At the start of the year, Discmania’s Jussi Meresmaa called 2018 the Year of the Shield. At that point in time, it seemed as if the 2018 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships were eons away. We now find ourselves on the eve of the disc golf tournament that pros everywhere have been eyeing ever since last year’s Pro Worlds came to an end.
Team Discmania has traveled the world racking up numerous wins and countless top finishes. From the PDGA National Tour, Majors, Disc Golf Pro Tour, and tournaments in between, Team Discmania always had a presence on the leaderboard this season.
Every drive, approach, and putt has been in preparation for this weekend’s tournament. With a number of team members registered, the Year of the Shield is ready for Pro Worlds at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont.
Eleven members of Team Discmania will be in Vermont to compete for disc golf’s top prize. Eagle McMahon and Simon Lizotte lead the team as the third and fourth highest rated disc golfers in the world.
McMahon has a number of highlights to his credit in 2018 including his first PDGA National Tour win at the Las Vegas Challenge to open the season. He followed those up with wins at the Glass Blown Open, Beaver State Fling, and Konopiste Open which marked his first PDGA Major victory in his career.
Lizotte has put together an equally as impressive year with two very notable wins starting with the Memorial Championship in March. The biggest win of the season came just weeks ago at the 2018 European Disc Golf Championships where Lizotte claimed his second European title.
Grady Shue, the 2017 PDGA Rookie of the Year, has quietly put together a very nice resume in the 2018 season. Shue has claimed top-10 finishes in seven of the biggest tournaments this year: Memorial Championships, Glass Blown Open, Nick Hyde Memorial, Utah Open, St. Louis Open, Great Lakes Open, and MVP Open.
McMahon, Lizotte, and Shue will be joined by Nate Perkins, Avery Jenkins, Colten Montgomery, Bart Kowalewski, Thunder Schultz, AJ Carey, Steve Braud, and Bob Kulchuk.
2018 Pro Worlds Courses
The beautiful Smugglers’ Notch Resort is graced with two championship-caliber courses designed to give disc golfers the ultimate test.
Fox Run Disc Golf Course
Fox Run Disc Golf Course is a long, open course that demands distance and control. The Gold Tees measure in at 9,345 feet (2,848 meters). While out of bounds come into play on a number of holes, pros will be greeted with many open fairways and room to let the disc fly. Accuracy is still in demand as fairways are narrower than they might appear.
You’ll also come across a number of holes that begin wide open with the basket placement surrounded by trees.
Brewster Ridge comes in much shorter and much more wooded than Fox Run. Brewster Ridge is only 7,760 feet (2,365 meters), but that doesn’t mean it is a cakewalk. The wooded holes have tight fairways and difficult greens. A course like this will test even the best disc golfers on both their mental game and how they can stay out of trouble.
The combination of courses provides a full package to help determine who is the 2018 World Champion.
2018 Pro Worlds Format
The Men’s Open division begins play on Wednesday, September 5 with one round scheduled for each day through Saturday before a cut is made for the finals. The Men’s Open division is split into two pools with the highest rated disc golfers in Pool A and remaining put into Pool B. Women’s Open plays in Pool C.
The tournament begins for the men in Pool A at Fox Run with tee times starting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Pool B plays in the afternoon at Brewster Ridge as Pool C hits the course in the morning.
The pools will flip courses on Thursday with Pool A heading to Brewster Ridge for the first time in the tournament. The pools will shuffle to put the top part of the leaderboard in Pool A while others will shift to Pool B. Friday’s schedule matches what was played on Wednesday just as Saturday’s schedule mirrors Thursday.
After the fourth round, the Men’s field will be cut from 231 to the top 92 and ties for the finals. The women’s field will be cut from 49 to the top 20 and ties.
Sunday’s finals take place at Fox Run with Pool C playing first followed by Pool A.