This weekend, beginning tomorrow, Thursday, in fact, in my home state, we’ll be having a ball– without a ball. The eyes of the disc golf world will turn to Peoria, Illinois and the Ledgestone Insurance Open, presented by Discraft. It’s kind of a big deal.
More than a thousand players have registered for the three-day, A-Tier event, which begins tomorrow, Aug. 18 at 8:00 a.m. CDT. The tournament boasts the largest total payout in the history of our sport. Last year, the total pro purse topped $117,000 and the men’s open winner, Simon Lizotte, took home $6,600. This year, the player’s packs alone have an estimated value of $250! (More than a koozie and a few pro shop “fun bucks,” for sure.)
The biggest names in disc golf will be there, competing at six area courses including Westwood Park, McNaughton, Sunset Hills, Bradley Park, Lake Eureka (permanent) and Wildlife Prairie Park. Click here for the full course and weekend schedule. According to Weatherbug, the Peoria tournament forecast as of this posting (Wednesday night) is sunny and warm Thursday and Friday; a 70-percent chance of storms on Saturday, and milder temps on Sunday under partly cloudy skies. For my weekend gas money, I’ll be there on Sunday, taking it all in, schmoozing with all the plastic slingers, and possibly even dropping some coin for some old-guy, understable flyers. I was out of town last year so I’m excited for the opportunity to go. I’m sure the experience will provide some fine frolf fodder.
I have been to the Peoria area a time or two– and shopped at Johnnie Harrison’s Plastic Addicts shop in North Pekin. He bills Plastic Addicts as Illinois’ largest disc golf retailer. It’s a great shop and Johnnie is a very friendly and active ambassador for the sport of disc golf. I know he’ll be busy both on and off the courses this weekend, but I’m sure he’d be Ace-happy to help out a Slingin’ Plastic reader or 12.
So who are your picks to win this year’s Ledgestone? Pick the Open Men’s and Women’s winners, post your guesses and reasons for your choices as replies to this post and I’ll do a special-mention type post when I recap the weekend. If you want to be extra daring, have a guess at each players’ number of tosses under par as well.
If you’re in one of the many galleries this weekend, and you happen to spot this old frolfer taking in some of the action, or maybe shopping under the big FlyMart tent, do say ‘Hello.’ Till then, DISC GOLF!!