Ricky’s comments on Worlds have everyone talking
September 19, 2022 by Christopher Wiklund in Analysis, Opinion with comments
Playoff disc golf sounds awesome, and what do you know? It is! This run of Worlds followed by the Green Mountain Championship, MVP Open, USDGC, Throw Pink, and the Tour Championship is the way forward. Each event is meaningful and prestigious, and with only the top players invited to participate, there is a sense that literally anyone in the field could take the win.
Ricky Wysocki just won GMC, and in his pre-tournament presser, he made some comments which can and probably should be interpreted two ways. First, take a look:
He suggested that too much weight is placed on the World Championship as a single event, and more mind should be paid to the player who demonstrates season-long excellence. He also pointed out that in most other major sports, the champion is determined through some form of playoff structure.
I am fan of Wysocki, but public speaking has not always been his strong suit and his comments here came off as a little bit of sour grapes following his 11th place finish in Emporia.
That said…factually speaking, Wysocki is right. Most team sports do use some form of the playoff concept to determine their World Champion, and most of the time that event is held at the end of the season. Other individual sports like golf and tennis don’t really have meaningful “world championship” tournaments, just their four majors and some other high-profile tournaments. Given how the DGPT has slowly but surely taken over the professional side of the game, it is not wholly outside the realm of possibility that Wysocki will get his way in a few years time. If the playoff structure goes well, the idea of Worlds being held at the ultimate conclusion of the season with a play-in structure is indeed quite appealing.
Disc golf is not unlike baseball in many ways, especially and including the duration of the season. Both start in February and wrap up in October and deal with the long slog of summer. As a fan of both and a one-time little league great, keeping the energy up all season is challenging, but once the leaves start to turn and the weather cools, all of a sudden the excitement and energy comes right back. Who doesn’t want a fall classic? You can figure out the travel logistics on the back end.
Gossage Loosage Index
Full blown 8. Incredibly loose is the goose. There is down everywhere and honking in the air. His Worlds hangover finish at GMC not withstanding, Gossage has established himself as the premier ‘go big or go home’ player on tour this season. Since DDO, he has five finishes in the top 10 including four podium finishes. He also has three finishes outside the top 50. Amazing stuff.
– Kristin Tattar has been the best player in the world this season, and this dominant run should be recognized alongside Paul McBeth’s 2015 and Paige Pierce’s 2019 seasons as one of the greatest ever. There is a strong argument to be made that Tattar’s run from the middle of 2021 until now is even more impressive given the relative strength of the field across those eras and the general lengthening of courses since then. She has a legitimate shot at sweeping the rest of the season and eventually becoming the first woman to achieve a 1000 rating.
– Every year has its players who just have it and keep showing up near the top of leaderboards despite having never shown having it in years past. Other years, players who are known “it havers” just don’t have it for the season. The former is fun; the latter is a bummer. When we close the book on this season, it will be interesting to evaluate and unpack what it means to be a top level player. Obviously, wins are kings but as the fields get deeper and the courses get longer and the money gets bigger, a player who is able to stick inside the top 20 over the long term with a win here or there is going to probably be considered a more successful and “elite” player than the flash in the pan.
– Chris Clemons’s 22nd place finish at GMC is his worst since a 40th place finish at the Preserve. He has 6 top ten finishes over that run and hasn’t finished outside the top 25. Apropos of nothing.