J. Nybo and Josh Anthon benefitted from not playing, with each gaining 2 spots to 8th and 9th, respectively.
So it’s down to a 2-man race for the top spot, and Paul is in the driver’s seat. It’s still possible for Rick to overtake him, but he can finish no worse than 6th this weekend and must beat Paul by 10 places to grab 1st place. But as we saw this past weekend, anything can happen.
On the Women’s side we were witness to an absolutely astonishing show, as the ladies fought for another major title on the year. Catrina Allen put on a clinic for us all and played some of the most consistently excellent golf you’ll ever see on some of the more challenging courses that the sport has to offer. She strung together birdie after birdie and absolutely destroyed the field with a final score of -13, the only FPO player under par, besting 2nd place finisher Sarah Hokom by 13 strokes.
Melody Waibel was just two strokes behind Hokom, and her 3rd place finish allowed her to swap places with Holly Finley, who tied for 8th. Those two round out the FPO rankings at 14 and 15, and were the only ones to see any movement this week.
Of course, movement or not, nobody can catch our FPO Power Rankings champion, Paige Pierce, who finished in a respectable 4th place. She’s well out of reach of any of the other women and is now just playing for tourney wins.
Wrapping up the DGPT
Of course just because the DGWT finished up a couple weeks ago and NT season is over, that doesn’t mean there aren’t additional marquee events upcoming—most notably, our very own DGPT Tour Championship begins this Thursday (10/19) and is sure to provide a super fun four days of action in Jacksonville. If you haven’t been following along, here’s the lowdown:
The DGPT’s top 50 men and 15 women were invited to play in a multi-tier event with some nice payouts to go along with the prestige of being crowned the 2017 DGPT Tour Champ. Players were awarded byes into later rounds depending on their ranking at the end of the DGPT regular season to make for a unique bracket format. Not only will this allow some of the lower finishing players an opportunity to play their way into the finals, it will also give a chance to YOU—the viewer—to predict the finish. You can check out the Men’s bracket here, and the Women here. Then, take a visit to the MPO Bracket Challenge site and make your picks for a chance to take home some awesome prizes.
Best of luck to all the players and the bracket-pickers. Be sure to check back in next week to see how the final Power Rankings shape up!
September 25, 2017
Our MPO rankings are unchanged this week, and with the men largely taking the week off or playing in smaller local events, it was the women’s turn in the spotlight. The 2017 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship came to Johnson City, TN as thirty-six of the world’s best golfers took on Winged Deer, Harmon Hills, and Pine Oaks for four exciting rounds of action.
Another Major for Paige
Despite hot starts for Catrina Allen and Lisa Fajkus, Paige Pierce put together a tourney-best 3rd round 61 (-6) to take the lead heading into the finals at Pine Oaks on Sunday. Once she climbed into the top spot she never took her foot off the gas, blasting through the final round with an incredible 14 birdies and no bogies to cruise to a 6-stroke victory over Jessica Weese, who also turned in an impressive final round at -12. This marks Pierce’s 3rd Major win of the year and her 2nd career USWDGC title. Sarah Hokom took 3rd place, just one stroke off of Weese’s score, while Fajkus and Allen rounded out the top 5, tying for 4th.
Our Power Rankings barely moved this week, however two new names hopped into the top 15. Holly Finley rode a 9th place finish at the USWDGC into the 14 spot while Melody Waibel’s 10th place put her back into the rankings at #15. Dropping out at the expense of these two ladies were Zoe Andyke and Katka Bodová, who finished 16th and 20th respectively at the USWDGC.
We also had some FPO action on the European side of things with the Copenhagen Open in Denmark. Euro FPO star Eveliina Salonen dominated a field of some of Europe’s best women to win by a dozen strokes. Despite the win, Salonen was not able to gain any ground in the Power Rankings, but held onto the 9 spot.
The tournament season is nearing its end, but we still have a solid month of top-tier events including the USDGC, the Ed Headrick DG HOF Classic, and the DGPT Tour Championship. Power Rankings will continue through the Tour Championship, so keep checking back for updates in the coming weeks!
NOTE: The results for the Nantucket Disc Golf Open were unintentionally omitted from last week’s rankings. Consequently, movement in this week’s rankings will appear off if you’ve been closely monitoring standings from week to week. At the NDGO, Austin Turner pulled off a victory against a loaded MPO field while Paige Pierce did what she usually does, winning FPO. For full results, check here.
September 18, 2017
The DGPT regular season wrapped up this weekend with the Green Mountain Championship at the beautiful Smuggler’s Notch resort in Vermont. Dozens of the best disc golfers in the world converged on Brewster Ridge and Fox Run Disc Golf courses for four rounds of fun and challenging competition. There was no shortage of excitement as the field battled for victory as well as one last chance at qualifying for the DGPT Tour Championship.
