2024 Chess.com Invitational Preview: The Season Starts Now


Pro
disc
golf
is
back!

The
Olympus
Disc
Golf
Course
in
Brooksville,
Florida.
Photo:
DGPT

The
2024
Disc
Golf
Pro
Tour
season
begins
tomorrow,
Friday,
February
23rd,
with
one
of
the
most
anticipated
events
of
the
entire
year.

In
early
December,
it
was
announced
that
Chess.com,
a
website
with
over
150
million
users
would
be
the
title
sponsor
of
the
event.
Chess.com
co-founder
and
CEO
Erik
Allebest
is
an
avid
disc
golfer
himself,
and

recently
went
on
the
Upshot
podcast

to
discuss
his
reasoning
behind
sponsoring
the
event.

Since
2021,
the
DGPT
season
has
begun
with
the
Las
Vegas
Challenge,
and
even
going
as
far
back
as
2018
with
the
former
PDGA
National
Tour.
Players
and
fans
alike
found
the
LVC
to
be
continually
lackluster,
leading
a
switch
up
for
2024.
The
Chess.com
Invitational
will
be
held
at
the
Olympus
Disc
Golf
Course
(formerly
known
as
Gran
Canyon,
the
home
of
Throw
Down
The
Mountain)
in
Brooksville,
Florida.
A
modified
9-hole
layout
of
this
course
was
used
for
last
week’s
All-Star
event.

Five
Things
We’ll
Be
Watching

1.
Course
co-owner

Paul
McBeth

has
not
played
a
PDGA
event
since
the
2023
World
Championships
after
dealing
with
a
shoulder
injury
last
season.
McBeth
has
opted
not
to
have
surgery
and
instead
received
stem
cell
treatments
this
past
offseason
in
an
attempt
to
repair
the
shoulder.
Paul
has
played
the
Throw
Down
the
Mountain
five
times
in
his
career
and
won
the
event
each
time,
including
wins
in
each
of
the
past
two
seasons.
McBeth
averaged
a
1065
rating
in
those
events,
but
he’s
not
at
100%

he
told
Ultiworld
Disc
Golf
that
he’s
feeling
about
85%
and
lacking
a
bit
of
distance
on
his
drives.
The
disc
golf
grandmaster
can
certainly
make
a
statement
by
taking
down
the
first
event
of
the
year
at
his
new
property,
against
far
and
away
the
toughest
field
he
has
ever
faced
at
this
venue.

2.
Another
player
returning
from
injury
is

Paige
Pierce
,
who
slipped
on
a
wet
bridge
during
a
practice
round
for
the
PCS
Open
and
was
sidelined
for
the
remainder
of
2023.
With

Kristin
Tattar

still
two
weeks
away
from
making
her
season
debut,
Pierce
would
be
the
likely
favorite
to
win
this
event
under
normal
circumstances.
What
fans
are
most
likely
to
see
from
Paige
is
a
noticeable
reduction
in
power
as
she
continues
to
work
her
way
back
from
the
injury.
Even
with
less
distance
than
she
is
used
to
having,
if
Paige
can
keep
the
disc
in
the
fairway
and
putt
well,
then
she
should
be
in
contention
for
the
win
come
Sunday.

3.
The
player
who
earned
the
most
hype
for
2024
during
the
All-Star
weekend
was

Holyn
Handley
,
who
shot
three
strokes
better
than
the
secnd-best
competitor
during
singles
play
on
Sunday
and
was
part
of
the
second-highest
scoring
doubles
team
on
Saturday.
Holyn’s
biggest
setback
has
traditionally
been
a
high
OB-rate,
yet
she
picked
up
her
first
big
win
at
the
Throw
Pink
Women’s
Disc
Golf
Championship
last
fall,
on
a
course
that
is
riddled
with
OB
lines.
If
her
game
continues
to
improve
in
that
area,
she
will
be
a
contender
on
a
weekly
basis.

4.
2023
Player
of
the
Year

Calvin
Heimburg

will
be
looking
to
start
off
this
season
the
same
way
he
began
last
season

with
a
win.
The
Florida
native
is
somewhat
familiar
with
this
course,
having
played
the
Throw
Down
the
Mountain
seven
times
including
a
2nd
place
finish
in
2022.
While
Team
Calvin
was
unable
to
get
the
win
during
last
week’s
All-Star
event,
Heimburg
played
well,
earning
points
in
both
doubles
and
singles.
Given
the
questions
surrounding
the
health
of

Paul
McBeth
’s
shoulder,
Calvin
should
be
considered
the
favorite
to
call
checkmate
this
week.

5.
The
Disc
Golf
Network’s
upgrade
got
off
to
a
bumpy
start
during
the
All-Star
week,
and
users
were
quick
to
point
out
their
frustrations.
Many
reported
playback
issues
across
multiple
viewing
platforms,
though
improvements
seem
to
have
been
made
before
the
singles
matches
on
Sunday.
While
many
areas
have
improved
with
the
update
such
as
pause
and
rewind
capabilities,
no
commentary
audio
delay,
and
immediate
VOD
following
the
rounds,
those
who
had
reliability
issues
will
hope
to
see
those
problems
continue
to
resolve.
Read
more
on
the
DGN
changes
in

Cash
Line
.

The
Course

The
Olympus
Disc
Golf
Course
is
a
favorite
among
Floridians
and
was
purchased
last
year
by
6-time
PDGA
World
champion
Paul
McBeth
and
Chicago
White
Sox
pitcher
Dylan
Cease
(a
lawsuit
against
McBeth
and
Cease
was

dismissed
late
last
year
).
Formerly
known
as
the
Gran
Canyon,
this
course
plays
host
to
a
popular
A-Tier,
Throw
Down
the
Mountain,
each
spring.
Olympus
has
undergone
a
slight
redesign
since
the
ownership
change.
Every
hole
except
for
18
now
has
a
separate
MPO
and
FPO
basket
location.

Built
on
the
grounds
of
a
former
limestone
quarry,
Olympus
provides
a
unique
mountain
disc
golf
experience
right
in
central
Florida.
With
lots
of
elevation
changes
and
a
layout
that
extends
beyond
10,000
feet,
this
course
is
both
technically
challenging
and
physically
demanding
to
traverse.

2024
MPO:
10,281
Feet
Par
66
2024
FPO:
9,421
Feet
Par
68

Extended
Forecast

After
a
miserably
rainy
All-Star
weekend,
there
is
a
chance
of
rain
and
high
winds
late
in
the
day
on
Friday.
Luckily,
Saturday
and
Sunday
should
showcase
perfect
disc
golf
weather
with
sunny
skies
and
mild
winds.

Friday:
Partly
cloudy
in
the
morning
with
rain
likely
later
in
the
day,
highs
in
the
mid
70s.
Winds
15
to
25
mph
with
higher
gusts
possible.
Chance
of
rain
80%.
Saturday:
Mostly
sunny
with
highs
in
the
upper
60s.
Winds
10
to
15
mph.
Sunday:
Sunny
skies
with
highs
near
70.
Winds
5
to
10
mph.

Original source

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