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Enjoy Jacky Chen Because We'll Never See Someone Like Him Again

Originally published at: https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2020/02/12/enjoy-jacky-chen-well-never-see-someone-like/

Jacky Chen Asia Open

Jacky Chen, the 22-year-old Taiwanese thrower who stole our hearts from afar by capturing an Asia Open win over seasoned pros in his first PDGA-sanctioned event since registering with the governing body a couple of months ago, may be in a class all his own.

With Chen’s first official rating coming in at 1040 on Monday, he joined an elite group of players to even be in the 1040 club, let alone doing it by going from 0 to 1040 immediately.

Going to go out on a not very long limb and say Chen will be the only player to ever reach a rating as high as 1040 with their first PDGA player rating.

It goes without saying1 that you have to play against a stacked field to average something like 1040 over three rounds. With the PDGA recently instituting a rating-minimum at elite events — Open Majors, National Tour, Disc Golf Pro Tour — we have effectively eliminated the outside chance of someone appearing on the scene at a tournament with a number of high-ranked players and approaching those ratings heights.

Could it still happen at a well-attended A-tier or B-tier, or even sanctioned league round? I mean, yeah, it could. We all know a local at our course who hasn’t sniffed tournament play but could beat anyone on their home track on any given day. It just takes the perfect combination of factors for an opportunity at a 1040 rating to even present itself.

It could also be argued that it’s easier to have one hot event right from the start than to raise your rating from say 1035 to 1040 over more than one rating update, but considering how difficult it is to even throw one round at 1040, you’re really just splitting hairs.

So unless ratings get inflated beyond current recognition it will take a long time for someone to best Chen’s feat. We’re betting against it ever happening.

  1. saying it anyway