Doss is Boss
After a sizeable title drought in any major tour events, Nate Doss finally put it all together to shoot 44 strokes under par over the four rounds of the GMC, holding off putting wizard Michael Johansen and defending world champ Ricky Wysocki. Nate’s stellar play earned him a title and moved him up to 7th in the Power Rankings. Wysocki made up a bit of ground on McBeth, who withdrew halfway through Round 2 with a back injury, but Rick (3rd) still couldn’t take over the top spot. Despite a strong GMC performance from Johansen (2nd), MJ dropped to 12th largely due to sitting out the NDGO the prior week.
Cale Leiviska also had a great showing, taking 4th place in the GMC, but he couldn’t steal 3rd in the Power Rankings from Simon Lizotte (T-25), instead holding firm at fourth. A T-39 finish for both Eagle McMahon and Seppo Paju bumped Eagle into the top 10 in 9th place and dropped Seppo 6 spots to 15th. A slightly better T-36 pulled Jalle Stoor up 5 spots to 16th in the Rankings.
Top-ten GMC finishes from Philo Brathwaite (T-8) and Paul Ulibarri (5) earned the former 6 spots and the latter 9 as they now sit in 17th and 18th, respectively. Greg Barsby’s T-15 finish also allowed him to stay in our rankings at 24.
Piercing the Competition
On the ladies side, in addition to the GMC we had the Powergrip Pro Tour in Siilinjärvi, Finland where Henna Blomroos dominated a field of 4 top European FPO players to hang onto 6th place in the ladies Power Rankings. Of course most of the action occurred back stateside, where the GMC featured over half of our top 15.
After spending the first 3 rounds jockeying for position on the podium, Paige Pierce was on fire in the finals, locking down a victory and securing a vise-like hold on #1 in the Power Rankings. Sarah Hokom, Val Jenkins, and Jessica Weese rounded out the top four, with only one stroke separating each of them. There was no movement in our top 5. A DNF for Hannah Leatherman hit her hard for a 4-spot slide into 10th while T-11 for Katka Bodová wasn’t enough to keep her from slipping 4 spots into 15th. An 8th place finish by Zoe Andyke drops her into the 14 spot, as a slew of inactive ladies jumped ahead of her.
DGPT Championship Qualifying
With the completion of the DGPT regular season, we now know who will be invited to the Tour Championship on October 19-22 in Jacksonville, FL. On the FPO side, the top 15 players score an invite, while the 50 best from the MPO will get the call. Since this is a DGPT-exclusive event and our Power Rankings encompass all Pro events, it’s not a huge surprise that 3 of our top 25 MPO players and 8 of the top 15 FPO players in the Power Rankings did not earn enough DGPT tour points to qualify and will not be taking part in the final event.
You can check out the final standings here, and stay tuned to DGPT.com for more details over the coming weeks.
September 11, 2017
The old-timers were in the spotlight again this weekend with the Tim Selinske US Masters, and once again Barry Schultz took the crown with a smokin’ -44 over the four rounds of play, with Joe Rovere and Dave Feldberg pulling out 2nd and 3rd. There’s some great coverage of the event out there, and I encourage you to head over to YouTube and take a look, if for nothing else but to show you that age is nothing but a number when it comes to playing great golf.
It was a slow weekend on the Pro circuit with only one qualifying event taking place and only the minimum 8 qualifying MPO players participating. At the Greater Hartford Disc Golf Open, Bradley Williams prevailed over Philo Brathwaite in a playoff after they both finished the regulation rounds at -18. A.J. Risley, Tim Barham, and Niko Locastro all shared 3rd place and rounded out the top five finishers with matching -16s. None of the results had any impact on our Power Rankings, which remain unchanged this week. That surely won’t be the case next week as the majority of our top-ranked MPO and FPO players will be returning to action at the DGPT Green Mountain Championship, so make sure you check back to see what happened!
September 5, 2017
We are headed into the final stretch of the DGPT circuit and the competition is heating up, providing us with some riveting action. This Labor Day weekend featured the Vibram Open at the beautiful Maple Hill DGC in Leicester, MA. A completely stacked field of pros, featuring 22 of our top 25 players in MPO and 8 of 15 in FPO turned out to put on a show for some great crowds. What started out as a gorgeous setting turned a little dreary on the final day as heavy rain moved into the area and soaked the course and the competitors, giving everyone some additional challenges to deal with as they fought for the title. For the ladies, in addition to a sizeable field at Maple Hill, the bare minimum of four 870+ FPO players competed at the Northwoods Open in Wisconisn.
The tournament outcomes resulted in some notable shifts on both the men’s and women’s side in the Power Rankings, so let’s see how things shook out.
