The disc golf season waits for no one. Even after the emotional, dramatic ride at the 2015 PDGA World Championship in Pittsburgh, the tour rolled on with 5 A-tiers this past weekend. With the next national tour, the Ledgestone Insurance Open, coming up next weekend, the best players in the world were back at it again. There’s a lot of disc golf to cover, so let’s see what we’ll be getting into:
- 19th Annual Brent Hambrick Memorial Open in Columbus, Ohio
- The Frisbeegolf SM – Finnish Nationals in Lahti, Finland
- 23rd Mad City Open in Madison, Wisconsin
- The Twin Falls Classic in Twin Falls, Idaho
- The Cedar Creek Open in Fairmont, Minnesota
Remember Paul McBeth? He’s still winning, this time in Ohio
This doesn’t even seem like news anymore, but Paul McBeth followed up his huge win at Worlds with his second straight win at the Brent Hambrick Memorial Open. With a field consisting of big names like Simon Lizotte, Eagle McMahon, Max Nichols, Philo Brathwaite, and others, only Ricky Wysocki had a shot of keeping up with McBeth.
After two rounds, McBeth was just two strokes ahead of Wysocki and it was looking like we were in for a tight race. Last year we may have seen the tournament come down to the wire, but in 2015 McBeth has been on a tear. With a 1069-rated 69, McBeth was the only person to shoot under 70 for the third round and found himself with a seven stroke lead over Wysocki, and a lot more over the field.
With just a final 9 left to play, McBeth cruised to another big win for 2015 and gained even more momentum as the Ledgestone Open approaches. Bradley Williams, Lance Brown, and Brad Schick rounded out the top 5 as touring pros fell a bit short heading into the next national tour event.
Pasi Koivu dominates in the Finnish Nationals
We were lucky enough to see the booming disc golf scene in Finland at the European Open. This past weekend, Finland was back at it with the Finnish Nationals. With four rounds to play, someone would have to put together some consistent golf to win in the 95 person Open field. Past Koivu made it happen.
We’re used to seeing Koivu battle Seppo Paju and others, but no one could keep up this weekend. What really separated Koivu from the field was the fact that he was the only person able to shoot over 1000-rated in each round of the tournament. While the rest of the top 5 finishers, Paju, Teemu Nissinen, Rene Honkanen, and Ville Koutonen played solid golf, they each faltered in one round in the tournament.
With four solid rounds, Koivu cruised to a 7 stroke victory over Paju. Paju had a tough time holding off Nissinen and Honkanen, but his final round 55 pushed him into second place on the leaderboard. It’s always good to see how the European disc golf scene is growing, and it’s clear that Koivu and other competitors are only getting better.
It takes a playoff, but JohnE McCray holds off Nikko Locastro at the Mad City Open
JohnE McCray has been putting together a pretty good year even though he’s played some lower profile events. We didn’t see him overseas, but with a host of wins at B-tiers and some solid top 10 national tour finished, it’s clear that McCray can still hold his own in the Open division. It came down to the very end this weekend, but McCray was able to edge out Nikko Locastro and crush others like Dave Feldberg and Patrick Brown.
After two rounds, McCray and and Locastro were still tied after shooting a couple of rounds up over the 1050 rating. With the rest of the field struggling to keep up, the two were separated by about 5 strokes over the rest of the field. However, McCray slipped slightly with a 1012-rated third round, losing 3 strokes to Locastro with just a final 9 to play.
McCray had work to do in the final 9. After 8 holes, he was able to do more than just make up the three strokes. He was ahead by two. However, on the final hole of the tournament, McCray threw OB and Locastro hit a clutch birdie to force a playoff. Locastro had the momentum, but he wasn’t able to seal the deal in a playoff. After three playoff holes, McCray prevailed and took another A-tier win for the season. The Ledgestone is coming up, and McCray seems ready to go.
Josh Flynn takes down the Twin Falls Classic by a strong margin
There was only one 1000-rated disc golfer in the Twin Falls Classic field. At 1021-rated, Christian Dietrich should have been the favorite to win. However, Josh Flynn had other plans as he played well above his 969 rating for four straight rounds.
Even though he faltered a bit with a 1013-rated third round, Flynn was the only competitor to shoot four rounds over 1000 rated. Where others slipped in a big way, Flynn was able to keep it consistent and build up a strong lead. By the time it was all said and done, Flynn won by six strokes. Alex Russel, Christian Dietrich, Josh Newton, and Jeremiah Johnson rounded out the top five, but it was really Flynn’s show.
Scott Stokely seems to be rounding into form, winning the Cedar Creek Open by 12
Scott Stokely was a force to be reckoned with in the early days of competitive disc golf. He disappeared for a while, but he’s back and he’s been talking a big game all year. He struggled to finish well in the Open division, but after a few straight wins in the Masters division, it seems that he’s getting back on top of his game. This weekend, he won his first Pro Open A-tier event of the year.
It was clear from the onset that Stokely was on scene to play hard. He shot an opening round 1071-rated 44 and didn’t look back. He continued to build his lead and shot another impressive round in the final 9. In the end, no one came close to him as he won by 12 strokes. Rounding out the top five were Michael Hall, Raymond Oberley Jr., Noah Meintsma, and Drew Gibson tied with Daniel Polk.
We’ve been looking forward to it all year, and the Ledgestone Insurance Open is finally around the corner. With the largest pool of added cash in PDGA history, it’s sure to attract the biggest and best competition. Paul McBeth has more momentum than anyone (when doesn’t he), and we’ll have to wait to see if he can continue to roll all the way to the USDGC.