, 2022-05-25 02:00:00,
Taking the Simon Line out of the Simon doesn’t make him any less fun to watch.
In the second installment of the OTB Open, formerly the San Francisco Open, we were treated to a much improved course and compelling play and finishes in both professional divisions. There are several compelling storylines to pick apart, but I’m choosing to only do two of them justice.
The final round in FPO was among the most exciting rounds golf we’ve seen in either division at any event this season. Natalie Ryan’s effort over the final 18 was some stone cold thrower stuff to watch, and was a bonafide historic moment–Ryan is the first publicly out transwoman to podium at a DGPT event.
Ryan has three top 10 finishes this season and has finished in the top 15 in four of her last five events. Because of her success on the course and her gender identity, Ryan has been a target of threats, harassment, and hate from both fans and fellow pros alike. The skill and mental toughness that Ryan showed over the course of the weekend at OTB is something to be admired and cheered. We are lucky to have someone like Ryan succeeding at the highest level of the game.
Over the last several events, Ryan has carved out a path towards the top of the leaderboard with an elite game off the tee that can truly challenge the likes of Pierce, Catrina Allen, and Kristin Tattar. Ryan, Maria Oliva, Ella Hansen and the Mandujano sisters, and Kat Mertsch have all burst on the scene this year in not small part because of their ability to push it down the fairway.
Meanwhile, Simon Lizotte has returned to the top of Mt. Disc Golf. In his last three events, including OTB, Lizotte has a top 10 and two podium finishes. This win at OTB marks his first win at an elite event since 2018, marking the longest-ever stretch between DGPT Elite Series wins (1,541 days).
Lizotte is an interesting case study to consider in this current era of disc golf. For many new players and fans, his vlog was likely one of their first encounters with the game. His style of play in years past was predicated on putting on a show, as much for the fans as for himself. In the time I spent with him, and in other interviews, he would straight out say that…
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