May 18, 2022

DGPT All-Star Weekend 2022: Event Preview, Preliminary Results, Schedule and Format

With sunny skies and highs near 80 degrees, Tucson, Arizona will serve as an inviting host as professional disc golf returns for a new season.

The Disc Golf Pro Tour All-Star Weekend kicks off today at the El Conquistador Resort on a temporary new course at Pusch Ridge Golf Course, co-designed by Pete Ulibarri and Jeremy Herr, the latter being the TD of the Arizona State Championships held at the same property in 2021.

On Thursday evening, the four team captains – Eagle McMahon, Calvin Heimburg, Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen – each selected their teams via a snake draft, selecting players from each slot for the three different skill categories: distance, accuracy and putting. The surprise addition of “jokers” – an extra pair of players in both MPO and FPO – added further intrigue.

“We kind of thought, wouldn’t it be fun to add some wild cards to spice up the event?” DGPT CEO Jeff Spring said at yesterday’s press conference. “We’re having fun with this exposure, the new Ryder Cup style team format.”

Let’s break it all down.

The teams

The team captains selected the teams in a snake draft, with the highest ranked player selecting first. Here are the teams and the draft order:

McMahon Team Team Heimburg The Pierce Team Katherine Team
Eagle McMahon (C) Calvin Heimburg (C) Paige Pierce (C) Catrina Allen (C)
Chris Dickerson (1) Adam Hammes (2) Missy Gannon (1) Sarah Hokom (2)
Kevin Jones (4) Kyle Klein (3) Hailey King (4) Holly Finley* (3)
Drew Gibson (5) James Conrad (6) Kona Panis (5) Jessica Weese (6)
Garrett Gurthie* (8) Matt Orum (7) Ohn Scoggins (8) Lisa Fajkus (7)
Gannon Buhr (9) Ezra Aderhold (10) Heather Young (9) Deann Carey (10)
Nikko Locastro (12) Paul Ulibarri* (11) Madison Walker* (12) Rebecca Cox (11)

Note that each team had to have a wildcard player.

At Twitter, 63% of respondents said Team McMahon would win Team Heimburg; 92% of respondents chose Team Pierce over Team Allen.

The MPO and FPO teams compete separately, with a cash prize awarded to each player on the winning teams.

Here’s the full video from last night’s draft:

Draft video

The Basic All-Star Weekend Format

All-Star Weekend is a three-day event, featuring a skills competition on Friday, a doubles stroke match on Saturday, and a singles stroke match on Sunday. The MPO and FPO teams compete separately.

Teams look to score points by winning each element of the head-to-head competition. There are a total of 13 points available.

Fridays starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the skills competition has three different categories: distance, accuracy and putt.

Distance [1 pt]: Throw as far as possible without going out of bounds. The four players involved will get multiple attempts to throw their farthest shot. Each player’s longest shot in feet becomes their score. The scores for each pairing are added together; the highest combined score wins the point.

Here are the distance matches:

  • Drew Gibson/Garrett Gurthie (Team McMahon) vs. Calvin Heimburg/Ezra Aderhold (Team Heimburg)
  • Paige Pierce/Kona Panis (Team Pierce) vs. Catrina Allen/Jessica Weese (Team Allen)

Precision [1 pt]: Bring it as close as possible to the basket to earn the most points. There will be several mandatory, requiring left to right, right to left, keep it above and keep it under fire. The target area offers decreasing points from ace to bullseye to circle 1 to circle 2. The team that scores the most points wins the precision contest.

Here are the precision matches:

  • Kevin Jones/Nikko Locastro (Team McMahon) vs. Kyle Klein/Matt Orum (Team Heimburg)
  • Hailey King/Madison Walker (Team Pierce) vs. Sarah Hokom/Rebecca Cox (Team Allen)

Putting [1 pt]: Make putts in circle 1 and circle 2, both open and obstructed. Players will put on an elevated basket at 20 feet, 25 feet, 25 feet obstructed, edge of the circle (33 feet), edge of the obstructed circle, 45 feet and edge of C2 (66 feet). The best combined performance in the putt wins the putt contest.

Here are the putt matches:

  • Eagle McMahon/Chris Dickerson/Gannon Buhr (Team McMahon) vs. Adam Hammes/James Conrad/Paul Ulibarri (Team Heimburg)
  • Missy Gannon/Ohn Scoggins/Heather Young (Team Pierce) vs. Holly Finley/Lisa Fajkus/Deann Carey (Team Allen)

On Saturday, the players will go head-to-head best move in doubles stroke play. The doubles teams have not yet been announced by the captains. The combined seeds of each pair will determine the ranking order of the competition. Generic players (Gurthie, Ulibarri, Walker and Finley) will not compete in doubles. There are 3 points available in doubles, 1 point for each match.

