A look at who could reach a few career benchmarks in 2018
February 14, 2018 by Alex Colucci in Analysis with 0 comments
The long offseason is nearly over: the 2018 PDGA National Tour season kicks into gear next week.
In preparation for the beginning of the touring season, we’re running a Career Milestones Series where we take a look at how close some of the current pros are to reaching a number of benchmarks. For today’s piece, we’re going to take a look at Open and Open Women career PDGA National Tour wins.1
We’re going to start off with the Open Women’s division because that’s where we find the player with the most NT victories of anyone: Des Reading. The recent Disc Golf Hall of Fame inductee collected 30 wins between 2003 and 2009, with her most impressive season coming in 2007 when she took down eight wins on the tour.
Valarie Jenkins is just one win behind Reading with 29. She last won on the National Tour in 2014 but remains competitive in high-profile events having finished second at the PDGA World Championship in 2017 and winning it in 2016. Jenkins is by far the closest in the Open Women’s field to matching Reading’s mark and the only player who could catch her in 2018.
Paige Pierce is third on the all-time list with 18 wins. Like last season, she will have six opportunities to add to her total. In 2017 she won four of the six NT events, all of which are again on the schedule in 2018. Should Catrina Allen have a bounce-back 2018, she’s in line to move up the list as well. Currently, she sits in 5th place all-time with 14 wins, two behind Juliana Korver’s 16. If she can nearly sweep the NTs, like she did in 2016, she could overtake Pierce.
On the MPO side, career NT victories list things are much more crowded at the top. Paul McBeth won three NT events last year, including two of the first three—the Glass Blown Open and the Masters Cup—which are again in the opening trio in 2018. Those three wins allowed him to jump ahead of both Dave Feldberg (18) and Barry Schultz (17) who are second and third on the list.
Feldberg and Schultz each continue to play at a high level, but Feldberg hasn’t won an NT since 2014; Schultz is winless since 2009. So it is relatively unlikely either will overtake McBeth in 2018 or beyond.
Ricky Wysocki, though, remains the other main favorite to rack up NT wins next season. He is currently tied with Ken Climo in 4th place all-time with 13. He’s collected three wins on the tour in each of the last two seasons, but he will need more than that if he wants to jump past Feldberg and Schultz. If Wysocki can sweep all six he moves all the way to the top and into a tie with McBeth, but an NT sweep by any player remains unprecedented.
We’ll be back soon with more career milestones posts in preparation for the 2018 touring season to start.
Regretfully, an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the number of NT wins Paul McBeth has and it has now been fixed. We apologize for this oversight.