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Players To Watch at DMC

Introductions first. My author name is Art Fudge, from the website Art’s Fudge, where I self reference as AF. On my website there are pro disc golf rankings galore, all aimed at enhancing fantasy disc golf picks for upcoming events. There are standard weekly rankings, monthly power rankings, upcoming event rankings and additional bonus content, like ongoing ranking for top Elite average finish. All rankings are for both divisions.

It is super rare for me to publish a ‘player to watch’ piece. SkipAce will highlight specific players in newsletters for upcoming events, plus convey helpful tips for upcoming picks. Art’s Fudge latest offering, ranking for upcoming events, is intended in this fashion. Sort of.

Players To Watch – as concept

Often Players to Watch are not among the top 10, because most fans are already watching those elite players anyway. The ones to watch are sleepers, who rise in an event, in such a way that is widely unexpected. Parker Welck’s recent victory at Dynamic Discs Open is the ideal example. Lower rated players, playing with peak confidence, finishing ahead of the Goliaths. And if they should win, peak jubilation. Nathan Queen’s win at 2021 DGPT Championship also comes to mind.

I’m about to go out on the limb and spotlight ‘the’ player to watch at DMC. Robert Burridge perfectly fits the mold of sleeper ready to rise. Until this article, I’m thinking he’s not on most fantasy radars. He just took 60th at DDO, and his season numbers have him averaging about 35th place for elite events. While he is semi known runner up for 2022’s DMC, he’s also 12 rating points higher since then, which for redraft leagues, makes him less appealing, given the trajectory of his 2023 season. Or one would surmise.

Dropped in Rankings

As might be expected, finishing 60th at any elite event, means a drop in rankings. AF had him at 29th heading in DDO. UDisc just dropped him 4 spots to 51st overall. StatMando dropped him 3 places to 42nd. In DGPT standings he dipped 3 spots to 32nd, just above the cut line. After much deliberation. AF decided to drop him one spot, to 30th, and just outside the latest standard rankings, published list.

Why He’s Enticing

In the 4 events before DDO, with 2 Elite events (OTB and Portland), and 2 Silver events (BSF and Cascade), he averaged 25th place. On the Elite events, he was slightly better than 25th.

Why He’s Really Enticing

Burridge has played DMC just once, but took 2nd in a 3 hole playoff against Lizotte. With a layout that is largely the same in 2023, he played the 2022 tournament with high degree of comfort, and confidence. He had hot round in round 3, scoring 53, which was 2nd best round of the 3 day event. His other 2 rounds were both 56, which was 7th and 4th best of those days, respectively. His 3 hole playoff went: birdie, birdie, par.

Because of the recent 4 event average at 25th place, it would seem fair to have an over/under for him around 25th place. His event rating rank (1022) is 35th, which matches his average finish stat, for the season. Yet given his play from 2022 at DMC, it’s not entirely unreasonable to draw the line at 5th place for Burridge. Or at least it’s that enticing from this fan’s perpective. Which is no doubt being influenced by the Welck occurrence.

Other Players to Watch at DMC

I looked and looked, and then looked some more for a player to watch on FPO side heading into DMC. Yet, I fully expect the winner to be coming from the top 9 in event ranking. I also see the top 3 at DMC for FPO being among those 9. Which is a sign of how strong FPO top 9 has become. Currently AF has Pierce at #9 for event ranking. So yeah, very strong top 9. If I were to float some sleeper names on the FPO side, they’d be: Kona Star Montgomery and Sarah Gilpin. Both average around 10th place at DMC. Sarah’s played the event more than most in past 5 years, having played it 4 times. She took 1st in 2019. But in past 2 years, she’s averaging 15th or worse.

For MPO there are 3 others to watch, who are currently not in any ranking service’s top 10. First is Kevin Jones, who if anyone is due for a victory, it’s this guy. Yet, he’s super enticing given that his event average at DMC over past 5 years is 4th place, and has played 3 times. He took 3rd last year behind Burridge and Lizotte. 7th is the worst finish KJ has in past 5 years at DMC. Ezra Robinson, is next. AF just bumped him up 7 spots and into top 25 in rankings. He took 6th at DDO and is averaging 12th place in his last 3 events. Yet he plays DMC for his first time, this year. Also playing the event for his first time is Ty Love, who debuts on AF rankings this week, at #25. In his last 3 events: Portland, Zoo Town and DDO, Love is averaging better than 11th place. In the year of the young guns, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him rise at DMC. Especially considering Welck just won playing an event for his first time.

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