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2018 DGPT Championship Preview: Can Ricky Return to the Top?

For nearly any other pro, Ricky Wysocki’s 2018 performance would be a banner year. So far this season he has had six first-place finishes including winning The Jonesboro Open and The Utah Open on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. He has amassed nearly $40,000 in winnings and is on track to reach almost $50,000 in winnings by the time the season ends. However, he was unable to repeat his DGPT Tour Points dominance from last year. Instead, perennial rival Paul McBeth was able to build a sizable tour points lead while Ricky was overseas competing in Europe.

Ricky’s worst finish of the season was on the Disc Golf Pro Tour at WACO where he finished 13th. Since he missed DGLO and Idlewild, he was unable to drop his 13th place finish. However, this did not hinder him from finishing second in tour points, albeit nearly 100 tour points behind Paul McBeth.

Ricky has a storied history on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. In 2016 Ricky won the Tour Points Standings by over 100 points himself, only to drop in the semi-finals of the Tour Championship. In 2017 Ricky continued to dominate the Disc Golf Pro Tour as he not only won the Tour Points Standings, but he won the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, joining Paige Pierce in being able to hoist both trophies at the same time.

On tour this season, Ricky has had an up and down performance. He finished fourth at the Pro Tour season opener in Arizona and then promptly followed it up by his worst finish of the season at WACO. Jonesboro was where we saw the return of Ricky’s dominant play that we are accustomed to watching.
At Jonesboro , Ricky came out of day one two throws behind Garrett Gurthie. It was during the second, bitterly cold day that Ricky turned on the heat and tied Colten Montgomery for the hot round of the day. Ricky’s hot round on Saturday gave him the space he needed to coast to a win during the final round .

At SFO we saw one of the closest contests of the season outside of the Big Jerm/Nate Perkins playoff at WACO. Ricky started the tournament slow and clawed his way back up to the lead card during the second round. Ultimately, Ricky was unable to catch Paul though in the final round and would settle for third right behind Eagle McMahon.

Ricky’s drop from first would be short-lived because at Utah he would return to the top and become a repeat Utah Open Champion. Ricky did not come out of day one with the lead, but with a -2 on day two during harsh scoring conditions Ricky was able to stay on the lead card for the final round. Ricky then buckled down on the competition and did not need a walk-off ace to seal his victory at the 2018 Utah Open.

Ricky would then take a break from the Tour while he was in Europe (where he consequently won three of his six events for the season) and upon his return, he finished 8th at both of the final two DGPT events at Ledgestone and MVP.

What to watch from Ricky during the semifinals?

This will be Ricky’s third year in the Disc Golf Pro Tour semifinals. The previous two years he has been the one seed competing against the 8th seed, and the 4th and 5th ranked qualifiers from the quarterfinals round.* For this year’s championship, Ricky will be on the second card , joined by Kevin Jones who finished 7th in the Pro Tour standings and the 5th and 6th ranked qualifiers from quarterfinals.

Ricky will be competing against Kevin Jones who was unable to qualify for the DGPT Championship in 2017 after only playing the second half of the tour. Kevin has strung together a series of impressive finishes this season and will be tough foe during the semifinals round.

In 2018 Ricky has been able to dominate the fairway stats, taking the 1st place standing with 73% of fairways hit. It is important to note this stat is not adjusted for the fact that he did not play DGLO and Idlewild which are two of tougher courses for keeping discs on the fairway. However, if he can maintain his accuracy in this category, it will give him a leg up on the competition during the Championship. The 1st in fairway percentage was what helped propel Ricky to his Championship in 2017 at the New World Sports Complex so this will be the stat to watch for Ricky this season as well. Should he be able to maintain his accuracy off the tee, Ricky could very well return to the top for the Championship.

We are excited to see the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship take place in just a few weeks at New World Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Florida. Make sure you are ready to watch the Championship live October 18-21st! You will not want to miss when we crown the winners on Sunday the 21st!

*This does not take into consideration the 2016 Pro Tour Bracket format which was slightly different from the 2017 and 2018 Bracket format.