The start of summertime tends to be synonymous with talks about the current year’s Ledgestone Open in Eureka, Illinois, and whether it’s the potential to win serious amounts of cash or the copious amounts of OB, there’s always a lot of chatter on the internet. This year was no different, as disc golf fans were on the edge of their seats wondering who would be the one to take home first place.
Exciting and dramatic almost don’t do it justice, as the Open division had some pretty incredible events take place to lead Nate Sexton to victory. On the ladies’ side of competition, the usual names were scattered across the scoreboard and ended up granting Jessica Weese the win. Let’s see how the action unfolded!
A big arm doesn’t necessarily guarantee success at the Ledgestone Open, as the Lake Eureka course incorporates OB, water, and just enough trees to force players to take calculated risks instead of going for distance. After Thursday’s round, it was clear that this event would not look like many of the others.
Although we saw the likes of Garrett Gurthie, AJ Risley, and Nate Sexton near the top of the list, typically strong performing players didn’t fare so well. Paul McBeth shared 38th place after day one, and Ricky Wysocki managed to put himself nine back from the number one position. Ledgestone favorites Eagle McMahon and Simon Lizotte were absent from this year’s tournament.
The women’s division alternated between courses at Northwood and Sunset, and while Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen played pretty clean on Thursday, it was Jessica Weese who came out of the gate with a clear intention to win.
Lots Of Changes
Friday and Saturday were both responsible for quite the shuffle in the men’s field, and while some players dropped down after battling with the grueling course, others finally figured it out and excelled. One such player really had things click for him, as AJ Risley rose to the lead card and stayed there through the final round on Sunday.
The FPO competitors also took matters into their own hands as each gave it their all to beat out Weese’s 953-rated round on Thursday. Friday saw Rebecca Cox shoot bogey-free and Saturday Sarah Hokom dished out a 999-rated round to put herself in contention for the win.
Dealing With The Pressure
Disc golf doesn’t only require amazing skills to shoot the lowest score possible but it takes a strong amount of mental determination to either grab hold of or maintain a lead. Weese was victorious in doing just that and narrowly edged out Hokom by two strokes to take home her first Ledgestone title.
For AJ Risley, his luck wasn’t quite as strong. Despite going into the final round with a few strokes over second place, the pressure got to him and he ended up shooting even for the day after taking an 8 on hole 9. Ultimately rising through the ranks was Nate Sexton, who secured his first Ledgestone win over Chris Dickerson. Sexton was rewarded with a huge prize of $7,000 and will no doubt have even more confidence as he moves on to the next DGPT stop at Maple Hill.
Congratulations to this year’s winners – we can’t wait to see what Ledgestone has in store for 2019!