Originally published at: https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2018/08/08/ledgestone-insurance-open-preview-big-payout-without-big-names/
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The Ledgestone Insurance Open is a big draw every year for touring pros and average joes alike. Why? It’s probably the well-earned reputation for big payouts. This year the total projected pro payout is $107,135. The top Open Women’s finisher will take home $2,300, and the top Open finisher will walk away with a cool $7,000. But not all the top pros reserve this weekend in their calendar for a trip to central Illinois.
In the Open Division, defending Ledgestone Open champion Josh Anthon is making his first tour appearance since the Beaver State Fling. The defending Open Women’s Ledgestone champion Valarie Jenkins, who beat Jessica Weese in a playoff in 2017, will not be in attendance this year. Weese is registered, and the field is stacked. Of the 26 women registered, 13 are rated 900 or better.
StorylinesWysocki Back Stateside and Coming in Hot
Ricky Wysocki is playing his first tournament in the U.S. since he won the Utah Open. At the end of his swing through Europe, he found himself in first place in the EuroProTour points standings after winning the just two of the series’ four events, the Skellefteå Open, and The Open.
Wysocki should be feeling confident coming into Ledgestone, but this tournament has given him fits over the years. Wysocki has never cracked the top three at the event, and his best finish was in 2017 when he finished in fourth.
Allen Angles for Sixth Ledgestone Win, Pierce Playing for First
Catrina Allen has won at Ledgestone five of the seven years that there has been an Open Women’s division except for last year when Allen took sixth, and in 2012 when she did not play. Allen will be entering the weekend fresh off an A-Tier win at The Des Moines Challenge where she won by 10 strokes. That should bolster her confidence after a rough stretch of rounds earlier in July.
Like many of her Trilogy sponsored comrades, Paige Pierce spent most of July in Europe. Ove seas she took third at Tynni, and second at the Skellefteå Open. Pierce has never won at Ledgestone, but she has come close. She finished second in 2016, 2015, and 2012.
While Pierce and Allen have each shown some cracks in the armor over the course of their season, Hokom has been rather more consistent. The sidearm specialist placed second at Idlewild, and has won three of the last five tournaments she has played in since the Beaver State Fling. Hokom won the Ledgestone in 2012 and is certainly a threat to take it down again this year.
The ‘Crush Boys’ are both skipping Ledgestone this year. McMahon stated on Facebook that he is taking a couple weeks off to spend time with family. Lizotte is staying over in Europe to compete in the European Disc Golf Championship before returning stateside for the final leg of the season. We will see both of them again on tour at the MVP Open at Maple Hill.
Valarie Jenkins, last year’s Open Women’s division winner, and Nate Doss will also be absent this weekend, probably working on their business for their brewery.
CoursesJust like last year’s event, the Open and Open Women’s division will be playing different courses.
Lake Eureka Temporary — Buzzz Course (Open, Thursday through Sunday): Par 63, holes 6 and 13 feature A and B pin positions, which means this one plays at two different lengths. During rounds one and four the “A” pins are in play, checking in at 9,647 feet long. During the middle two rounds, the “B” positions are in play on these two holes for a total length of 9,725 feet. Every hole features OB, and 11 on the course bring water into play. The caddy book can be found here.
Northwood Park — Machete Course (Open Women: Thursday, Saturday): Par 58, 6,219 feet. This track, which plays through a park setting and woods, has OB on four holes. This course has been used by both top pro divisions at various times throughout the tournament’s history. The caddy book for Northwood can be found here.
Sunset Hills — Vulture Course (Open Women: Friday, Sunday): Par 59, 6,941 feet. Sunset Hills is located on a golf course and, as is usually the case on these tracks, there is OB aplenty. Every hole except 15 has OB, and most golf course features, save fairways, will play OB. The caddy book for Sunset Hills can be found here.