2012 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships Expected to be an Exciting Battle

The 2012 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships kicked off on Saturday, July 14 with the pros, amateur and juniors doubles competitions. Amid the searing North Carolina heat , it was the defending champions, Catrina Allen and Paul Ulibarri who were crowned champions once again.

With many choosing Allen as a favorite to win the Worlds, she’s definitely off to a great head start, while this may give Ulibarri the boost of confidence he needs to take it all the way in the Men’s Open division.

Allen and Ulibarri ended the doubles competition with a final score of 17-under par, along with the 2011 PDGA Women’s World Champion Paige Pierce and Devon Owens from Owasso, Oklahoma, but it was Allen and Ulibarri who ultimately won in overtime, taking $500 in cash for their efforts. Second place finishers Pierce and Owens took home $340. Debbie Scott and Mark Huether won the Amateur Mixed Doubles competition with a final score of 8-under par, taking home $250.

The Junior Divisional Doubles saw Steven Jacobs and Dillon Vallance take the prize scoring 23-under par while Peter McBride and Brock Dowell won the Boys under 16 division.

On Sunday, many of the pros were out practicing at Renaissance Park and I had the opportunity to speak with them in regard to what they’re doing to prepare for the Worlds as well as how they’re dealing with the extreme heat and humidity in Charlotte.

Gregg Barsby came out from Grass Valley, California. He had a unique way of preparing himself for the weather. Barsby said he “wore sweats and sweatshirts” for a couple of weeks, despite the summer heat of the Sierra foothills. He said he feels like it has really paid off, and he’s not having as much difficult adjusting as some of the other players. It sounds like it was worth the teasing he got back at home for his odd choice in clothing.

2008 PDGA World Champion Dave Feldberg is from Portland, Oregon and it’s been a little more difficult for him to adjust. He noted that the “humidity here, has been a real kicker,” negatively affected his distance shots, adding, “If it doesn’t improve quickly, I’ll have a problem in the Worlds.”

Jeremy Koling, the 2009 PDGA Rookie of the Year, is a local who has been playing disc golf for six years. He may have a bit of an advantage here being a little more comfortable with the extreme climate in addition to having played the area’s courses many times.  Koling’s first round of disc golf was played at Renaissance Park.

There is a lot of excitement as to who the World Champions will be in 2012, but there is no doubt that these dedicated, hard working players are sure to make this an event to remember.