, 2022-07-14 12:48:01,
PEORIA — The Professional Disc Golf Association has a new home for its Masters World Championships.
And it’s right here in Peoria and surrounding communities.
The Masters and Juniors World Championships are in the area for the first time ever, and are playing out on 13 area courses this week with 1,100 players from 15 countries. The Peoria area already hosts the Ledgestone Open, which brings in the sports top players next month.
Sweden, Denmark and other Nordic countries where the sport reigns are well-represented in the masters and junior events. A few made the trek from Australia. And there are even players here from Estonia, a nation one-tenth the population of Illinois.
And there are some big-name players from the Ledgestone Open who have moved up into this field, like 2012 world champion Sarah Hokom, Holly Finley and Juliana Korver, the latter making her masters worlds debut with five pro open titles to her credit.
More:The world’s biggest pro disc golf tournament returns to the Peoria area. What to know
The Masters World Championships?
Don’t confuse this event with the 2022 Ledgestone Open, which happens in August. The Open attracts the world’s elite players under 40 and next month will pay out the largest purse on the PDGA Pro Tour and in the sports history worldwide.
It was the anchor that brought the PDGA Pro World Championships to the Peoria area — and 2,000 players with it — in 2019.
The Masters World Championships are age group divisions starting at age 40.
“We have ages as young as 8 in the junior tournament and up through 86 in the Masters and Amateurs age groups, about 1,100 participants,” said PDGA president and Ledgestone founder Nate Heinold, a Washington resident who has grown the sport in Peoria into a world-wide presence and lured the 2019 World Championships here. “We actually bid on this in 2019, and were supposed to host it in 2021. But the pandemic hit and everything was pushed back a year, so it’s finally arrived.
“Our area has grown into a disc golf mecca, and we brought the Masters World Championships in as a way to keep facilitating that growth.”
What you need to know
The tournament payout is $120,000 which is the largest in the history of the Masters Championships. The event started with first-round action on Tuesday and continues daily through Saturday with competition in male and female pro age divisions 40, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80.
There are a matching 12 male and female amateur divisions, and junior divisions in…
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