2022 Great Lakes Open Preview: Returning to the USA

Vacation is over.

There is no rest for the weary in professional disc golf this week, the Discraft Great Lakes Open will kick off this Friday on the heels of last week’s European Open. Already the 10th elite series stop of the year and just two remaining in the regular season, DGLO returns to the pro tour for a 5th consecutive year that will mark the 40th anniversary of the event. Even with 6 consecutive wins from the great Ken Climo, nobody has won this event more than 9-time champion Elaine King who first won the event back in 1987, and most recently in 2009.

Since 1983, this tournament has been played on 9 different courses in 7 cities, and has grown from a c-tier to the national tour, gone back down to a b-tier, and now holds a familiar spot on the elite series. DGLO will not be on the 2023 tour however, as the Toboggan course will host the 2023 PDGA Champions Cup instead. While most of the field should be well rested, those who took the trip to Europe including the top 2 players in each division will be dealing with jet lag and overall fatigue as they return from the European Open.

Past Winners

PDGA TierMPO WinnerFPO Winner
2022DGPTCalvin HeimburgNatalie Ryan
2021DGPTEagle McMahonKristin Tattar
2020DGPTEagle McMahonPaige Pierce
2019DGPTPaul McBethPaige Pierce
2018DGPTPaul McBethSarah Hokom
2017AZiggy BierekovenKrystal Fromm
2016AReid FrescuraCatrina Allen
2015ABen CallawayCatrina Allen
2014ATyler HorneCatrina Allen
2013NTRicky WysockiSarah Hokom
2012AJon PerryCatrina Allen
2011BTyler Hornen/a
2010BMike RaleyDes Reading
2009AMike RaleyElaine King
2008AAl 'Sugar' SchackAngela Tschiggfrie
2007NTCale LeiviskaDes Reading
2006NTJosh AnthonDes Reading
2005NTScott MartinJuliana Korver
2004NTCam ToddDes Reading
2003NTBarry SchultzJuliana Korver
2002AShawn SinclairLeslie Herndon
2001AScott MartinElaine King
1999AKen ClimoJuliana Korver
1998AKen ClimoElaine King
1997AKen ClimoElaine King
1996AKen ClimoAnni Kreml
1995AKen ClimoBecky Powell
1994BJeff MaltonElaine King
1993BSteve KohmanMolly Morrow
1992ADan GinnellySharon Jenkins
1991CSteve WisecupElaine King
1990CDan GinnellySharon Jenkins
1989CSlate PaulElaine King
1988CJoe EaganElaine King
1987CSteve WisecupElaine King
1986CBob Huston/Kevin StewartGail McColl
1985CBob Harrisn/a
1984CJoe Eagann/a

Three Things We’ll Be Watching

1. A seven hour time change, lack of sleep, canceled flights, and lost baggage are all things that some of the pros who traveled to the European Open have dealt with in the days since. Paul McBeth, Ricky Wyoscki, Paige Pierce, and Catrina Allen have all won DGLO in the past but could struggle to keep pace with a well-rested field. Last year’s runner-up Kyle Klein has another excellent opportunity to earn an ES win — he went head-to-head with Eagle McMahon last year but came up one stroke short. Similarly, Paige Pierce won this event in 2019 and 2020 but couldn’t hold off Kristin Tattar last year and came up a stroke shy of the win as well. If Paul McBeth can withstand the travel fatigue he’s always a favorite at the Toboggan course, having shot one of his famous 18-under par rounds here back in 2018. Certainly Discraft, the event’s presenting sponsor, would love to see their two star athletes hoist the trophy come Sunday.

2. For the first time this season, neither defending champion will play in the event, as Eagle McMahon limits his workload and Kristin Tattar is still sidelined with an injury of her own. The Toboggan course challenges players with elevation changes on nearly every hole and typically scores favorably for players who putt well and have a good variety of both forehand and backhand shots. While several names could easily win the MPO division, it’s tough to envision an FPO player with average or below average distance having much of a chance on this track. While Sarah Hokon has won this event twice, the course now plays over 1,000 feet longer than when she last won in 2018.
With a one stroke win in the FPO division last year and one stroke wins in the MPO division for the past three years, this event has a tendency to come down to the wire. The average margin of victory on the DGPT has dropped from 2.5 to 2.11 this year in the MPO division, and from 4.92 to 4.56 in the FPO division. Winning at the elite level isn’t getting any easier, so expect to see yet another tight battle in Milford this weekend.

Course Changes

The Toboggan course has seen changes each year since becoming a part of the pro tour and 2022 will be no different. Tournament Director Nate Heinold has made the course longer and more difficult for both the MPO and FPO divisions. The big downhill hole 1 has been moved back 39 feet and now plays over 500 feet long. Hole 14 will remain the same in the FPO division, however the MPO teepad has been moved back another 100 feet. The biggest changes are in the middle of the course with holes 9-11 being redesigned for this year. Hole 9 will play 10 feet longer for the FPO division and 101 feet longer for the MPO division, as they will now play to separate baskets. Hole 10 is a complete redesign, playing as a par 4 it is 507 feet to the FPO basket and 650 feet to the MPO basket. Hole 11 has been redesigned as well: playing as a par 3, it is 442 feet to the FPO basket and 512 feet to the MPO basket. Hole 18 will remain the same despite seeing zero birdies in the FPO division for at least four consecutive years.

2021 MPO: 10,159 feet Par 63
2021 FPO: 8,755 feet Par 66

2022 MPO: 10,763 feet Par 64
2022 FPO: 8,955 feet Par 67

Extended Forecast

It should be a beautiful weekend for disc golf in Milford, mostly sunny with low humidity and calm to moderate winds

Friday: Mostly sunny with highs near 80, winds picking up slightly in the afternoon
Saturday: Mostly sunny with highs in the low to mid 80s, calm winds
Sunday: Mostly sunny with highs in the mid 80s, winds picking up slightly in the afternoon

Read on for PrizePicks Lines & Best Bets…

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  1. Justin Westfall
    Justin Westfall

    Justin Westfall is a contributor at Ultiworld Disc Golf who enjoys living in Southern California, where he can play disc golf year-round. Off the course, he works in the film industry and prides himself on being a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan. You can find Justin on Twitter and Instagram @PDGAStats.

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