After a month off the Disc Golf Pro Tour is back in action. This time it's in Stockton, California for the newly renamed OTB Open. It's a world of firsts this weekend. First time a full points event is back in California since 2019, First time at this Leonard Muise designed course and the first tournament back for Simon Lizotte. Simon, after experiencing elbow issues in is throwing elbow, took some time to rehab to start this season. COVID took this event, previously known as the San Francisco Open, off of the schedule last year and in that time organizers found a new title sponsor as well as a new course. The event this year will play all three rounds at the newly designed Swenson Park DGC at Swenson Park Golf Course. It is a massive course measuring in at 11,514 feet with a plethora of OB and water hazards along the way. Despite the length the course plays to a par 66 with only 2 par 5s both of which measure over 1,000 feet. Much like the DDO players will need to throw for distance while keeping the disc in bounds.
This course offers a wide variety of trouble for all manner of players. While some holes will play wide open others will play tight through and around trees. Many baskets lie in the middle of, not only guardian trees, but guardian clusters. Playing for the next shot will be crucial this weekend. OB starts early and often with hole 2 providing OB completely along the right side and a water hazard 25 feet behind the hole. As if that wasn't enough holes 4, 5, 7, 11, 12 and 13 have, what can only be described, as guardian clusters of trees guarding the baskets. If the course itself didn't provide enough problems, wind forecasts for the weekend are setting up to be a doozy. 20-30 mph winds are forecast for Friday's round with 10-20 mph winds forecasted for Saturday and Sunday.
Adam Hammes: He finished Top 5 his last time here despite the fact that was at a different course. He is in great form coming in with 2 top 5s and a top 10 finish in his last three tournaments. He ranks 8th on the circuit in scrambling and 3rd in circle 2 putting which, given the nature of the course, may put him in a great position over the rest of the field.
Drew Gibson: Traditionally known as nothing more than a bomber he has a surprisingly high percentage of fairways hit. Which is on par with even the 1050 boys right now. Gibson has played solid golf in every event this season. If he can put himself in a position to make putts like he has been, he will be a force this weekend.
Simon Lizotte: His first tournament of the year could go one of two ways. He plays out of his mind now that his elbow is back to normal or he struggles all weekend getting back into tournament form. He set's up well for this course provided that he has been given the green light to throw for power. Favoring that throwing elbow could even potentially improve his game. It will force him to play the fairways and not look for those wildly aggressive "Simon Lines" we are used to seeing.
Anthony Barela: AB has struggled finishing so far this year but finished 2nd in the first leg of the California swing last weekend at Goat Hill. He is top 10 in parked rate, birdie rate and C2 in regulation as well as top 15 in fairways hit, C1 in regulation and scrambling. If he can continue to build on his finish last weekend he should find himself in contention as the weekend progresses.
Eagle McMahon: Eagle comes in sitting 5th in the DGPT standings going into the 4th full points event of the year. His 47th place finish in WACO is not doing him any favors and he could use a good finish this weekend to help him chase down Ricky Wysocki and Calvin Heimburg. His world class forehand should help him a lot this weekend with so much OB on the right side. If he can keep himself out of trouble his game sets up well for this course.
Nikko Locastro: Love him or hate him the guy can play. He shapes his shots with the best of them and plays smart. Both of which will prove necessary this weekend. As usual, Nikko has been playing very well this season. He did take a tumble in his last event placing 43rd at the DDO. You can bet Nikko is looking to bounce back in a big way the OTB Open.