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8 Top Storylines & Stats Headed Into The MVP Open presented by OTB

By Charles McCracken

By: Charles McCracken, DGPT Communications Director

As the disc golf community gears up for the 2023 MVP Open presented by OTB, there’s a palpable excitement in the air. The Maple Hill course, synonymous with disc golf excellence as it continues to hold the #1 spot on UDisc’s top courses list, is primed to host the best in the game. Here are the top 8 storylines headed into the last event of the 2023 DGPT Playoffs presented by Barbasol! 

Broadcast times for the 2023 MVP Open presented by OTB

The MVP Open starts tomorrow (Thursday, Sep 14). Catch all the action on the Disc Golf Network! PDGA members can get 50% off the monthly subscription, and the Disc Golf Network is running a limited time offer of 30% off the yearly subscription now! Subscribe today! 

1. The Race for the Tour Championship

The Tour Championship is another looming storyline, with #31 as the current cutline in MPO (Parker Welck is qualified from his DDO win). Players like Nikko Locastro, Mason Ford, Paul Ulibarri, Garrett Gurthie, and Andrew Presnell, hovering close to the cut-off, will be pushing hard for a solid MVP Open finish to secure their spots. The absence of McBeth might just open the door for the 32nd player. Notable names Jeremy Koling, Albert Tamm, and Gregg Barsby would need a win at MVP to get back into a qualifying spot. 

On the FPO side, with Kristin Tattar and Missy Gannon locking the top spots, the real drama might lie in the positions below. Players like Ella Hansen, who recently clinched her first DGPT event, and Holyn Handley, leading the tour with 437 birdies, are ones to watch out for to make a move up the board and secure a better starting stroke advantage. Sai Ananda, Emily Beach, Holly Finley,Hanna Huynh, and Deann Carey are all on the outside looking in right now and need to make some magic happen here if they want to make it to the Championship. 

2. Kristin Tattar: Chasing History & Keeping Up The Momentum

Kristin Tattar in a post round interview at the 2022 MVP Open with her 2022 DGPT Points Series trophy. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

The MVP Open is a bit of a white whale for Kristin Tattar. It’s the only active Elite/Major she’s played more than twice and hasn’t claimed victory. With the way she’s been playing, it’s hard not to think that this might be her year. Either way, Tattar is on track for a Grand Slam this season, and this weekend is all about keeping up the pace. If she can keep up the momentum at Maple Hill this weekend and roll it over into a victory at the USWDGC next week, she will set a record by being the first FPO player to win all the Major events held in a season (with a minimum of 3). This parallels her to Juliana Korver, who won 4 straight FPO Majors between 1999 and 2000. 

3. Tight Margins

Historically, the MVP Open has been a nail-biter. 11 out of 15 previous tournaments have been decided by 3 or fewer strokes in the MPO division, with the largest margin being 13 strokes by Paul McBeth in 2013. With McBeth sitting out due to injury, the field looks even more open. Ricky Wysocki, a two-time winner (’15 and ’17), will be looking to capitalize and add another title (he’s the only player to win at Maple twice since it became an Elite Event). 

4. Calvin Heimburg’s Redemption Run?

Arguably the hottest player on tour right now, Calvin Heimburg’s streak of 22-straight Top-20’s is nothing short of remarkable. Interestingly, his last missed Top-20 was at last year’s MVP Open, where he placed 26th. Can Heimburg continue his impressive streak and find redemption this year? 

5. Missy Gannon: Consistency is Key

Missy Gannon is a beacon of consistency. With a staggering 14-straight Top-10 finishes on tour and a secured Top-4 spot in the DGPT United Series of 2023, she’s proving to be a force to be reckoned with. However, Maple Hill has not always been her strongest ground, with only one Top-5 finish in her past five starts. Will this be the year she breaks the pattern? After all, it is #bigmoneymissy season. Tattar remains at the #1 spot in the DGPT points standings, but Gannon still has a chance to edge her out. The stage is set: will we see another head-to-head Gannon v. Tattar match like we did at Worlds? 

6. Chase Card Chaos

Simon Lizotte after winning the 2022 MVP Open from the chase card. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

2022 saw Simon Lizotte clinch the MVP Open from the chase card – a unique achievement, given it was the only chase card win that year. However, 2023 has already witnessed four such thrilling wins, all within a short 35-day span. With such unexpected turns, it will be interesting to watch if another surprise contender emerges from the chase card this year.

7. Ohn Scoggins: Bouncing Back

Ohn Scoggins is on a redemption path. Despite her DNF at Worlds, she’s managed Top-5 finishes in every event since Music City. But the MVP Open has historically eluded her Top-5 list. This year, she’s coming in hot and could be a surprising contender for the title after capturing her first DGPT Elite Event at DGLO earlier this season. 

8. Maple Hill Course Insights

Gannon Buhr putts on the famous hole 8 at Maple Hill. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Maple Hill, renowned for its challenging yet balanced layout, has seen some tweaks in the course. The first hole, which last year played almost a stroke over par, has been adjusted to a shorter pin position. Holes 2 & 3 are poised to bring some excitement during moving day with their B pin positions. With advanced stats showing the favorability of the left gap over the water on Hole 5 and tweaks in Hole 7, 17, and the potentially eagleable par 5 Hole 18, players and fans are in for a treat.