Back to Emporia for the first time since Worlds 2022.
June 15, 2023 by Justin Westfall in Preview with comments
We’re smack dab in the middle of the Elite Series schedule with the 8th event of the season kicking off tomorrow. The Dynamic Discs Open, formerly named the Glass Blown Open, has been an Elite Series staple since 2015, though the event has taken place annually since 2003. This week is also the first of three consecutive weekends of Elite Series golf before the tour heads over to Europe.
If you include the 2022 World Championships, this is the tour’s 5th stop in Emporia, Kansas, in less than three years. It almost feels like the DDO was played twice last season: after all, one extra round and a more prestigious trophy is really all that separated the two events. In fact, with just three rounds at Emporia Country Club this year and relatively mild winds in the forecast, the 2023 DDO might look a lot more like the 2022 World Championships than the 2022 DDO.
|PDGA Tier||Open||Open Women|
|2022||DGPT||Ricky Wysocki||Kristin Tattar|
|2021||NT||Paul McBeth||Hailey King|
|2020||DGPT||Paul McBeth||Paige Pierce|
|2019||NT||Paul McBeth||Catrina Allen|
|2018||NT||Eagle McMahon||Paige Pierce|
|2017||NT||Paul McBeth||Paige Pierce/Hannah Leatherman|
|2016||NT||Cam Todd||Catrina Allen|
|2015||NT||Paul McBeth||Paige Pierce|
|2014||A||Simon Lizotte||Catrina Allen|
|2013||A||Will Schusterick||Paige Pierce|
|2012||A||Will Schusterick||Catrina Allen|
|2011||A||Cale Leiviska||Valarie Jenkins|
|2010||A||Eric McCabe||Liz Lopez|
|2009||A||Nate Doss||Robin Reimer|
|2008||A||David Hemmeline||Liz Lopez|
|2007||A||Eric McCabe||Jennifer Allen|
|2006||A||Kevin McCoy||Angela Tschiggfrie|
|2005||B||Eric McCabe||Tavish Sanders|
|2004||B||Daniel Stacy||Terri Clark|
|2003||B||Ron Convers||Shelly Bunch|
Four Things We’ll Be Watching
1. With Paul McBeth over in Europe and Eagle McMahon recovering from an injury, reigning champion Ricky Wysocki is the only player in the MPO field who has won this event since joining the Elite Series. It should be noted that Cale Leiviska who won the 2011 Glass Blown Open, which was an A-tier at the time, is registered for this event. Course designer and event co-creator Eric McCabe is also a 3-time champion, most recently in 2010. This will be McCabe’s first time competing in an Elite Series event since the 2018 GBO. UDisc currently gives an 85% chance of a new winner this weekend, which historically has been dominated by McBeth, who also won his 6th World Championship in Emporia last September.
2. Valerie Mandujano will make her season debut this weekend after spending the last five months recovering from an ankle sprain. By this point last season, Mandujano had already won two Elite Series and a Silver event. This will not only be Valerie’s first event of the season but also her first event playing for her new sponsor in Discraft. With new plastic and now eight months removed from her last competitive round, don’t be surprised if Mandujano takes some time to get back in the swing of things. What’s important is that the ankle holds up, and we’ll be anxious to see if the injury has resulted in any tweaks to her throwing or putting form.
3. The 2022 DDO was completely dominated by winds that steadily eclipsed 30-40mph. If there’s one thing Emporia is known for besides disc golf, it’s strong winds. Luckily, the forecast looks much more favorable for this week, as the heavy spring winds tend to die down once summer rolls around. Because of this, look to the 2022 World Championship as a more accurate barometer of expected player performance, especially for the push-putters in the field.
4. Aaron Gossage finished 8 strokes off the lead at this event last year and never played higher than the 3rd card. Despite this, he finished tied for 3rd place and is maybe the biggest storyline headed into the week. Gossage has plenty of unfinished business at the Emporia Country Club after falling to Paul McBeth in a playoff at last year’s World Championship. Aaron has been one of the best players on tour since the Champions Cup and is coming off another brutal playoff loss at the Portland Open. He has all of the motivation and skills necessary to win this event: the question is whether he can finally get the monkey off his back and hoist a 1st place trophy come Sunday.
Originally designed by Eric McCabe in 2005, the Emporia Country Club has gone through numerous changes over the years, including just last year between the 2022 DDO and the 2022 World Championships. For that reason, we’re going to look at how the course has changed since the World Championships last September.
The primary changes to the course are holes 10-12, which have been redesigned for this year. Hole 10 will play as a combination of the previous holes 10 and 11, while holes 11 and 12 are brand new designs. The result is a slightly longer but higher par course for both divisions.
2023 MPO: 11,242 Feet Par 67
2022 MPO: 10,977 Feet Par 65
2023 FPO: 9,933 Feet Par 70
2022 FPO: 9,835 Feet Par 69
Aside from a small chance of rain on Sunday morning, it’s looking warm with relatively low winds this weekend in Emporia.
Friday: Partly cloudy with highs in the upper 80s. Winds 5-10mph.
Saturday: Partly cloudy with highs near 90. Winds 5-10mph.
Sunday: Partly cloudy with scattered thunderstorms in the morning. Highs near 90. Winds 5-10mph. Chance of rain 40%.