As July moves through the calendar quickly, the Woodchuck Cider Drive for the Championship is gaining in intrigue. Our top players have been jockeying for position on the PDGA National Tour through the first seven events, but the next stop on “the Drive” is the World Championships, where players in the hunt will not have the option to swap out a better showing.
Indeed, the 2010 PDGA World Championships, along with both the men’s and women’s United States Opens, is an event that will automatically become part of the points calculation for disc golfers who hope to finish at the top. There is no room for error, as these two majors are automatically included in the final points total. So who are the top players in 2010 competing for this bonus prize?
First, David Feldberg is making a solid return to his world number one form this year, after a rigorous touring schedule last year took some of the edge off his game. Feldberg’s three NT titles and a third-place finish have catapulted him to the top of the Woodchuck points chase thus far, and he will be carrying great momentum with him into the World Championships. Since June, Feldberg has either won or finished second in five different nations. He will certainly be showing off his world-class talent in Crown Point at the World Championships.
And while most are enjoying some of the epic battles between David Feldberg and the upstart 2009 PDGA Player of the Year Nikko Locastro, it is actually “The Champ,” Ken Climo who has quietly parked himself into that second slot in the points chase, on the strength of two NT wins so far this year. Climo is no stranger to being on top, with 12 World Championships and a Woodchuck points crown all part of his illustrious career.
Locastro finds himself in fourth place overall, behind Nate Doss, who capitalized on his win in Columbus at the Brent Hambrick Memorial Open to run up the ladder.
Look for all four of these disc golf stars to be near the top of the leader board at the World Championships at this crucial event, as each attempts to stake their claim, not only at the top of the points standings, but more importantly as World Champion.
Valarie Jenkins has accumulated her maximum 400 points from the National Tour portion of the Woodchuck Drive for the Championship, so a win at the Worlds (which would be her fourth consecutive) would almost lock up another Overall title for Jenkins.
Liz Carr’s two National Tour titles have kept her within striking distance of Jenkins, and a win in Indiana would certainly add great drama to whether the Michigan native could mount a late charge and close the gap between her and first place in the points standings.
Liz Lopez continues to show championship form again this year on the National Tour. Her challenge will be whether she can stay consistent enough over the five-day Worlds to move up the standings with a great showing.
Des Reading is currently in fourth place with four NT notches on her belt, but it is the Worlds stage where Reading seems to excel. Her three World Championships are a testament to that.
For complete coverage of the Woodchuck Drive for the Championship standings, make sure to visit http://www.pdga.com/national-tour.