Originally published at: https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2020/09/02/ultiworld-disc-golf-mpo-power-rankings-september-3-2020/
Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen – DGPT
Can we take a minute to acknowledge that the Power Rankings are a bit wonky this year thanks to the coronavirus outbreak? Because our objective metric compares strength of field and purse, among other statistical measures, the European women—currently unable to travel to the United States—are most impacted. Real talk. The big three, Eveliina Salonen, Henna Blomroos, and Kristin Tattar, are top 5 players, and many of the 900+ rated crowd would easily make the top 25. Per Aaron Howard, “We didn’t think our metric would require a worldwide pandemic variable.” Leave us a comment: who would make our top 25 if the European swing had come to pass?
Methodology: We combine an algorithmic objective ranking with subjective ballots submitted by UWDG staff and subscribers. The algorithm uses a standardized scoring model to compare elite events, awards competition and cash bonuses, and features a decay function that gradually phases out past results. Staff and subscribers consider results from the past two months, prioritizing elite events in the U.S. and Europe. The most recent month receives priority over the previous month. Voters may consider other PDGA sanctioned events but observe the following hierarchy: Elite > A-tiers > B-tiers > C-tiers. For this edition of the Power Rankings, we prioritized the following tournaments:
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Let’s get to the results!
Power Rankings Top 10 are available to all Ultiworld Disc Golf readers. Want the entire top 25? You’ll have to be a subscriber.
1. Eagle McMahon
Last Month: 1st Place- Sparkman Monster (B Tier), Idlewild Open (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – Discraft Great Lakes Open, Idlewild Open
McMahon takes our top spot thanks to his win at Idlewild. McMahon is the only player to win two DGPT events this season, and is looking like he is the best player in the game right now. McMahon’s previous Elite Event wins all came on courses that were either wide open (The Memorial, GBO etc…) or more park style courses with some wooded elements (Konopiste, Beaver State). Idlewild is McMahon’s first Elite Event win at an undeniably WOODED course and should silence any lingering questions about if he could take down a W in the trees.
2. Richard Wysocki
Last Month: 4th Place- Idlewild Open, 1st Place- Ledgestone
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st Place – Ledgestone
Making another leap for the second rankings in a row, Wysocki is our no. 2 player at the moment. Wysocki has been looking progressively stronger and more healthy all season, and his win at Ledgestone would certainly suggest he is back to feeling himself. Wysocki’s win at Ledgestone is especially impressive given the challenges both courses presented, the mid-western heat, and that Ledgestone was our first four round tournament of the season.
3. Chris Dickerson
Last Month: 1st Place- Where World’s Woulda Been (B Tier), 2nd Place- River City Open (A Tier), Idlewild Open (DGPT), 3rd Place- Ledgestone
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 2nd Place- DGLO, Idlewild Open
Much of the discourse around Chris Dickerson over the past few weeks has been related to his slow starts at Elite Events, and his hard charges on Sunday. Some have suggested that he isn’t preparing well, or that there is some psychological factor at play here. I would suggest folks take a step back and consider that of the six A-tiers, including four elite events, that Dickerson has played this year he has only missed the podium once–an eighth place finish at DDO. Start putting some respect on the man’s name.
4. Paul McBeth
Last Month: 5th Place- Idlewild Open, 2nd Place- Ledgestone
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – Dynamic Discs Open (DGPT)
McBeth continues his slide down our rankings. McBeth played well at Ledgestone, but was well out of contention when the final round started, and did not do well at Idlewild. McBeth hasn’t been in contention for the win since DDO, and one has to wonder how his ankle is holding up.
5. Calvin Heimburg
Last Month: 11th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 6th Place- Ledgestone (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st place – The Memorial
Heimburg drops a couple spots to sixth after missing the top 10 at Idlewild, and a solo sixth place finish at Ledgestone. It’s hard to maintain the high level of play Heimburg showed at the start and middle of the season, and a fall back to earth was almost inevitable. The poor showing at Idlewild may be a source for concern as we head into the more woods course dominated portion of the season.
6. Kevin Jones
Last Month: 1st Place- Mid America Open, 14th Place- Idlewild Open, 5th Place- Ledgestone Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 4th Place- DGLO
Jones is still in search of his first Elite series win this season. Jones has had his shots for sure, having been in or tied for the lead at several events, including Ledgestone where he was the leader after the first round.
7. Nikko Locastro
Last Month: 3rd Place- Mid America Open (DGPT Silver Series), 18th Place- Idlewild Open, 4th Place- Ledgestone
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 1st Place- The Preserve Championship
Since his win at The Preserve, Locastro has been a bit up and down, but mostly up. Locastro has only missed the top 10 twice since the season re-start. Idlewild ate him up a bit, but his showing at Ledgestone is nothing to sneeze at.
8. Adam Hammes
Last Month: 2nd Place- Mid America Open (DGPT Silver Series), 5th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 47th Place- Ledgestone
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 5th Place- Idlewild Open
Hammes’s second place at Mid America is definitely worth nothing, and more in keeping with his pre-Covid shut down play in 2020. Hammes had a rough outing at Ledgestone, but if you look at his career, he usually bounces back strong from showings like those.
9. Andrew Marwede
Last Month: 1st Place- River City Open (A Tier), 3rd Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 2nd Place- Ledgestone Flex (C Tier), 11th Place- Ledgestone (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 3rd Place- Idlewild Open
Marwede makes his 2020 Power Rankings debut thanks to three straight podium finishes post-DGLO. He is the lowest rated player in our top 10, but as Charlie would say, it’s all about how you finish, and Marwede has strung together some impressive finishes this season and especially over the past month.
