Europe treated the disc golf world to an incredible couple of weeks in July. The Scandinavian Open showcased Paul McBeth’s domination and some major cash on the line, and the European Open presented a media frenzy unlike anything seen thus far in the disc golf world. What could possibly follow up two of the biggest majors of the year? How about the PDGA World Championship in just a week and a half from now. The best disc golfers from the United States traveled back stateside to get ready for Worlds in Pittsburgh. Before heading to Pennsylvania, many golfers stopped to play some warm up tournaments.
There was only one A-tier tournament this weekend, the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge. Conveniently located near Pittsburgh, a few top players were on hand to compete in preparation for Worlds. Dave Feldberg, Steve Rico, and Paul Ulibarri were just a few of the 1000+ rated disc golfers competing in Delaware. In the end, Feldberg came out on top.
Despite second round struggles, Dave Feldberg takes down tough competition
Dave Feldberg is one of the most consistent disc golfers competing in the Open division week in and week out. Currently ranked third in the world just behind Paul McBeth and Nate Doss, it seems that Feldberg finds himself Top 5 or Top 10 in every big tournament on the national tour and major schedule. With the consistency we’re used to seeing out of Feldberg, his second round 1004-rated 69 seemed a bit out of place. With guys like Steve Rico (61) and Nate Krahn (64) shooting well in the second round, it would seem like Feldberg would have some difficulty staying at the top of the leaderboard.
Feldberg may have struggled in the second round of the tournament, but that was not an indication of his overall performance. The Delaware Disc Golf Challenge consisted of three rounds, and in the first and third rounds, Feldberg showed that he still has plenty of gas left in his tank heading into the 2016 World Championship.
Dave Feldberg came flying out of the gate in the opening round. While most of the field struggled to break 70, with the exception of Rico, Moser, Krahn, and a few others shooting 67 or 68, Feldberg shot a hot 1048-rated 62. With at least a 7 stroke lead over the next closest competitor, it was going to be tough for anyone to overcome the 2008 World Champion. Except Feldberg faltered in the second round and gave up most of his lead. Steve Rico stormed back with a 1050-rated 61, taking the lead by 2 strokes over Feldberg heading into the final round.
Bouncing back from a tough round is one of the hardest things to do in disc golf. However, when you have as much experience winning as Feldberg does, maintaining composure comes a little easier. Feldberg showed off his experience in the final round. As the field failed to maintain its solid play from the second round, Feldberg replicated his first round performance. His 1057-rated 60 overcame Rico for a two stroke victory. Two strokes may seem like a huge deficit to overcome when your competition is a 1027-rated golfer and one of the best putters in the world, but the tournament is never over until that last putt goes in.
Joining Feldberg and Rico in the top 5 were Mike Moser, Nate Krahn, and Andrew Fish, all of whom were separated by 3 strokes each. With a big A-tier win this weekend, Feldberg has some momentum heading into the 2016 Worlds in Pittsburgh. He turned in a solid 5th place finish at the 2014 PDGA World Championship, so we’ll see if he can improve this year.
Catrina Allen continues to win as the World Championship approaches
Catrina Allen started off a bit slow this year as Paige Pierce completely tore through the women’s division. However, Allen has bounced back in a big way and is returning from Europe as the new Scandinavian Open and European Open champion. What better way to follow up two big major victories? An A-tier win en route to Worlds in Pittsburgh.
Without big name competitors like Val Jenkins, Paige Pierce, or Sarah Hokom in the field, Allen was left to dominate. Three straight rounds above her 978 player rating netted Allen a massive 19 stroke victory. No matter who you’re playing against, a win that big and ratings that high must instill some confidence as the biggest tournament of the year approaches. We’ll have to wait and find out if Allen can repeat as World Champion.
Did we mention that the 2015 PDGA World Championship is coming up soon? Really soon. On Tuesday August 4th, the best players in the world will be on hand in Pittsburgh to try and claim the most coveted title in disc golf. It seems like only recently we were waiting for the first national tour event of the year, but Worlds will soon be upon us. As always, there’s sure to be some major drama.