Wysocki got his first-ever win at the 2011 PDGA Championship at the IDGC and followed it up with a win there at the 2017 World Championships.
April 14, 2022 by Darren LeMay in News with comments
The last major played on U.S. soil that was not a World or US Championship was the first and only iteration of the PDGA Championship in September 2011. The tournament, like this weekend’s Champions Cup, was played at The International Disc Golf Center in Appling, Georgia. All three on-site courses were used for the event with both the final round and final 10 coming on WR Jackson. This was the first of three Majors ever played on WR Jackson: the second came at the 2017 World Championships (also won by Wysocki) and the third is underway right now.
The 2011 PDGA Championship was won by a then mostly unknown 18-year-old named Richard Wysocki. The MPO field consisted of 42 players, 12 of whom were rated higher than Wysocki. He was rated 1020, just behind Jeremy Koling at 1024.
At the time, 22-year-old Nikko Locastro was the highest rated player in the field and in all of disc golf. Locastro already held two Major titles after wins at the 2009 USDGC and the 2010 Japan Open. 19-year-old Will Schusterick came in as the reigning USDGC champion. Paul McBeth, 21, was on the rise and rated 1034, tied with Ken Climo. Wysocki was definitely not thought of as a favorite to win over his peers let alone the veterans in the field including Nate Doss, Dave Feldberg, and Climo.
There is a YouTube video of the final day of this event by the Clash DVD Series. Two things that greatly stand out are the sheer amount of plaid shorts as well as the polo shirt with basketball shorts look. There was a lot of that in the sport at the time.
For the tournament, the PDGA used the classic disc golf ideology of a final 9 holes to be played by the top four players after the 4th round. In this case, the PDGA decided to make it a final 10 for reasons unknown.
Wysocki, Doss, Cam Todd, and Schusterick made the finals. Wysocki was lights out for the final round and the final-10. Ricky executed perfectly when needed in the final two holes and, most importantly, the final hole. His final drive and upshot put the late Doss run to bed and kept him at the top spot on the podium.
This win was the first of Wysocki’s current six Major titles. One notable piece of trivia: Wysocki’s 2011 PDGA Championship win came before Paul McBeth ever won a major. McBeth wasn’t able to win his first until the following summer at the 2012 World Championships (Wysocki finished in second place).
Can Wysocki make it 3-for-3 in Major championships held at WR Jackson?