10. Drew Gibson
Last Month: 51st Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 7th Place- Ledgestone (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 4th place – The Memorial
Glass Cannon Gibson couldn’t keep things under control at Idlewild, but a top 10 Ledgestone finish will do a lot of good for you.
Top 25 continues below.
11. Paul Ulibarri
Last Month: 3rd Place- Mid America Open (DGPT Silver Series, 14th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 1st- Ledgestone Flex (C Tier), 16th Place- Ledgestone Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 5th Place- WACO
Ulibarri has yet to crack the top 10 at an Elite series event since the season re-start, but he is almost a mortal lock for the top 20, and that’s where he finds himself in our rankings. Ulibarri has said many times that at this point in his career he really only cares about the Major titles, and frankly, it shows. With USDGC in the not-so-distant future, be on the look out for Uli to step his game up.
12. Andrew Presnell
Last Month: 13th Place- Mid America Open (DGPT Silver Series), 22nd Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 30th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT), 1st Place- Return of the Little Big Show
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 9th Place- DGLO
Presnell fans must be turning out the vote in a big way. Presnell has been outside the top 10 at every Elite event this season excluding DGLO, but we do seem to be hearing and seeing more of him these days.
13. Niklas Anttila
Last Month: 1st Place- Finnish Nationals 2020 (XA Tier)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: N/A
Anttila is your 2020 Finnish Champion and that, dear reader, is impressive. Anttila bested Jesse Nieminen in a playoff, besting 19 players in the field rated 1000 or better. Could Anttila be the next European to challenge the MPO field at Elite events when travel restrictions are lifted?
14. James Conrad
Last Month: 44th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT). 64th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 3rd Place- The Preserve Championship
Let’s be honest, Conrad has struggled to find his footing this season. The reigning US Champion has a handful of top 10 finishes at DGPT events, but no podiums and some pretty rough showings. He is by his own admission not a huge fan of the style of play courses we’ve seen this season. Perhaps the East Coast will be an opportunity for him to turn things around.
15. Ezra Robinson
Last Month: 7th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT). 11th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 7th Place- Idlewild Open
Who is this kid, you might be asking yourself. Well, I think you’re about to find out. Robinson has been playing MPO since 2016. He was also playing Junior II Boys at that time. Robinson is one of those regional powerhouses who has occasionally shown up for tour events and done reasonably well, but if what he showed at Idlewild and Ledgestone is any indication, we’ll want to see more of him in the coming years.
16. Emerson Keith
Last Month: 44th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 21st Place- Ledgestone (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 3rd Place- Dynamic Discs Open
Keith slips a couple spots thanks to missing the top 20 in two consecutive events. We’ll cut the young father some slack, though. He’s got a lot going on. We expect he’ll show up big during the home stretch of the season, he’s just too talented to stay in this slump.
17. Austin Hannum
Last Month: 7th Place- River City Open (A Tier), 14th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 10th Place- Ledgestone (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 10th Place- Ledgestone
Hannum feels like a player on the cusp of being a top 10 regular finisher, he just needs to clean a couple things up and play with confidence.
18. Garrett Gurthie
Last Month: 25th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 11th Place- Ledgestone
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 6th place – The Memorial
Gurthie, like Conrad, just hasn’t been able to put it together this season. After a top-tier 2019, Gurthie may be coming back to earth a bit.
19. Philo Brathwaite
Last Month: 53rd Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 21st Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT), 3rd Place- Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 10th Place- Dynamic Discs Open
Philo may be 17 in our rankings, but he’s probably no. 1 in our hearts. Go ahead and watch the CCDG coverage of the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open and you’ll see why he is always a mainstay on our power rankings. Brathwaite has all the silky smooth form a person could ask for, and if you’re looking ahead, he is always a threat at USDGC.
20. Chris Clemons
Last Month: 29th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 25th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT), 1st Place- Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 15th Place- DGLO
A win in Pittsburgh may be what the lefty needs to get his 2020 into gear. In 2019, Clemons came on late to make some noise, let’s see if history will repeat itself, as he still hasn’t cracked the top 20 at any DGPT events this season.
21. Jeremy Koling
Last Month: 5th Place- River City Open (A Tier), 7th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 2nd Place- Ledgestone Flex (C Tier), 30th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 7th Place- Idlewild Open
BAW GAWD, IS THAT JEREMY KOLING’S THEME MUSIC!?!?! Koling’s seventh place showing at Idlewild helps him climb back into our rankings. This may be a flash in the pan, or it could signal a return to form for the tall side-arm specialist.
22. Simon Lizotte
Last Month: 1st Place- Lost Valley Open (B Tier), Vacationland Open (B Tier), 4th Place- Greater Hartford Disc Golf Open (A Tier)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 2nd Place- The Preserve Championship
Lizotte has opted to stay closer to home during this stretch of tour, and has cashed in on some wins in New England. This causes him to drop a couple spots in our rankings, but we expect him to show up big at his adopted home course for the MVP Open in a couple weeks.
23. Eric Oakley
Last Month: 29th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 76th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT),
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 17th Place- The Preserve Championship
Oakley has had a pretty meh season so far, still looking for his first top 15 finish since the re-start.
24. Anthony Barela
Last Month: 13th Place- Mid America Open (DGPT Silver Series), 25th Place- Idlewild Open (DGPT), 11th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 10th Place- WACO
Barela got some lead card shine at Ledgestone, and was probably an OB long away from cracking the top 10.
25. Gregg Barsby
Last Month: 15th Place- River City Open (A Tier), 7th Place- Ledgestone Open (DGPT)
2020 Best Elite Series Finish: 7th Place- Ledgestone Open
Barsby is back in our top 25 owing to a very strong showing at Ledgestone.
Want to see how the voting shook out? See the complete objective voter tallies for MPO.