I think the 2021 Disc Golf season is going to be one of the most exciting MPO seasons in the history of disc golf. So many players have made a name for themselves because of their play and there is a good chance that we will see multiple different players taking down Pro Tours all year instead of what we have seen in the past where a select few have dominated the tour. With this in mind, here is what I expect the top 20 players to look like as the season begins in a few months.
(This list is based purely on Hunter's opinion and speculation based on past performance and current streaks.)
#20 - Andrew Marwede
#19 - Philo Brathwaite
#18 - Simon Lizotte (assuming he is able to fully recover from his elbow injury)
#17 - James Conrad
#16 - Drew Gibson
#15 - Paul Ulibarri
#14 - Chris Clemons
#13 - Nate Sexton
#12 - Garret Gurthie
#11 - Austin Hannum
#10 - Scott Withers
This one is a risky choice as we have not seen him on tour recently and I am not sure if we will see him on tour in 2021. One thing I am sure of is that what he is doing in the northwest right now is unreal. He might as well email the TD and ask for the first place check to be put in the mail before he even shows up to a local tournament. It will be very interesting to see if that translates to success on tour.
Remember this name. After bursting onto the scene last year, I don’t think Kyle has any plans of slowing up. I expect we will see him on several lead cards and possibly even taking down a Pro Tour or National Tour this year. His future is extremely bright and it will be interesting to see how he comes out of the gates in 2021.
#7 - Nikko Locastro
One of the bigger named veterans on tour that still had something to prove. Nikko has proven over and over again that he is one of the top players in the game and I would argue is one of the best players to never win a world title. He has pulled off a USDGC, multiple NTs, and even a DGPT event, but could 2021 be the year that he puts the haters to rest with a world title? Only time will tell. One thing I know is that he will make some noise on and off the course this year.
#6 - Kevin Jones
Kevin is a solid all around player that I think will be in the mix more than not in the 2021 season. With that being said, he will be a player that I feel will have his placement fluctuate a lot throughout the season. He has proven he belongs skills wise, but we are yet to see him bring it consistently throughout an entire season. Is 2021 his year?
#5 - Eagle McMahon
Eagle was a wildcard for me. Talent wise, I truly feel like he is one of if not the most talented players on the planet right now. Something about him though just keeps me from having the confidence to put him higher on the list. Part of it is the fact that he sat out a few pro tour events last year which made it hard to see how much he could consistently place at the top and then him coming in 14th at Maple Hill followed up by an 8th place USDGC finish made the decision a little easier for me. If he gets hot and can stay out of his own way, there’s no reason he is not the top player in 2021.
#4 - Chris Dickerson
Surprised he isn’t higher on the list? Let me explain. We saw some absolute GREATNESS from Chris last year. The two things that kept me from putting him higher on the list were that I felt like many times his high finishes were because he lit the course up on Sunday instead of beating the field all tournament long and I factored in the fact that he normally does not go out west. It is tough to tell how he will perform early in the year and if he is even still planning on going to the early swing. One thing I am positive on though is that when this guy shows up for a full tournament, you better bring out some popcorn because he is not going to disappoint!
#3 - Calvin Heimburg
This spot was a tough choice. In the end I went with my gut which is Heimburg. This guy showed that he had the skill, mental fortitude, and drive to be the number one player in the world last year. He has also shown his strength at the early events and I am confident that 2021 will be no different. Do not be surprised if Calvin pushes to be the top player during the 2021 season.
#2 - Paul McBeth
Paul might have fallen short of winning in the last few events of the year, but the key here is that he was losing to different players. Calvin, Chris, and Eagle beat him, but none did it as consistently as he beat them. I also took into account the fact that Paul is going into this off-season hungry. After falling short at USDGC and then not making the pro tour finale and missing his shot at being on ESPN, I think it would be silly to think that Paul is not going to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders.
#1 - Ricky Wysocki
I feel like there is 3 or 4 players I could put here and have a legitimate case for. The reason I went with Ricky is simply because of how he finished his year out. He had a rough start last year with his fight against Lyme but once he hit his stride, he didn’t really look back. He seemed to be the most consistent player from DGLO on through the end of the year and I am fairly confident that we will see a good showing out of him at the Las Vegas Challenge to begin the year.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know over on Twitter @FDG_Hunter_T