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Wiggins Nearly Sweeps the World

The globe’s best competitors gathered Saturday at Hidden Lake Park in Merrillville, Ind. for the first day of the 2013 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships.

Saturday was the day for professionals to gather and showcase their abilities in a series of field events assembled by the PDGA. These events have been constructed to determine the World Champions in each respective discipline. They were all set to maximize difficulty and provide competitors with a true test to their skill.

Putting stood along the sloping shoreline surrounding the central pond at Hidden Lake Park. If a putt hit the cage, the grade of the slope could easily hold a disc on edge and pull it straight to the water line. Each basket was hammered by a steady wind as well. This made each putt a true test to concentration and accuracy by the competitors.

Several ties were seen in the divisional race for World Putting Champions. In Open Men David Wiggins Jr. and Kenny Glassman are tied for the lead. In the Open Women division Des Reading and Paige Pierce are tied for the lead. The winners will be determined at the Fly Mart on Tuesday, August 6.

The Long Drive Competition was set on a 700ft grass runway stretching the length of the events field. A strong cross wind ripped from right to left and gave left handed players the natural advantage. These winds were a test to everyone’s ability to achieve maximum distance while still controlling the throw to remain within the field of play. The results were easily noticed as no competitors reached 600ft.

Although the 600ft mark was never reached, it was still impressive to witness these players battle the gusts hammering the field. The fight for the Long Drive title was tight in Open Men, but in the end one man stood alone on top. Again, Wiggins Jr. took home another crown. His longest crush earned him the Long Drive crown as he sent a 558ft bomb soaring through the sky. In the Open Women division Paige Pierce set herself apart from the field throwing her furthest shot an amazing 411ft. If these numbers tell anything, it’s the difficult conditions faced by these competitors on Saturday.

The Skill Shot competition filled the gap between the putting area and the long drive runway. It was designed to give players a challenging test to their approach shot abilities. Players faced obstructions in the line of play, obstacles to go over, under or through, and the natural elements of the day were felt on every shot.

Wiggins Jr. continued his roll by winning this event with an astounding lead. He played nearly perfect through the course and ended with his second, possibly third, 2013 World Champion crown. He just could not be stopped. In the Open Women division Sarah Cunningham won by a solid amount and proved that her skill set is world caliber.

The final event on Saturday was the championship level mini disc golf course assembled by the Mini Disc Golf Federation. The course layout was speckled with out of bounds, water hazards and tricky distance shots. It never let the pressure off the competitors yet still provided them with an entertaining event for the day. In this final event the spot went to Wiggins Jr. yet again. He carded a solid 48 on the mini golf course and gave himself a three throw lead at the end of the day.

On Sunday August 4 the World Disc Golf Championship Mixed Doubles will be underway. The duos in this competition present a tough field of competitiors. Low scors should be seen while these mixed groups tackle the Lemon Lake Bllue Course. Players meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and the round will follow shortly after.

See all the field events results and be sure to check out the PDGA Tour on Flickr and enjoy all the festivities that happened Saturday in Merrillville, Ind.