On Sunday, the players will go head-to-head simple moveplay. Matchups are determined by the initial seeds entering the event (not the order of the draft). 7 points are available, one point in each match.

Here are the MPO singles matches (Team McMahon vs. Team Heimburg):

  • Eagle McMahon vs. Calvin Heimburg
  • Kevin Jones vs. Adam Hammes
  • Nikko Locastro vs. Kyle Klein
  • Chris Dickerson vs. James Conrad
  • Drew Gibson vs. Ezra Aderhold
  • Gannon Buhr vs. Matt Orum
  • Garrett Gurthie vs. Paul Ulibarri

Here are the FPO singles matches (Team Pierce vs. Team Allen):

  • Paige Pierce vs. Catrina Allen
  • Missy Gannon vs. Sarah Hokom
  • Hailey King vs. Jessica Weese
  • Kona Panis vs. Lisa Fajkus
  • Heather Young vs. Deann Carey
  • Ohn Scoggins vs. Rebecca Cox
  • Madison Walker vs Holly Finley

The lesson

The temporary 18-hole course is an all-new design, built atop the 9-hole Pusch Ridge golf course on the El Conquistador resort by Pete Ulibarri and Jeremy Herr. The MPO layout is a par 57 of 8,601 feet; the FPO layout is a par 60 of 7,867 feet. MPO will play 15 par 3 and 3 par 4. FPO will play 15 par 3 and 3 par 5.

“About half the course will be great for exhibitions – ace runs, I have to get that birdie – and the other half will be very difficult,” Spring said.

As this is an Arizona golf course, there will be a large number of open shots, although the trees along the golf fairways come into play on some holes. Each hole has out of bounds areas and water hazards come into play on two holes.

here is complete caddy book.

Schedule and how to watch

Live coverage of the 2022 DGPT All-Star Weekend will be available at Disc golf network with some actions broadcast on the DGPT YouTube channel.

Friday’s skills competition and Saturday’s doubles game will be exclusively available on Disc Golf Network for subscribers, with FPO action beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday and 10:00 a.m. Eastern the Saturday. MPO action begins at 6 p.m. ET on Friday and 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Sunday’s singles matches to wrap up the event will air on both DGN and YouTube at 10 a.m. (FPO) and 2:30 p.m. (DFO).

Here’s our full article on how to watch.

Scenarios

Even though this is purely an exhibition event, it still marks the unofficial start of the 2022 professional disc golf season. This is the first chance to see players compete live since last October at the DGPT Championship.

There are key players missing this weekend. Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki and Kristin Tattar have all declined invitations. McBeth starts his season in March, Wysocki is working on the composition of his new plastic Dynamic Discs and Tattar discovered it too late to rearrange his trip from Estonia.

But the players present are still some of the best in the sport.

New plastic

Many players will be unveiling new bags this weekend. In DFO, Chris Dickerson (Prodigy→Discraft), Matt Orum (Prodigy→Westside) and Nikko Locastro (Westside→Gateway/Clash Discs) will launch new discs. In FPO, Catrina Allen (Prodigy→DGA), Hailey King (Discraft→Innova), Kona Panis (Innova→Dynamic Discs) and Madison Walker (Aria → MVP) make a change.

How well will the players deal with a chaotic offseason in the sponsor department? There will be plenty of opportunities to gauge their feel for their new plastic with skill challenges putting them to the test from the start.

A springboard for the whole season?

Last year, Kona Panis’ victory at All-Star Weekend foreshadowed their success later in the year. She had her best season as a professional, won her first Elite Series event at the Waco Annual Charity Open, and eventually signed a huge contract with Dynamic Discs as her reward.

Although this year’s event does not have an individual winner, good play this weekend could suggest a potential breakthrough into the competitive rounds later in the year. Can the precocious Gannon Buhr continue to raise his star after a semi-final appearance in the DGPT Championship? Could fuller touring schedules for Dickerson and Orum translate into more success? Could Hailey King’s move to Innova take her to new heights?

It’s an exhibition, have fun with it

Sure, there’s a bit of money involved, and these players are all understandably very competitive, but it’s a fun event that players probably won’t take too seriously. And that’s fine. A little banter back and forth will be refreshing compared to the often subdued interactions during competitive play.

Skills competitions should be a lot of fun. This year’s format also removes the weirdness of last year’s doubles play combined with singles play, which essentially put some players out of contention on Sunday. The team format will create a more friendly atmosphere and every day will be dramatic. Even if a team sweeps all the points in skills and doubles, it is still possible for the following team to win if they sweep the competition in singles.

And the trash talk is already starting. Calvin called Eagle in the draft for putting Chris Dickerson in the bet after Dickerson won the Skillshot Challenge, a precision contest at the World Championships last year. And Paige Pierce predicted on his Instagram story that his team will sweep. Microphone players!



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