Maple Hill provided a spectacular setting for our field and we were rewarded with some spectacular golf, including THREE aces, two of which were captured on camera (check out Jomez Pro on YouTube if you haven’t seen them), and one of which even made the Sportscenter Top 10. The latter belonged to Gregg Barsby with a big hyzer forehand on hole 5 in the 3rd round. Though he couldn’t convert the ace into a win, Gregg continues to play at a high level and finally broke into our top 25 at 23rd with a 4th place finish. Also on camera was Cale Leiviska skipping in a sweet ace on the 4th hole on the first day of play. He ended up tied for 7th and maintains 4th place in the rankings. Unfortunately no cameras caught Philo Brathwaite nailing the 14th in his first round,but he can still celebrate. However, a lackluster T-42 finish resulted in him dropping three spots to 19.
Ricky Wysocki began the final round tied with Gregg Barsby but fought off the elements and some incredible charges from chase card members Eagle McMahon and Paul McBeth, who seemed unfazed by the rain while carding final round scores of -7 and -6 to nearly force a playoff, but coming up just short and tying for 2nd. Ricky still couldn’t overtake Paul in the standings, but Eagle soared up two spots to #11. Also playing stellar golf in the rain was Simon Lizotte, whose final round best 8-under 52 tied him for a 7th place finish and allowed him to keep a hold of the 3rd spot in the Power Rankings. It looks like the Simon of old is reappearing, and he is sure to pose a threat in every remaining tournament that he plays.
James Conrad kept up his great woods play, and Nate Sexton was right there with him as they tied for 5th. James gained 2 spots to land in 13th and Nate hopped up one into 5th. Other big movers on the weekend were Seppo Paju, who landed back in our rankings at 16 after dropping off last week, and Matthew Orum, tying for 11th and ending up at 20 in the Power Rankings. While Drew Gibson and Josh Anthon also tied for 11th, Drew only gained one spot to reenter our standings in 25th, and Josh dropped one to 12th.
Elsewhere, Niko Locastro (T-22) moved up a spot, while Steve Brinster (T-20) and Bobby Musick (T-29) slid 3 and 5 spots, respectively. Nate Doss (9), Jeremy Koling (T-15), Michael Johansen (T-17), Austin Turner (T-33), Paul Ulibarri (T-38), and Chris Clemons (T-42) all held onto their previous places in the rankings.
Valarie Jenkins seemed to have it on cruise control building up a 6-stroke lead going into Sunday, but as the rains fell, her scores rose and a +8 on Sunday opened the door for Paige Pierce, who took advantage by carding a stellar -2 in tough conditions, cementing yet another win. Catrina Allen took 3rd with consistent golf all weekend, and the top three ladies all kept their Power Rankings positions.
Jessica Weese and Lisa Fajkus tied for 6th, resulting in each moving up a place in the rankings, while Sarah Hokom (T-8) stayed steady in the 5-spot. Katka Bodova’ (12) stumbled slightly and dropped one place to 14, while Hannah Leatherman (T-13) took the biggest tumble of the week, falling 4 spots to 11th.
As the women’s game continues to grow we start seeing some names that will become a lot more familiar if they keep up their caliber of play. For example, Holly Finley won the Northwoods Open, and while you might not know her, this was her 5th FPO win of the year. Assuming she starts playing in more qualifying events, she’ll be sure to crack the top 15 soon.
One More Chance
While there are multiple qualifying events in the next couple months, the DGPT season winds down with the final open event, the Green Mountain Championship, kicking off on September 13th. This will be the last opportunity for players to qualify for the DGPT Tour Championship, which will be held in Jacksonville, FL in mid-October. For those players who are already firmly in the top 50 (or top 15 in FPO), this will also serve as a chance to earn a bye into either the quarter or semifinals.
Take a look at the current standings here and be sure to tune in to the GMC in a few weeks to see who will make the final cut!
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.
Cat Can Do
Synonymous with McBeast’s consistency on the men’s side is Paige Pierce’s performance in FPO. However, while Paige doesn’t seem to be in danger of dropping from the top spot in the women’s rankings, it doesn’t mean she’s the only one winning. To the contrary, she’s actually won only 1 of the past 3 tournaments she’s played. Sure—most players would be thrilled to win one of every three tournaments, but we know Paige is not “most players.”
Pierce started off hot this weekend and was locked in a battle with Catrina Allen through the first two rounds, but Cat turned it up a notch in the final round with a blistering 57 and pulled away for an 8-stroke victory. Lisa Fajkus, Sarah Hokom, and Jessica Weese rounded out the top 5 for the ladies.
Oddly enough, despite a number of the top women playing in Pittsburgh, the FPO rankings did not move at all. It’s looking like the spread between Pierce and the rest of the field is insurmountable, and like the only real movement we’ll likely see will be in the middle of the pack.
Check back next week to see how the Vibram Open results impact our standings!
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.
