The Emporia Gazette
The 2021 Dynamic Discs Open drew more than 1,300 disc golfers and fans to Emporia for a week of record-breaking competition.
Five-time PDGA world champion Paul McBeth took home his fifth DDO win Saturday, marking his third win in a row at the tournament.
According to PDGA.com, McBeth began his championship Saturday campaign with a statement piece. Sitting 60 feet long, and well below the pin on the 1175-foot par-5 hole 1, he connected on a huge circle 2 putt to prevent his three card mates — Calvin Heimburg, Eagle McMahon and Ricky Wysocki — from gaining a stroke.
On the women’s pro open side, 19-year-old Hailey King took home the championship and her first DDO win.
After three rounds of back-and-forth scoring, King pulled away from Catrina Allen at the Emporia Country Club on Saturday for a six-shot victory, her second National Tour victory in as many months and the second PDGA Elite Series win of her young and burgeoning career.
Capping off the tournament with the annual block party, Dynamic Discs owner and event organizer Jeremy Rusco said it was exciting to welcome people back to Emporia after a year of cancellations and shutdowns.
“This has been a super amazing week for us here in Emporia to bring back the disc golf family to the Emporia community — the most welcoming disc golf community in the world,” he said. “We know this is a huge economic boost for our community and our businesses downtown, and we’re super thankful to have 1,300-plus competitors in town and so many of their friends and family in town as well spending money in this great community.”
While there was plenty of excitement on the courses this year, with records being broken by both the MPO and FPO divisions, Rusco said the biggest highlight of the week for him was bringing everyone back to town. What better way to celebrate, he said, than with a downtown block party?
And with Emporia playing host to the 2022 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships as well as the 2022 Dynamic Discs Open, he said next year will be an even bigger year for disc golf in Emporia.
“I’m really looking forward to being host here to the 2022 Professional World Championships and continuing to see disc golf grow here in Emporia,” Rusco said.
One of the many people out enjoying the evening was McBeth.
McBeth told The Gazette that this win felt good.
“This one’s been a little different because it’s been a slower year for me, so it feels good to get in the winner’s circle,” he said. “To be here in Emporia where I’ve won before, it feels really good; like a good kickstart for the rest of the year.”
McBeth, from Huntington Beach, Calif., said he enjoys coming back to Emporia for its small town vibe and welcoming community.
“I love how the community comes together here and I love all these locally owned businesses,” he said.
The next big disc golf event this year is the 2021 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships set for July 7 - 10 in Emporia.