Ultiworld Disc Golf Power Rankings: Pre-Worlds [August 5, 2016]

The defending PDGA champs tumble, while a new woman claims the top spot for the first time this season

As we round third and head home to next week’s PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships, which begin Tuesday in Emporia, Kansas, there have been a couple significant shake-ups to our Power Rankings. Both the defending men’s and women’s world champions have hit their season-low after difficult weekends at The Majestic, for example, while a new woman is atop the rankings entirely. And while Ricky Wysocki enjoys a fourth straight installment as Number One after his fourth straight win, the rest of the Top 10 has churned a bit before next week’s showdown, with wily veterans and the youngest player on the list breathing down his neck.

It’s all come to this. Here are our final Power Rankings before the 2016 world champion is crowned.

MPO Power Rankings:
Rank Player Change Prior
Dropped from rankings: Leo Piironen (17), Zach Melton (20)
1 - 1
2 +2 4
3 - 3
4 +1 5
5 -3 2
6 +4 10
7 +7 14
8 -2 6
9 +7 16
10 -3 7
11 -2 9
12 -4 8
13 -1 12
14 +1 15
15 -
16 -
17 +1 18
18 +1 19
19 -6 13
20 -9 11

1. It feels like every big putt Ricky Wysocki has made this season has been a stepping stone toward this moment. It’d be an upset to see him not end up the world champion after next week.

2. Nate Sexton was one 15-footer away from victory at The Majestic, but he’s peaking at the right time. Maybe he saved the big win for Emporia.

3. Fun fact: Nate Doss’ current power ranking matches the number of world titles he owns. For now.

4. No one would be surprised seeing Eagle McMahon on the lead card at Worlds next week. The question is, does he have the experience to finish?

5. Paul McBeth’s 12th place finish at The Majestic matched his Vibram Open showing as his lowest since the 2013 Beaver State Fling, where he ended up in 15th.

6. While he has slightly cooled over the last couple weeks, Bradley Williams could be the dark horse threat we need at Worlds.

7. The same could be said for Alex Geisinger, if he were actually attending. D’oh.

8. If Paul Ulibarri could get his putting straight – he’s only hitting 86 percent in the circle at Disc Golf Pro Tour events – he’d be a much more consistent threat to the top tier of competitors.

9. Minnesota must be nice this time of year. That’s got to be why both Geisinger and Cale Leiviska won’t be heading to the heat of Kansas.

10. Devan Owens took the week off, but his Oklahoma roots and 4th place finish at the Glass Blown Open in April bode well for his Worlds prospects.

11. We could have realistically moved K.J. Nybo up this list due to the outpouring of support he received from fans who crowdfunded his trip to the European Championships. Good stuff.

12. Philo Brathwaite slipped from 14th at the European Masters to a 21st place tie at The Majestic.

13. Though he’s had an up-and-down season, Jeremy Koling has all the tools needed to dominate in Emporia.

14. Sometimes taking the week off makes you slip down the list. Others, like with Michael Johansen, the play of those around you are all the bump you need.

15. Save a 24th place finish at the Silver Cup, Dutch Napier’s PDGA page is littered with single digits this season. He added another after tying McMahon for 7th at The Majestic.

16. Virginia native James Conrad makes the list after continued improvement at each Disc Golf Pro Tour event.

17. Gregg Barsby  has never played in Emporia, at least not competitively. Should make for an interesting week at Worlds for the crafty vet.

18. He’s young and has a big arm. One of those factors will most certainly help Drew Gibson this week, while the other one can be a blessing or a curse.

19. Nikko Locastro is the kind of player who could come out of nowhere and win Worlds, and it wouldn’t even be considered out of nowhere. He’s had trouble capturing consistent success in 2016.

20. Matt Dollar makes the fourth player in our Top 20 not participating at Worlds. He’ll hit the A-Tier Cedar Creek Open and the B-Tier Squaw Creek Showdown in Illinois instead.

On the Bubble: Leo Piironen, Zach Melton, Dustin Keegan, Zackeriath Johnson

FPO Power Rankings:
Rank Player Change Prior
1 +1 2
2 -1 1
3 +2 5
4 +2 6
5 -1 4
6 -3 3
7 - 7
8 +2 10
9 -1 8
10 -1 9

1. Two wins in a row are enough to give Sarah Hokom the top spot in our rankings. We’ll see if she can keep the momentum rolling on the open courses of Kansas.

2. Despite a misplay that cost her the opportunity at a playoff against Hokom, Catrina Allen is still the odds on favorite to win at Worlds. She’s just been too good this season to doubt.

3. Madison Walker’s 3rd place tie at The Majestic matches her Glass Blown Open finish from earlier in the season. Coincidence, or a good omen?

4. With Lisa Fajkus’ recent play and her Midwest roots, she may make some noise at Worlds.

5. Lest we not forget: Valarie Jenkins is a three-time world champion.

6. Speaking of three-time world champions: While taking 7th place at The Majestic is less than ideal, Paige Pierce’s power and winning pedigree make her the main threat to Allen’s coronation in Kansas.

7. Zoe Andyke seems to thrive in the woods and does not have experience in Emporia.

8. Lesli Todd, meanwhile, was a Top 10 finisher at the GBO. 

9. No Worlds for Ragna Bygde Lewis.

10. Same for Eveliina Salonen, even with that Finnish National Championship in her back pocket.

On the bubble: Holly Finley, Paige Bjerkaas

  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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