Many eyes were on the smokin’ hot tournament action of the 2016 Glass Blown Open in Emporia, Kansas this weekend. The GBO has grown into one of the premier events of the year. This year there was even more interest as the tournament was a warmup of sorts, for the 2016 PDGA Pro World Championships which will take place in Emporia this summer. Most of the game’s elite touring professionals were eager to see where they stood on one of the season’s critical stages.
Paul McBeth played well during the week and found himself tied for the lead entering Saturday’s final round. It was a photo finish between McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, Eagle Wynn McMahon, and Devan Owens, each of whom finished within two shots of the winning score. But in the end it was a quasi-Nicklaus ‘86 moment for North Carolina’s Cam Todd who was able to outpace the young bucks, many of whom are half his age.
At age 42, Cam is probably best known for his win at the 2001 PDGA World Championships in Minnesota. Keep in mind that was four years prior to the start of McBeth’s career. Cam fired a blistering round of 46 in the semi final round that year to earn himself a comfortable lead, and win, over Steve Rico who finished in second. It is also worth noting that Cam’s wife Lesli finished second in Open Women at Worlds that year. The only player Lesli did not beat was Juliana Korver, who was in route to her 4th consecutive women’s world title.
On the women’s side of the GBO it was a runaway win for Catrina Allen. Allen lead wire-to-wire and finished a smooth nine shots clear of the field. Madison Walker, Karina Nowels, and Des Reading lead the way for Team Innova, locking down a three way tie for 3rd place. Jennifer Allen, Lisa Fajkus, and Jessica Hill grabbed spots 7-9 to round out the team’s top ten.
The PDGA National Tour rolls on to Kansas City for the 34th Kansas City Wide Open. An ideal tour schedule should enable players to scoot from Emporia over to KC and log some quality practice rounds. Players should be rested and ready to go, so fans can look forward to another weekend full of tasty matchups at one of disc golf’s most iconic events.
A few notable players will be missing in Kansas City, in particular the world’s #1 ranked player Paul McBeth. McBeth and touring partner Nate Sexton have beelined it to Benesov, Czech Republic for second stop on the Disc Golf World Tour , the Konopiste Open. Thanks to a win at the La Mirada Open McBeth sits atop the DGWT Rankings . Nate Sexton and Simon Lizotte are ranked 7th and 8th respectively on the World Tour and will be looking to move up with players ranked 2-6 opting for the National Tour event instead. In addition to McBeth, Sexton, and Lizotte, keep your eyes on KJ Nybo, Pasi Koivu, Espen Møkkelgjerd, Andre Johnsen,and Jalle Stoor.
Here are some of the other top team performances from this past weekend. We would like to congratulate Connor Hanrahan in particular, who picked up his first career Open win at The Santa Maria Showdown in Santa Maria, CA.
Madison Walker – Glass Blown Open, T-3rd Place Open Women
Karina Nowels – Glass Blown Open, T-3rd Place Open Women
Des Reading – Glass Blown Open, T-3rd Place Open Women
Philo Brathwaite – Glass Blown Open, T-6th Place Open
Dr. Rick Voakes – Glass Blown Open, T-2nd Place Senior Grandmasters
Mike Moser – Coyote Howler, 1st Place Open
Calvin Heimburg – The 2016 Fun n Sun, 1st Place Open
Scott Withers – North Umpqua Invitational, 1st Place Open
Zoe AnDyke – North Umpqua Invitational, 1st Place Open Women
Michelle Nava – North Umpqua Invitational, 1st Place Advanced Women
Debbie Scott – The Patriot Memorial at Triad Park, 1st Place Open Women
Bob Cannon – Tour de Richmond, 1st Place Masters
Chris Sprague – Standing Rocks Open, 1st Place Masters
Sara Lamberson – Barfield Open, 1st Place Open Women
Joe Mela – The 2016 Philly Open, 1st Place Grandmasters
Photos courtesy of Jomez Productions