As the Disc Golf Pro Tour gets back into action this weekend with the Minnesota Majestic, Paul Ulibarri is looking to shake off some long days of travel and remain focused on this weekend before the upcoming World Championships in Kansas.
Ulibarri and many top pros returned from a stop in Europe earlier this week with an ultra quick turnaround to this weekend’s competition. Both physical and mental fatigue could easily play a factor from start to finish.
After facing multiple courses at the Silver Cup, this weekend’s action takes place at one course, the popular Blue Ribbon Pines. A tough course that calls for smart shot selection will prove to be an x-factor in the third DGPT event.
We caught up with Ulibarri after a practice round before this weekend’s action.
From your performance in Europe to this weekend, it seems confidence is running high, correct?
“In Europe, I had the win in front of me. I lost by four, but I feel like it was my tournament. I was almost scared to win. For the first time, I stepped on the first tee on the last round and I knew I was the best player in that tournament. That scared me. I’ve never felt that before. It was mine for the taking but fear got in the way. I didn’t follow through on a few shots and missed a few putts, but I left it all out there.”
“I was one stroke back for most of that final round, but a few missed putts were the difference. I was scared, but now I know I can win. By losing that tournament, I know I can win a big one. I won’t be scared next time.”
“I knew coming into this weekend that it would be a tough situation. It’s a quick turn around with the trip from Europe and I wasn’t looking to all the chaos. I’m in this for the points though and I’m looking for a strong finish. I know I’ll be looking ahead a bit and want to focus a little on Worlds. I’m very confident on my game and the European trip was great for my confidence and I’m hoping I can give it 100% this weekend. Maybe thats hard to say, but its the truth.”
What are your thoughts on Blue Ribbon Pines?
“It will be great. You’ll have to birdie a lot out here. Its difficult if you’re off your lines, but pretty easy if you’re on. If you can put together a good round, it can be even tougher the next round though. It will be down to the most consistent player. I don’t think we’ll see someone run away with it.”
“I think the European trip could play a factor for many in the tournament this weekend.”
It was recently noted that you’ve been the most consistent golfer on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. Are the stats backing up how you feel?
“I’m having a great year. Not a year like Ricky Wysocki or Paul McBeth, but I’m building toward that in the future. I’ve worked that way for a while. I’ve been learning for a while and changing little things and trying to learn how to win a Major. I’m always learning. Once I make that last step, I think I can be a consistent contender every weekend. I’m training myself to win. It’s a process.”
“Last year I had a decent year. The year before I came close at a few majors. Switched to the x-step and made a jump. I really like where I’m going. Finally.”
Are you looking for another consistent finish this weekend?
“Top 10 would make me happy this weekend for sure. I’m looking to do my best. Look to play my game. My mind might be looking forward to Worlds so I need to keep focused as best as possible.”
We’ll continue to follow Ulibarri on the DGPT and will chat with him again after the tournament has he makes his way to the World Championship.
Thanks as always to Ulibarri for a chance to chat during a very busy time. We value the conversation!