Ultiworld Disc Golf Power Rankings: Post-Vibram Open [June 29, 2016]

Plenty of shake ups to the ratings after this weekend's Disc Golf Pro Tour debut

Disc golf’s volatility reared its ugly head at this weekend’s Vibram Open, subsequently wreaking havoc on this week’s rankings.

What’s going on with Paul McBeth? He’s finished 3rd and tied for 12th in his last two PDGA National Tour events, which – by the standard he has set over the last five years – qualifies as a slump. At the same time, hasn’t he earned the right to work out of whatever funk he is in? Or does that completely disregard the philosophy behind these rankings, which have always welcomed the swing the sport brings from week to week?

We spent a lot of time on these rankings this week, and we’re certain there will be disputes. Does one major tournament of top performance give Bradley Williams, Michael Johansen, and Cale Leiviska the right to be placed where they are? Conversely, do players like Philo Brathwaite and Jeremy Koling deserve such punitive rankings after one lower showing?

In the end, we went with our overriding philosophy from Day One of these rankings: Embrace the chaos. That said, we did err on the side of history in some instances, while in others we make some players prove their value.

The best part of all of this? With the Silver Cup, another Disc Golf Pro Tour event, on the horizon, these rankings are set to change again soon. So, even if you hate us right now, we’ll have a chance to redeem ourselves in a couple weeks.

MPO Power Rankings:
Rank Player Change Prior
Dropped from rankings: Dustin Keegan (14), Cam Todd (16), Zackeriath Johnson (18), Steve Rico (20)
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 +2 5
4 -1 3
5 -
6 +3 9
7 - 7
8 -
9 -
10 +2 12
11 +4 15
12 +7 19
13 -9 4
14 -8 6
15 -5 10
16 -5 11
17 -
18 -10 8
19 -2 17
20 -7 13

1. Ricky Wysocki was off by his standards in the first two rounds at the Vibram Open but rallied for a 4th place finish. He remains at the top until some players below him prove it for a bit longer.

2. Paul McBeth finished outside the Top 10 at an NT for the first time since 2013. We’ll give him one more go up here before knocking him down.

3. That’s three Top-10s in a row for Nate Sexton, who will now be known as “Mr. Consistency” until we can come up with something more catchy.

4. Simon Lizotte’s most recent tournament found him placing second at a Finnish A-Tier, but still beating all of the other 1000-plus rated players in the event.

5. We’ll admit to missing this one. Bradley Williams was on the list earlier this season, but should have been here last go ’round, as these are his last four tournament finishes: 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st. We’ll see how his tour outside of Texas treats him, but it got off to one heck of a start at the Vibram Open.

6. Nate Doss ranked 3rd in fairway hit percentage at the VO, but 91st in putting from 10 meters and in. He’ll put it all together soon.

7. No change for K.J. Nybo, as he still has not played since the European Open. In all honesty, this is probably his last week in the Top-10.

8. Two straight 2nd place finishes for Michael Johansen puts him on the list, but he isn’t signed up for Worlds and is only playing a couple Disc Golf Pro Tour events. We’d love to see him hit the road and challenge the big dogs, because he can do it.

9. Cale Leiviska has now placed 1st and 3rd, respectively, at his last two events.

10. Drew Gibson continues to climb, as his 5th place Vibram Open finish gives him his first Power Rankings Top-10 appearance.

11. We’ve previously stated our love for lefties, and Devan Owens put on a clinic with some smooth turnovers to combat the Maple Hill fairways.

12. Could we be seeing the Will Schusterick we’ve come to know and love? He followed up a winning performance at the A-Tier Greater Hartford Disc Golf Open with a 7th place finish at the Vibram that saw him one off the hot score for Round Three.

13. Philo Brathwaite came down from his post-albatross high, struggling to a 28th place finish at the Vibram.

14. Paul Ulibarri has had a knack for bringing his best performances to the final round this season – he did it again with a 51 during Round Four of the Vibram – but he needs to put together a consistent sheet to contend.

15. Jeremy Koling parked the most holes at Maple Hill, but when he wasn’t next to the pin, he struggled to scramble.

16. Eagle McMahon skipped Maple Hill, but took 1st place at an XC-Tier event in Colorado.

17. The big gun from Minnesota made a splash by taking a share of the lead at the Vibram Open and finishing tied for 8th. Alex Geisinger is a player to watch as the Disc Golf Pro Tour continues.

18. Nikko Locastro’s SportsCenter ace was the highlight of his weekend, as he ended the first DGPT event tied for 20th.

19. Gregg Barsby failed to improve on his 2nd place finish at last year’s Vibram after a 1-over first round, but he recovered to play solid golf the rest of the weekend.

20. After jumping out of the gates and into our hearts for the first part of the season, Jared Roan has cooled over the last couple weeks.

On the Bubble: Zackeriath Johnson, Dustin Keegan, Steve Rico

FPO Power Rankings:
Rank Player Change Prior
Dropped from rankings: Lesli Todd (10)
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 +1 4
4 -
5 -2 3
6 - 6
7 +2 9
8 -1 7
9 -4 5
10 -2 8

1. A one-shot loss isn’t enough to knock Catrina Allen off the top spot.

2. Paige Pierce has been pushing Allen at the right time, though. Worlds is going to be lit.

3. Valarie Jenkins challenged the first couple days at the Vibram Open before falling off the finish in 4th place.

4. Sarah Hokom returned to the Vibram Open looking like her normal self after battling a shoulder injury.

5. After showing well at Zoo Town and Beaver State, Paige Bjerkaas struggled on Maple Hill’s wooded fairways and fell to 7th place.

6. We’ll get to see Des Reading push some of these other ladies starting with the Silver Cup in a couple weeks.

7. Madison Walker battled to a 5th place finish at the Vibram Open, making for her first Top-5 NT finish since the Glass Blown Open.

8. Zoe Andyke won the Greater Hartford Disc Golf Open before finishing 8th at Maple Hill.

9. Melodie Bailey did not play with Pro Tour, but recently placed 2nd at a B-Tier in Washington.

10. We’ll leave Eveliina Salonen on this list at least until after the coming weekend’s Finnish National Championships.

On the bubble: Karina Nowels, Jennifer Allen, Lesli Todd

  1. Steve Hill
    Steve Hill

    Steve Hill is the editor of Ultiworld Disc Golf. He provides reviews from the perspective of a low-powered player at Noodle Arm Disc Golf, and in the past served as the associate editor for Rattling Chains. Contact him at steve.hill@ultiworld.com or on Twitter.

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