A Tale of Two Tours
Despite a slow start, Paige Pierce navigated the ‘wild woods and carded a +15 to win the DGPT event on the FPO side and maintain her perch atop the ladies Power Rankings. The biggest mover was Jessica Weese, whose 4th place finish bumped her up three spots into the top ten at #9. Fifth place wasn’t enough for Catrina Allen to hold onto #2 and she slid to #4 behind Valarie Jenkins and Ragna Bygde Lewis.
Over on the Euro tour Eveliina Salonen was the only FPO player finishing under par at the Finnish Nationals and her win translated to a slight upward tick in her ranking as she now sits at 11. Henna Blomroos took 2nd behind Salonen and also gained a spot, rising up to 6.
A stacked field is gearing up for the next National Tour event, which starts this Thursday at Moraine State Park just outside of Pittsburgh. There’s sure to be a lot of great action coming our way as players begin to make their final push down the home stretch of the season. Check back next week to see how things play out!
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.
Pierce Stumbles, Doesn’t Fall
It’s refreshing to see new names at the top of the leaderboard, particularly on the FPO side where it’s been a one-woman show for most of the year thus far. Valarie Jenkins pulled out a thrilling one stroke win in the final round, holding off a strong challenge from Jessica Weese. Jenkins moved up a spot to #2, while Weese gained three places to slide into the top ten. Third place went to Swedish player Ragna Bygde Lewis, who now finds herself at #4, Paige Pierce took fourth and held her top spot in the Power Rankings, and Sarah Hokom rounded out the top five finishers at Ledgestone, but dropped a spot in the rankings to fifth. Elsewhere on the women’s side the biggest movement was a seven-spot lift for Des Reading, who joins our top 15 powered by a T-8th 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.
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.
FPO Continues to Grow
With new women players continuing to emerge on the scene across the world, our FPO field has become more and more expansive. The women had twice as many qualifying events as the men this week, though our rankings barely changed. Over in Finland, Eveliina Salonen tied for 5th and slid 2 spots in the Power Rankings, though each of the five women finishing ahead of her at Kyy still trail her in our rankings.
In Ohio, Jessica Weese took first place at the BHMO and jumped up two spots to #8 in the Power Rankings, taking over Salonen’s former place. In Montana, Sarah Hokom shared first place with Sai Par Ananda allowing Hokom to maintain her 4th place Power Rankings spot. Finally, in Iowa Holly Finley led a roster of FPO names that may be unfamiliar to some of us now, but will soon likely become household names in the sport.
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.
Allen dominant in smaller WPO field
In a week where Paige Pierce did not compete, Catrina Allen took her turn being untouchable at the top of the leaderboard, however it was not enough to overtake Pierce who has built herself a nearly insurmountable lead in the Power Rankings. Valarie Jenkins held onto the 3rd spot with a second place finish in the Euro Open. Evelina Salonen and Katka Bodová placed 4th and 5th in Finland, but their rankings were unaffected. Newcomer Henna Blomroos, due to not having enough qualifying event points, did not qualify for the top 15 despite following up her Prodiscus win last week with a 2nd place tie with Jenkins. Her 78% win percentage would be good enough to land her easily in the top 10.
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.
Being 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:
We are halfway through the season and, in looking at the numbers, every loss counts. Bigly. While Ricky has nearly a third more wins than Paul, his losses are almost double. He will have an opportunity to make up some ground at the European Open, but with a clearly refocused Paul McBeth in his sights, he has got a serious challenge. We will have to watch to see how things setup for the second half of the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
Henna Blomroos won the Prodiscus Estonian Open. If she decides to compete at the European Open next week, she could launch herself into the top 15. The only top 15 woman to compete at a qualifying event this weekend was Evelina Salonen. Her 6th place finish caused her to drop two spots to 9th, now one spot behind Lisa Fajkus.
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.
While 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.
With the exception of Valarie Jenkins, who got second to Paige Pierce in Colorado, all of the top women took home wins on this disparate weekend.
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.
Manabu 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.
On the Women’s Side there was no movement as most of the top players took the weekend off. Lesli Todd and Hannah Leatherman pulled off good wins and increased their winning percentages a bit.
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.
On 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.
Chris 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.
On 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.
On the women’s side, there really is only one story so far this year: Paige Pierce. Against quality opponents, she is 197 & 3, winning over 98% of the time. This season is as dominant as Catrina Allen’s 2016 campaign. If she can keep up this pace, it will be very interesting to compare this season to the most dominant seasons of our sport.
Valarie Jenkins (2nd) and Lisa Fajkus (3rd) had great finishes at Pro Worlds. Valarie passed Sarah Hokom to reclaim the 3rd spot in the Power Rankings while Lisa Fajkus gained over 6 points in her win percentage. She moved into the 8th spot and is just 3% behind Hannah Leatherman in 5th.