Originally published at: https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2019/05/03/303-open-preview-rocky-mountain-high/
The 303 Open is not a new event, but 2019 will be the first time we’re getting to see the Colorado showdown in all its glory.
Tournament Director Kyle Maute of Disc Golf Colorado has steadily raised the event from a C-tier into a Disc Golf Pro Tour Test Event inside of a decade, and believes the tournament can continue to bring touring pros to the region for years to come.
“The first goal was to grow to a B-tier. After that it was to become an A-tier within five years; We accomplished that in three,” Maute said. “After that, it was to find a place on the national stage within 10 years. This year will be our ninth event, and we believe we are in good position to achieve that goal as well.
“Whether we are an official DGPT stop in 2020 or not, I think players will be coming back to play the 303.”
Title sponsor Discmania and video coverage by Gatekeeper Media is helping bring more eyes to the 303. Crush Boyz Eagle McMahon, Simon Lizotte, as well as Discmania teammate Colten Montgomery, bring some firepower to the MPO field. They’ll be joined by Michael Johansen and Grady Shue in players looking to knockoff defending champ and local legend Joe Rovere.
And while the MPO field looks entertaining, more impressive is the 15 player Open Women’s division which includes eight 900+ rated players. Maute attributes the FPO turnout to several factors.
“First and most important, this year we made sure to look at the course from the women’s perspective,” Maute said. “The goal for the women’s layout is to provide a fair amount of scoring opportunities with the chance for them to go low, but still be difficult. We have some active and knowledgeable ladies in the area that were very helpful with their thoughts and input.
“We also have players in the field with Colorado roots, including defending FPO World Champion Paige Bjerkaas and Kona Panis, making it a logical stop for them,” Maute continued. “Another big factor is the success of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Disc Golf Championship that is held in Denver on odd years. This event has consistently brought the top women in the world to Denver and will again this summer.”
Joining Bjerkaas and Panis will be Lisa Fajkus, Rebecca Cox, Holly Finley, Hailey King, Callie McMorran, and Missy Gannon.
Camenisch Park Safari Layout: MPO – 10,141 feet, par 67; FPO – 8,524 feet, par 64
We’ll let Maute describe the tournament course:
“As a safari layout built from two 18 hole layouts, the course has constantly evolved. Some of the holes that have created scoring or back up issues in the past have been eliminated. Other holes have been improved or removed entirely. We have also made a conscious effort to minimize the use of OB lines, and to ‘take the reins off.’
“It will challenge players with distance drives and approaches, shot selection, elevation, not only the altitude, but the elevation changes on the course as well. Combine that with the typical windy day at the property and we have a course that we are confident will test every player in the field.”
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