September 2, 2020 by Patrick Aubyrn in Rankings with comments
Can we take a minute to acknowledge that the Power Rankings are a bit wonky this year thanks to the coronavirus outbreak? Because our objective metric compares strength of field and purse, among other statistical measures, the European women—currently unable to travel to the United States—are most impacted. Real talk. The big three, Eveliina Salonen, Henna Blomroos, and Kristin Tattar, are top 5 players, and many of the 900+ rated crowd would easily make the top 25. Per Aaron Howard, “We didn’t think our metric would require a worldwide pandemic variable.” Leave us a comment: who would make our top 25 if the European swing had come to pass?
Methodology: We combine an algorithmic objective ranking with subjective ballots submitted by UWDG staff and subscribers. The algorithm uses a standardized scoring model to compare elite events, awards competition and cash bonuses, and features a decay function that gradually phases out past results. Staff and subscribers consider results from the past two months, prioritizing elite events in the U.S. and Europe. The most recent month receives priority over the previous month. Voters may consider other PDGA sanctioned events but observe the following hierarchy: Elite > A-tiers > B-tiers > C-tiers. For this edition of the Power Rankings, we prioritized the following tournaments:
|US Tournament||Dates||Euro Tournament||Dates|
|Ledgestone Insurance Open||Aug. 13-16|
|Idlewild Open||Aug. 7-9|
|Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Kuopio||Jul. 31-Aug. 2|
|Great Lakes Open||Jul. 24-25||BDGC Alutaguse Open||Jul. 24-25|
|Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Tampere||Jul. 25-26|
|Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Turku||Jul. 10-12|
|The Preserve Championship||Jul. 3-5|
|Dynamic Discs Open||Jun. 26-28||Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Helsinki||Jun. 26-28|
Let’s get to the results!
Power Rankings Top 10 are available to all Ultiworld Disc Golf readers. Want the entire top 25? You’ll have to be a subscriber.
FPO Power Rankings:
1. Paige Pierce
Last Month: 4th place – Idlewild Open, 2nd place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – The Memorial, Dynamic Discs Open, The Preserve Championship, Great Lakes Open
2. Catrina Allen
Last Month: 2nd place – River City Open (A), 3rd place – Idlewild Open, 1st place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – The Ledgestone Insurance Open
At this point in the season, five events into the restart, Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen need to be considered in the same breath. Pierce holds a definite edge in the W column, finishing 1-1-1-4-2; Allen has gone 3-2-6-3-1 in the same span. However, over the last three events, Pierce has averaged 7 points below her current rating with eight of ten rounds falling short of that mark. Despite her travails, she shot the highest rated round in the field over the last ten rounds with 1030-rated scorcher to cap the Ledgestone Insurance Open. Allen, on the other hand, is averaging seven points above her current rating and only recorded four rounds below that mark. She leads the field with two rounds in the last ten rated over 1000. Their UDisc driving statistics are virtually identical, but each woman falls well short of the field in one category, which can determine the outcome of a tournament. Pierce is aggressive and throws OB too often. Her OB rate at Idlewild was 0.315 (31st) and 0.153 at Ledgestone (22nd); she ranks 30th in this category across all events in 2020. Allen ranks 44th in C1X putting and 20th in C2 putting in 2020.
3. Sarah Hokom
Last Month: 2nd place – Idlewild Open, 5th place – Ledgestone Insurance Open, 1st place – Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 2nd place – Idlewild Open
Consistency is the name of the game for Hokom. She ranks sixth in three UDisc statistical categories—C1 in Regulation, Birdie %, and Scramble—and her average rank across the big eight categories excluding C2 putting is, you guessed it, sixth. She boasts the second best OB rate in the field (fractionally worse than Ellen Widboom), which helps to offset her 9% C2 conversion rate.
4. Ellen Widboom
Last Month: 1st place – Lake Superior Open (A), 1st place – Idlewild Open, 10th place – Ledgestone Insurance Open, 3rd place – Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – Idlewild Open
Ellen Widboom out Hokom’ed Hokom at the Idlewild Open to become the first American to dethrone Paige Pierce at an Elite Series event in 2020. Expect more Widboom/Hokom showdowns in the future because they boast remarkably similar UDisc statlines this year. Widboom ranks in the top 10 for every major statistical category and her average performance, statistically speaking, is slightly better than Hokom’s.
5. Missy Gannon
Last Month: 5th place – Idlewild Open, 12th place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 2nd place – Dynamic Discs Open
The Ledgestone Insurance Open was a bump in the road for Gannon, but she’s already shown her ability to bounce back this season when given a bit of break. Granted, she’s only got three weeks between Ledgestone and the GMC compared to three months between WACO and the DDO, but I expect a player of her fortitude to use any time off to her advantage.
6. Eveliina Salonen
Last Month: 1st place – Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Kuopio, 2nd place – Finnish Nationals (XA)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – Waco Annual Charity Open, Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Turku, Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Tampere, Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Kuopio
With the exception of her fourth place finish at The Memorial Championship in late February, Eveliina Salonen has finished in first or second place in every tournament she played this year. She is particularly impressive throwing into the green from the tee or fairway and boasts a quality two way game, with a powerful backhand and forehand. She has a tendency to leak her putts left and leave a few strokes on the course when she misses, but her strong mental game allows her to quickly put errors on the green in the rear view mirror.
7. Henna Blomroos
Last Month: 4th place – Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Kuopio, 1st place – Finnish Nationals (XA)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Helsinki
When I watch Henna Blomroos play, she strikes me as a player still coming into her own. Note, I’m saying this about the fifth highest rated player in the world, which makes it a scary proposition for her competitors. Her distance and precision from the tee can be jaw dropping, but she is less polished on the green. Her style of putting affords her a lot of range, but when the putter runs cold, like it did in the final round of the PDPT – Kuopio, her performance suffers.
8. Heather Young
Last Month: 11th place – Idlewild Open, 3rd place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 3rd place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
Heather Young is no joke on the putting green. She leads the division in C1X putting (80%) and C2 putting (25%). In the final round of the Ledgestone Insurance Open she went 8/8 from the third ring (23-33 feet) and showed real moxie draining a handful of testy bids. As the Earhart brothers say, “they’re only death putts if you miss.” Notably, she also leads the FPO field in Scramble percentage in 2020 (55%), which means she’s getting up and down for par when she needs to.
9. Hailey King
Last Month: 1st place – Tower Ridge Open (B), 4th place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 4th place – Ledgestone Insurance Open
Hailey King is flying a bit under the radar right now. She’s only played two of the five Elite Series DGPT events since the restart, but quietly notched top 5 finishes at both. Between those tour stops she took second at the Silver Cup, a DGPT Silver Series event, won a Wisconsin B-tier, and competed in the Open division once. If she can dial in her driving game (58% Fairways) she’ll contend for the podium.
10. Kristin Tattar
Last Month: 2nd place – Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Kuopio
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 2nd place – Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Turku, Prodigy Disc Pro Tour – Kuopio
We all know that ratings are depressed in Estonia, where Tattar has played three of her five tournaments this year. We also know that high ratings depend on propagators. At those three tournaments she only faced one competitor whose rating was greater than 900 (eyes on you Keiti Tätte), and the field average was 848. Tattar is the second highest rated player in the world despite these odds. Her two defeats in Finland this year were one-stroke losses at the hands of Eveliina Salonen. Please let us finally get a handle on the pandemic so that Tattar, Salonen, and Blomroos can travel stateside again and the US pros can swing the month in Europe in 2021.
Top 25 continues below.
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