Ultiworld Disc Golf FPO Power Rankings [March 5, 2020]

Does the top of the 2020 rankings look similar to the end of 2019?

Photo: DGPT – Alyssa Van Lanen

Welcome to the Ultiworld Disc Golf 2020 Power Rankings! Our rankings offer a fun alternative to the PDGA World Rankings and player ratings. Those metrics take a long view of the field, ours relies on the “hot take.”

Here’s how we rank our Top 25.

First, we use an algorithm to create an objective ballot. This formula combines standardized scores across Elite Series tournaments, multipliers for depth of field and tournament purse, and a decay function that emphasizes recent performance.

Next, the Ultiworld Disc Golf staff cast top 10 ballots. Our goal is to marry the “eye test” with cold hard stats.

Finally, we added a popular vote for 2020, which gives our subscribers a chance to cast ballots alongside the staff.

Staff and subscribers only consider results within the past two months. They prioritize performance at Elite Series events but may consider regional tournaments as well. Because our human voters only rank the top 10, the objective ballot covers the lower half of the rankings. The objective ballot, on the other hand, has slightly greater historical reach than the former because it only considers Elite Series events (including the last few at the end of 2019).

Let’s get to the results!

Power Rankings Top 10 are available to all Ultiworld Disc Golf readers. Want the entire top 25? You’ll have to be a subscriber.

FPO Power Rankings:
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1. Paige Pierce

Rating: 977

Last Month: 2nd place – Samui Swine Classic VII (A), 1st place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – The Memorial

I’ll admit it, I had my doubts about Pierce heading into the Memorial after her lopsided performance in Thailand, but those mid 900-rated rounds definitely look like aberrations in light of the Shellacking in Scottsdale. She averaged 1021-rated golf and nearly lapped second and third place in the process. Pierce has broken the four-digit barrier in five of her seven rounds to start the year.

2. Catrina Allen

Rating: 975

Last Month: 1st place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 5th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 5th place – The Memorial

I’m usually bullish on Allen to start the year—she hits the gym and the field hard in the offseason—but she needs to find her zen on the green. She shot a 1004-rated round in Vegas with 29% C1X putting, imagine what field-average putting (~61%) would do for her game.

3. Henna Blomroos

Rating: 972

Last Month: 3rd place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 3rd place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 3rd place – The Memorial

Blomroos can huck. She reached C2 in regulation on 72% of the holes (2nd) C1 in regulation on 47% of the holes (3rd), putting her right in the mix with Pierce and the Allens. Perhaps its to do with her youth or the limitations a Finnish winter puts on off-season training (prior to the Las Vegas Challenge she hadn’t played a PDGA event since September 2019), but even with those numbers she still looked a bit raw out there. Meaning no disrespect, I’m buying mad-Blomroos stock.

4. Eveliina Salonen

Rating: 964

Last Month: 2nd place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 4th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 4th place – The Memorial

Salonen was in the driver’s seat with five holes to play in Vegas. Having kept inside the ropes all day, she found OB three times in that final stretch, which lead to three bogeys and a three-stroke swing. Still, she improved on her performance from 2019 when she finished sixth, and her total score at the Memorial matched her winning total from last year. Net positive, IMO.

5. Jennifer Allen

Rating: 949

Last Month: 1st place – Battle at the Fountain II (C), 1st place – Las Vegas Challenge (A, Masters Women 40+), 2nd place – The Memorial (DGPT).

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 2nd place – The Memorial

Allen played in the Masters Division at the Las Vegas Challenge and won by twenty-seven strokes, but her 3-under-par 239 also topped the FPO field by one. No letdown in Scottsdale. It’s such a joy to watch Allen play. Though her career is off the course, she can still sling it with the young guns when she hits the links. Allen was top three in parked rate, C1 in regulation, C2 in regulation, birdie percentage, and scramble rate this past weekend, barely missing the statistical podium in Fairway Hits (4th) and C1X putting (70%).

6. Callie McMorran

Rating: 929

Last Month: 2nd place – Battle at the Fountain II (C), 5th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 6th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 6th place – The Memorial

The Tennessean ranks #1 in C1X putting across all UDisc competitions in 2020, converting at an 81% clip. McMorran doesn’t have elite distance off the tee but is 5th in parked percentage and 8th in birdie percentage. A cool hand inside of 10m lets her take advantage of her opportunities to score.

7. Hailey King

Rating: 941

Last Month: 1st place – CSUMB Otter Open (B), 6th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 7th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 7th place – The Memorial

It’s surprising that Hailey King currently ranks 14th in C1 in Regulation through two UDisc events when 1. we know she can bomb and 2. she is solidly top 10 in all other statistical categories.

8. Paige Shue

Rating: 946

Last Month: 4th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 9th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 9th place – The Memorial

I bet Shue is looking forward to a one-course tournament. Given consecutive cracks at the same course on back-to-back days, she improved her round rating by 56 points at Fountain (920 > 976) and by 62 points at Vista (920 > 982). Look for her to dial it in at WACO, where she finished second in 2019.

9. Rebecca Cox

Rating: 943

Last Month: 14th place – Las Vegas Challenge, 7th place – The Memorial

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 7th place – The Memorial

Cox gamely bounced back from a missed cut in Vegas to middle cash at the Memorial. If her tee-to-green game improves, she should jump in the rankings. While she is top 10 in scramble rate (10th) and C1X putting (71%), she’s only hitting circle 1 in regulation at a 22% clip.

10. Jessica Weese

Rating: 944

Last Month: 1st place – Wintertime Open (A), 6th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 12th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 12th place – The Memorial

Gotta like opening the season with a repeat victory at the Wintertime Open, but she’s also played more rounds below her rating than above. All told, Weese is only playing about a half-stroke below her average, but she’ll need to crank out more rounds in the 975+ range than ~940 if she wants to contend at the big tournaments.

Top 25 continues below.

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  1. Patrick Aubyrn
    Patrick Aubyrn

    Patrick Aubyrn is a writer at Ultiworld Disc Golf, and a double bassist, musicologist, and educator living in Oak Park, IL with his wife and young son. He is A.B.D. at the University of Washington and is writing his dissertation on the 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms. As a disc golfer, he occasionally threw 1000-rated rounds back in 2007 and holds the distinction of hitting two holes-in-one in the same tournament round but not paying into the ace pool.

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