Sarah Hokom and Paul McBeth Capture First World Titles

The 2012 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships have come to an end. After an exhausting week for many, with hundreds of disc golfers quickly disappearing from the Charlotte, North Carolina area it feels a little sad to see this successful event become a part of history. The finals on Saturday, June 21, ended with 24 World Champions being crowned, with a very dramatic finish in the Women’s Open division.

Just days before, it seemed that the Men’s Open division had the tightest race, but instead, the drama was between the top three women, Sarah Hokom, Valarie Jenkins and Catrina Allen. Allen and Jenkins traded at second place several times, but by the ninth and final hole, it was Hokom and Jenkins who were tied for first place and it all came down to the wire between the two. Jenkins drive went a little too far to the left, but Hokom’s came very close to going out of bounds. As luck would have it for Sarah, the disc bounced on the curb and up onto the grass, instead of rolling into the parking lot as many had done before that afternoon. Still, she had a difficult shot to make with a 25 foot putt up the hill. If she made it, she’d have the win, and nearly everyone before who was faced with a similar shot had failed. In front of the biggest gallery in the history of the World’s, and the pressure that came with it, she sunk the disc into the heart of the basket to capture her first World title and become the 2012 Women’s World Champion amid happy tears and the applause of the crowd.

All of the top four women were very impressive, with three-time World Champion

Paul McBeth just after becoming the 2012 Disc Golf World Champion

Jenkins making a very close comeback and Allen just barely missing her first world title as well. Courtney McCoy had a rather amazing week, especially considering that she hadn’t played disc golf for six years after taking time off to raise a family. She ended up at fourth place out of the 30 women who were competing in the division.

22-year-old Paul “McBeast” McBeth held onto his lead in the Men’s Open division to take her first world title and become the 2012 Disc Golf World Champion while the 2011 PDGA Rookie of the Year, Ricky Wysocki, finished in second place. Will Schusterick came in at third,  while local favorite Michael Johansen finished in fourth place. .

In the Masters division, it was “The Champ,” Kenny Climo, who had declared his intention to become the “greatest Masters Champion ever to play the game,” who captured the world title with a final score of 66-under par.  He also became the first player to ever become a World Champion in both the Open and Master’s divisions.  Barry Schultz came at second scoring 57-under par, while JohnE McCray followed at third place at just a throw behind.

Susan Stephens of Dorr, Michigan won the Women’s Masters division, while Johnny Sias of Lavalette, West Virginia captured the victory in the Grandmasters division and Anni Kreml of Richmond, Virginia took her second consecutive Women’s Grandmasters division title.

Rick Voakes won the Senior Grandmasters division and Pete Lay won the Legends division.

Spencer Wilken won the Advanced division, while Michelle Frazer took the Women’s Advanced division. Local Craig “PP” Wesnofske won the Advanced Masters division, while Michelle Horn won the Women’s Advanced Masters division and James Elkins captured the victory in the Advanced Grandmasters division. Carla Dee Proffitt won the Women’s Advanced Grandmasters division and Jim Banbury took the victory in the Advanced Senior Grandmasters division while Bill Charron, Sr. won the Advanced Legends division.

The oldest to be crowned World Champion was 75-year-old Carlos Rigby of Alexandria, Virginia, the winner of the Senior Legends division, while the youngest winner was Forest Deason of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma who won the 10 and under Boys division. Forrest flashed a big grin as he remarked, “It feels very good and very exciting (to be the World Champion).”  His goal is to become the World Champion in the Open division someday, and those of us who had the pleasure of meeting him wouldn’t be surprised if he did just that.

Other  Junior division winners included Adam Morrison, Justin Lammers, Vivian Dillen, Devyon Baldwin, Alex Lambert and Desiree Duran.