We're just one week away from the highly anticipated return of the Disc Golf Pro Tour and what better place to resume play than in Emporia, Kansas. The #1 disc golf city in America located right in the middle of the Country. The players will be attacking Emporia's longest course which is Country Club. These pros are no strangers to the epic ball golf course played during GBO in recent years and should fully know what to expect. In past GBO's, the top finishers in both MPO and FPO fields are usual distance throwers so I'd expect the same thing for the Dynamic Discs Open. Country Club does have OB sidewalks or painted lines on just about every hole so accuracy is still important. If you can keep it in bounds while progressing up these fairways you should have a chance to place top 5. In this blog, I will be predicting the winner, runner up, and a sleeper pick to make the top 5 for both the MPO and FPO division.
Winner: Kevin Jones
Kevin has been playing a lot of competitive disc golf over the last month including 3 sanctioned events. We filmed him at two tournaments at the beautiful Persimmon Ridge in Greenbrier, Arkansas and then he made his way up to Minnesota to play The Majestic. He secured the win in all three while competing against some of the best players in the World. After watching him in Arkansas, it's clear that his forehand is on a different level than it was last year. I also noticed he's extremely confident in his putting right now and every putt he missed in Arkansas (which wasn't many) was only off by a couple of inches. I think he's got the best arsenal of shots on tour and when he puts it all together it's a sight to see.
Runner Up: Paul McBeth
Obviously Paul has a chance to win every single tournament he plays. I mean, he's 1061 rated for a reason. It appears Paul has been working on his game this offseason 2.0 but hasn't played a tournament since the Waco Charity Open back in March. He's going to come out of the gate swinging but I think the lack of recent competitive play will cause him to make a couple of key mistakes that help Kevin take home the win.
Sleeper Pick: Thomas Gilbert
The 1013 rated pro from Toronto, Canada is on the come up as another young gun that throws BOMBS. Thomas is a player many people haven't heard of but soon will. Country Club plays to his strength which is distance shots off the tee and if he can have a good weekend on the greens, he has a shot to place top 5 in an incredibly difficult field.
Winner: Paige Pierce
Paige has played this course several times and has won GBO here in 2018 and 2017. She has reached a 980 rating which is absolutely insane. With the power that she has, and the little need to throw forehands, there's no reason she shouldn't win this tournament. One thing to note is that Eveliina Salonen and Henna Blomroos will not be in attendance in which they usually play a big factor in pushing Paige to her highest potential. With only 17 players in the FPO division, I just don't see her losing this tournament.
Runner Up: Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen has been known to be the farthest thrower out of all the women in disc golf. She's had plenty of experience on this course and has all the skills to shoot really low. She's got some extra motivation this week as she recently lost one of her good friends and Tulsa disc golf legend Mike Conners. I think she's gonna use that fire to be extremely focused and have a great tournament.
Sleeper Pick: Kat Mertsch
Kat is a very young player who is now taking her talents on tour. She won a couple of weeks ago at Persimmon Ridge where she competed against Rebecca Cox. She can drive it around 400ft consistently with a confident spin putt. The only thing holding her back is experience but if she can block out the hype and control her nerves for the first DGPT event back, she's got a chance to make top 5 if not even top 3.
We can't wait to bring you next day FPO coverage of the Dynamic Discs Open next week and coverage for the rest of the year. We hope you're as excited as we are to get back to disc golf.