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2019 Tour Standings Update: Who will be playing for the Championship in Charlotte?

By Baker Helton
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​With one event left in the regular season for the Disc Golf Pro Tour now is the time to look at the stakes for different players vying for position at the Tour Championship in Charlotte, NC in October. A majority of players have already secured their spot in the Championship. However, more than a few players are trying to get a last-minute push to either grab a bye or move into one of the final qualifying spots.

As a refresher, the Tour Championship includes the top 32 men and the top 16 women in Tour Points gained from each tour stop this season. With ten events across the season, the lowest three finishes are dropped from the player’s total tour standing. For the men, there are four rounds, described as follows: a qualifying round of the men ranked 17-32, a quarterfinals round which includes the top eight finishers from the qualifying round and then players ranked 9-16. Round three is the semifinals which consist of the top eight finishers from the quarterfinals and players ranked 1-8. The finals this year will be the top four players based on their scores from the semifinals round. The final round structure is a change from previous seasons when players have won their cards to advance. On the FPO side, there are only three rounds. Round one consists of players 5-16 playing for the top spots to move into the semifinals round. Rounds two and three unfold the same as rounds three and four do for the men.

With a brief refresher under our belts, let us dive into the women’s division. Currently, our top four women with a bye are Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Jessica Weese. With a third drop, both Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen will be dropping second-place finishes (or their finish at GMC). If Pierce takes first place, she will end up with a perfect season score of 700. If Allen wins this weekend, she will end up with 645 points which is not enough to catch Paige Pierce. With first and second place locked positions 3-6 are anyone’s game between the players in those positions. If Sarah Hokom can finish in the top seven at GMC, she will replace an 8th place finish. Replacing that finish would allow her to maintain her current point position. Assuming Jessica Weese does not complete the tournament in 6th place or better at the event. Only fifteen points separate Hokom and Weese which is not as close at the point differential between Weese and Cox. The more exciting spots are fifth and sixth, which are only a few points behind third and fourth. If Rebecca Cox finishes in fifth place or better and Weese ends in a tie for eighth or worse Cox can move into the top four. Lisa Fajkus is a longer shot in sixth place. She is looking to drop a 14th place finish from her record. If Lisa puts together a podium finish at GMC that would add thirty points to her final standings which could catapult her into a top-four finish for the season.

While spots 3-6 are interesting, the middle of the pack on the FPO side will not see much movement. It would take a significant swing in the division for anyone to jump into the top six. Currently, in seventh and eighth place Madison Walker and Paige Bjerkaas will not be playing the GMC. However, they are both in a position to make the Tour Championship due to their current points standings. Holly Finley and Kona Panis are the only players currently qualified looking to replace points. Given their current positions in the standings the best either player could do would be to move up spots into seventh or eighth place with podium finishes.

Currently on the outside looking in are Hannah McBeth, Charlotte Towle, Courtney Cannon, and Deann Carey. Hannah McBeth is presently 27 points behind Ellen Widboom who is on the bubble at 16th in Tour Standings. That being said, Lauren Butler is not playing the event and as such will finish the season with 246.5 total points. If Hannah can finish in the top seven at GMC, she would be able to beat Lauren Butler out on points and make the tour championship. For the other three players on the outside looking in, the path to the Tour Championship is significantly more difficult. Charlotte Towle is right behind Hannah in Tour Standings but at another 7.5 points back would need a miracle performance at GMC to move into a qualified spot. Charlotte, Cannon, and Carey are all looking to advance their position in final standings to receive an invite to the Tour Championship should someone qualified not be able to attend.

On the MPO side, things are a little more complicated when looking at who will be in the Tour Championship. McBeth currently has the Tour Points Title locked. Wysocki is sitting pretty comfortable in second place. The only way he could be caught being a 10th or worse finish coupled with a podium finish from Kevin Jones or Simon Lizotte. Kevin, Simon, and Double G will be playing each other to determine who will be taking the third-fifth place spots going into the Tour Championship.

Eagle McMahon will not be in attendance this weekend and potentially will not be attending the Tour Championship. His absence could be a wildcard factor come Tour Championship time. For the time being this means if Adam Hammes can make a top-three finish this weekend, he could garner a bye to the semifinals. What is more likely would be Adam overtaking James Conrad or Calvin Heimburg with a finish better than theirs this weekend. Hammes is looking to replace a 37 while Conrad is replacing a 12.5 and Heimburg is replacing a 25.5. While this will be an uphill battle, it is within the realm of possibility as there have been a few events this season where Hammes has outplayed one or both of them.

Outside of Hammes looking to move into the bye to semifinals, players in the quarterfinals bye spot are looking to maintain this weekend. Emerson Keith will not be in attendance and as such will be passed and moved down into the qualified section of the Championship. Austin Hannum and Reid Frescura will both be playing to stay in the quarterfinals bye position. Chris Clemons and Drew Gibson will both be looking to move into those positions. Clemons will be looking to replace 19.5 Tour Points this weekend. Drew Gibson will be building on his current point totals after being injured early in the season and missing a few events. All Drew needs is a top 20 finish to make it into a quarterfinals bye. Clemons will need a top twenty finish and have Frescura, Hannum, or Gibson finish worse than him to make it into a quarterfinals bye.

It is the players looking to make it into spots 17-32 where things get complicated. There are nine players on the outside looking in currently. The longshot of those is Paul Oman. Paul Oman would need a first or second-place finish this weekend to qualify for the Tour Championship. Next would be Zach Melton. He can make it comfortably into the Tour Championship with a podium finish this weekend. With a fourth-place finish at DGLO this year this does not seem out of the question.

Outside of the longshots, there are now seven players who have a slightly easier chance at making the Tour Championship. Jordan Castro is replacing five points and will be seeking a top ten finish to guarantee a spot in Charlotte. Nikko Locastro is next on the list. Nikko is looking to build points, and a top fifteen finish will put him close to the Championship is not playing. Last year’s Tour Champion is currently not qualified. He will also need a top fifteen finish to have a shot at making the Tour Championship this year. Dickerson was only able to play three tour stops this season due to his wife’s health. He has made the trek to GMC this weekend in hopes of finishing well enough to play for another title in Charlotte. Matt Bell is one of two players who have played every Tour stop this season but is yet to qualify for the Tour Championship. Bell is replacing 3.5 points, and if he secures a top fifteen finish, he should be playing in the Tour Championship. The other player is Noah Meintsma. Noah is the closest player on the outside looking in currently 36th in Tour Standings. He is replacing 11 points and as such would need a top fifteen finish to have a shot at qualifying.  The two players not mentioned yet on the outside looking in are Gregg Barsby and Trevor Harbolt. Both players are looking to add to their current standings of 136 and 141 and only need thirty or so points to push someone out of their qualified position.

It is going to be a race to the finish at Discraft’s Green Mountain Championship presented by GripEq this weekend. Tune in and see if your favorite pro can make it into the Tour Championship.