It’s still 40 days away but it’s in the back of everyone’s minds. With the Pro Tour in full swing in Europe, the World Championships is coming.
A 1x next to your signature would change the trajectory of your career forever.
A 2x solidifies you as one of the most dominant players of your era.
And 3x,4x,5x? That would put you into a top 4 conversation that folks all around the world who play disc golf will have for eternity. I don’t know how many times a season I hear a conversation about who is the GOAT?
I’m so pumped the World Championships are at Smugglers Notch. If I could pick where World’s are held every year it would be at Smuggs.
Vermont in September is almost as good as Maine. And I consider Smugglers Fox Run and Brewster Ridge to be the greatest courses in the world. Especially since they’re across the street from one another.
This week in the blog I’d like to look at who on the Disc Golf Pro Tour does well historically at Smugglers Notch. And combine that with some more recent scoring to see who I’m picking for my Grip6 Worlds Picks.
Arthur and I have a competition each week on our board with Grip 6 picks. While we play against thousands of other folks, we also play against each other for fun. Bragging rights and the ability to have our poorly cut out laminated faces slightly higher than the other in the pro shop are what we play for.
It’s high stakes here at Sabattus disc golf.
This blog is partly research to beat Arthur in a single tournament. But mostly to entertain you and get you excited for a tournament that’s still 1 month away.
I took the top 36 ranked players in the world (according to UDisc on March 26th 2023 update because that’s when I started this blog.)
Don’t you just love when I make data charts? There’s something about numbers that just makes me miss math class.
Here’s every player in the top 36, how they finished in 2022, 2021, and 2020. I chose the last 3 years since so many players have played this event in the past and so many are relatively new. It felt like a good baseline of years.
I put their place finished as well as the number of strokes back from 1st place so you can see if they were in the hunt or there was a runaway.
How a player does at the world championships means a lot to me when I make these picks. While the courses change every year, the pressure does not. That’s why I often look to see where someone will have finished in previous world championships.
A green box means they finished in the top 5, black means they did not play, and there were two familiar players who finished in the top 5 each of the last 3 years at GMC. Ricky Wysocki and Paul McBeth.
So without further ado let’s get to my 8 players I think have a shot in MPO at getting the title. Of course, take these with a grain of salt. The last time I did this in 2021 I didn’t even have James Conrad on my list.
He’s been either #1 or #2 at the world championships since 2012. He’s finished top 5 each of the last 3 years in Vermont. In 2019 he won the event by 9 strokes. And I think that his playing in Europe on tighter wooded courses this last month or so has improved his already immaculate woods game. He’s probably the best all around disc golfer we’ve ever seen and Vermont demands all your shots with the long drives and OB of Fox Run mixed with the woods of Brewster.
He’s due for a big win. He’s world #2 at the moment and he’s coming off a win at the Preserve and a top 5 at PCS Sula. Ricky hasn’t won a major since his 2017 world title. I think he put too much pressure on himself to win in Emporia in 2022. Since he had won the DDO that year with his Dynamic contract. Ricky won last year and finished second the year before. I’d love to see Rick dropping 40 foot putts in and raptor legging his way to the basket.
He’s 18, ranked #5 in the world and he’s the reigning USDGC champion. With 10th and 6th place finishes at the last 2 GMC’s he’s been in the mix. I don’t know that this is a win for him but I expect a top 10 finish and wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the podium.
His previous Worlds experiences have been 14th and 33rd. I don’t hold that against him as a minor. Half of me hopes he wins so that Alden Harris makes more ridiculous videos of him but as a champion. He feels like a player that will win a world title, I just don’t know how long the old guard can hold him off. He’s already won 2 silver series and 2 elite series events this year.
He’s finished 2nd and 1st at GMC in the last 2 years. If he can keep it in bounds on 18 of Fox Run on the last day he’ll be just fine.
Now at Worlds he’s finished 12th, 4th, 5th, 12th, 5th, and 17th. I think this is probably his best chance at a title. Dickerson is not on tour as hard as other pros, he’s only played 10 tournaments in 2023. And he has 2 podium finishes and lots of outside the top 15, it hasn’t been like his 2020 PDGA player of the year season. But I think he’s a solid pick with a history of success at GMC.
I’d be pretty pumped to see whatever camouflage print and orange Discraft would whip out if he won.
I think that Brewster Ridge and Fox Run suit his game very well. Isaac has great woods putter turnover shots and that’s what it’s going to take to win at Brewster. He’s proven at Portland he can handle distance shots. Isaac finished in 2nd place the only time he has played the GMC, which was last year. He’s a major winner in 2023 at the Champions Cup so he’s already proven that he can handle the pressure this year. I know most of the Prodigy hype goes to Gannon, don’t sleep on Isaac Robinson.
