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

What kind of impact will the revised voting guidelines have on the rankings?

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.

MPO Power Rankings:
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1. Calvin Heimburg

Rating: 1041

Last Month: 10th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 1st place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

Heimburg’s win at the Memorial was impressive, to say the least. Coming down the home stretch of the final round in Arizona, Heimburg was able to fend off hard charges from Eagle McMahon, Paul McBeth, Väinö Mäkelä, and Drew Gibson. Heimburg carded only three bogies over the weekend and hit 92% of fairways off the tee. His performance at the Memorial, plus his strong 10th place finish at Las Vegas has him sitting in pole position to start the season.

2. Eagle McMahon

Rating: 1049

Last Month: 2nd place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

If not for a woefully missed triple mando and a water-bound C2 putt to save a penalty-3 on the final hole of the Memorial, McMahon would have forced a playoff with Heimburg. McMahon’s forehand was on display all weekend, and it looks like a weapon he has become more comfortable using.

3. Paul McBeth

Rating: 1060

Last Month: 1st place – Wintertime Open (A), 3rd place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

The reigning world champ got off to a strong start with a seven stroke win at the Wintertime Open, which he sponsored. McBeth looked to keep things rolling at the Memorial, but things went off the rails in the third round. Even when he’s off his game, he contends and finished in third, which is where he sits with us.

4. Garrett Gurthie

Rating: 1031

Last Month: 6th place – Wintertime Open (A), 2nd place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 6th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

Gurthie already has three top-6 tournaments under his belt in this young season. His putting has left something to be desired, though. GG is 76% from Circle 1x, and 20% from Circle Two.  If he is able to clean things up on the green, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with all season. Gurthie is in the top ten for the other major statistical categories, and his “albatrace” in Vegas was something special.

5. Simon Lizotte

Rating: 1040

Last Month: 5th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 7th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

Two top ten finishes to start the season is nothing to sneeze at. At The Memorial Lizotte lost ten strokes to OB and seven strokes to OB in Las Vegas. Despite this, Lizotte is still third overall in birdie percentage at 63% over eight UDisc-official rounds.

6. Väinö Mäkelä

Rating: 1029

Last Month: 22nd place – Wintertime Open (A), 4th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

Mäkelä is the first Finn to crack our top ten thanks to a steady, strong performance at the Memorial. He went bogey free over the first two rounds at Fountain Hill and only went OB three times over the weekend. Mäkelä will play Waco before heading back across the pond, but we’re hopeful we’ll see him back stateside sooner rather than later. Mäkelä was solid across all aspects of his game, but shone when he had to play out of position. Mäkelä led the field in scramble percentage, and hit 41% of his looks outside the circle.

7. Drew Gibson

Rating: 1022

Last Month: 4th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

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

Did you see Gibson throw those Buzzz shots? Did you? Once he gets his bag figured out, and if he can keep his cool, he’ll be dangerous this season.

8. Nathan Sexton

Rating: 1035

Last Month: 1st place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 21st place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 21st place – The Memorial

Sexton defied the conventional wisdom that a massive arm is needed to win in Vegas, but it shouldn’t be entirely surprising. As has been noted, Sexton excels at open courses with OB a-plenty which allows him to let his top-tier sidearm do the work for him by avoiding OB and letting him pick his spots to be aggressive.

9. Philo Brathwaite

Rating: 1023

Last Month: 1st place – Samui Swine Classic VII (A), 2nd place – Asia Open (B), 2nd place – Wintertime Open (A), 8th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 11th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 11th place – The Memorial

Brathwaite has six tournaments under his belt in 2020, with a win and three second-place finishes. His only finish outside the top ten was an eleventh place finish at the Memorial.

10. Austin Hannum

Rating: 1027

Last Month: 6th place – Wintertime Open (A), 11th place – Las Vegas Challenge (A), 16th place – The Memorial (DGPT)

2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 16th place – The Memorial

Hannum also has six tournaments under his belt in this young season and only one finish outside the top ten. The Sooner has been on the cusp of breaking through to the top level for a couple of years now, let’s see if he can keep this strong start going.

Top 25 continues below.

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  1. Christopher Wiklund
    Christopher Wiklund

    Chris is a contributor at Ultiworld Disc Golf. He lives and works on Cape Cod in Massachusetts where he plays as much disc golf as he can, and reminds people he lives on Cape Cod. He likes spending time outside when he isn't playing video games and watching TV.

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