Currently number one in the world, but he’s not proven himself in the previous World Championships. Calvin has finished 6th, 11th, 20th, 16th, 12th, 14th and 34th at Worlds since he started competing in them in 2015.
His best finish was 6th at GMC in 2021 and he was 14th last year. He hasn’t won a major in his career but he has won almost a dozen DGPT events. I don’t know what it’s going to take for Calvin to win, but I won’t be putting him in my Grip6 this year.
It doesn’t feel like that long ago Eagle was dominating on the DGPT. When Eagle’s putt is dropping and he’s confident, he’s my #1 pick as best player on the planet. His insane distance backhand and forehand helps him just reach unreachable holes.
He’s got top 10 finishes at GMC, he’s got back to back 8th finishes at worlds in 2019 and 2021. Injured in 2022 and no worlds in 2020.
But it remains to be seen if Eagle can be healthy and put together a performance like the 2022 European Open.
He has 10 top 10’s at World’s dating back to 2005 with 3 podium finishes. Matty O finished 2nd last year at GMC and he took 2nd at worlds as well. Smuggs rewards those who keep it in the fairway, and lately Matty O has been doing that 74% of the time. It’s his putting that’s been saving him this year. He’s another tour veteran without a signature win on the DGPT. Kind of like Barsby was in ‘18.
Time for my FPO picks!
I feel like you’ve got to have a solid mix of FPO and MPO players to win. Without further ado let’s hop into the 8 players I think stand a chance at winning.
- Kristin Tattar
As the reigning world champion and reigning GMC 2022 champion she’s the obvious pick. Arthur and I even refer to the first box on our DGPT picks board as the Tattar square. She’s worth picking every single week, because even if she doesn’t win she hasn’t finished out of the top 10 since July of 2022.
- Hailey King
She’s got the course record for FPO on Fox Run. She won the 2021 GMC (no Tattar). She finished 9th and 4th at the last two world championships, and I guess I’m a big fan of hers.
Hailey has a USWDGC title and a DGPT title on wooded courses. I think Brewster fits her playstyle of ripping fairways and mids very well. And she’s got plenty of power for Fox Run. The only problem I foresee is her OB rate is .140, and that’s higher than most everyone on the DGPT. Those white stakes on Fox Run are tight in a lot of places too.
She’s 38 and still on top of the disc golf world. Look out FPO 40 in 2 years.
At GMC Cat finished 24th, 4th, and 3rd in the last few years. Not sure what happened in 2022 there, but that’s a departure from the norm for her. She’s won Vegas and the Preserve this year, so I know she still has that in her.
Cat won worlds in 2021 and finished 11th last year. I think if she has a solid first round she can lead from the front.
She’s been so close all year!
Holyn has potential to break through on any course she’s on. Now with no history at Smuggs she’s definitely a dark horse pick. But she’s sitting at 10 DGPT Top 5 finishes this year. I think her chances come on Fox Run and if she’s having a good putting week.
She finished 2nd in 2022 at both Worlds and GMC. She’s got the distance to crush Fox Run for sure. The only thing holding Henna back is her C1 putting is at 50%. I know that people will make fun of her yips, but she’s still throwing so far and accurately on her drives she’s finishing top 10 plenty. She’s that player who thrives on confidence, if she sinks that first 20 footer on Hole 1 Day 1 she’ll be on lead card for the rest of the week.
- Ohn Scoggins
She’s the top FPO putter, she’s the 3x FPO 40 women’s champion, and she’s always floating around the top. The only problem I see for Ohn at worlds is the distance of Fox Run. She can’t flex forehand on every hole and that’s going to hurt her chances. She’ll be a force on Brewster though and her putting is always elite. I expect a top 5 finish from her.
- Ella Hansen
This may be a surprise pick for some. Ella has been hot and cold all 2023. She’s one of the few women to beat Tattar at any point this year, and she’s got all that distance for Fox Run. Ella’s problem will likely be her putting together 4 quality rounds in a row. She’ll do 2 in a row above her rating and then one below. But she’s got 6 1000+ rated rounds in 2023. If she can shoot 1000+ in 3 rounds and keep that 4th round close I think she’s got a great chance.
- Valerie Mandujano
She’s had a very quiet season since the ankle injury. With her 2 wins in 2022 and her top 10 finish at GMC and Worlds in 2022 I thought that she might be FPO player to give Tattar a run for her money at some tournaments.
Valerie is putting well in 2023, she’s hitting the fairways 2nd best on tour. It’s the .123 OB rate that she’s going to have to deal with on a course that is punishing for those who have a higher OB rate.
Streeter’s Grip6 Worlds Picks.
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May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397