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Dramatic Finish to Worlds

The 2012 Disc Golf World Championships have come to a close with 24 World Champions crowned on Saturday, July 21. The Hornet’s Nest was the setting for this year’s finals, with an unprecedented number of players taking part in an incredibly successful event.

As the players made their way through the course, a large crowd awaited their fate. Both the youngest and oldest World Champions were the first to make their final throws on Hole #9. 10-year-old Forest Deason of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma won the 10 and under Boys division and smiled as he said, “It feels very good and very exciting (to be the World Champion).”  Forest’s goal is to become the World Champion in the Open division someday, and I believe there’s a good chance he’ll do just that.

On the other end of the spectrum, 75-year-old Carlos Rigby of Alexandria, Virginia won the Senior Legends division. Rigby says he credits his success to not smoking, not drinking alcohol, and to his wife Martha’s nutritious cooking. 

While a number of exceptional players made their way through the final nine holes at the Hornet’s Nest, the pro women’s open and pro men’s open divisions were the most highly anticipated by many. The men’s open division was a tight race throughout the week, but Paul McBeth pulled ahead on Friday, and didn’t let go of the lead. Instead, all of the drama ended up in the women’s division after Valarie Jenkins and Sarah Hokom, who led through most of the week, ended up in a tie. Hokom’s drive nearly went out of bounds, but instead, it bounced on a curb and up the grass, instead of rolling into the parking lot, as many earlier discs had done.  If she made the 25 foot putt up the hill, she would have the win. Most who had gone before her, could not get it in the basket, but somehow, despite the pressure of the biggest gallery in World’s history, she made it to become the Women’s World Champion. Jenkins made an impressive comeback late in the week to take second place, while Catrina Allen captured third place after coming close to taking it as well.

Over in the Men’s Open division, Paul “McBeast” McBeth captured his first world title to become the 2012 Disc Golf World Champion, five throws ahead of second place finisher Ricky Wysocki. Will Schusterick followed in third place while local favorite Michael Johansen came in at fourth place. McBeth was all smiles, and said that he credits getting healthy for his exciting win.

In the Masters division, once again Kenny Climo lived up to his nickname, “The Champ,” winning by 9 throws over Barry Schultz  who came in second. JohnE McCray followed in third place at just a throw behind.

Climo became the first male player in the history of the sport to become a World Champion in both the Open and Masters divisions. In 1995, it was Beth Tanner out of Carrboro, North Carolina who won the Masters Women divsion, and in 1996 she went back and won the Open Women division, making her the very first player ever to win both the Open and Master. Four-time Open Women World Champion Elaine King also accomplished this amazing feat with her 2009 win in the Masters Women division.

This year, it was Susan Stephens of Dorr, Michigan who won the Masters Women division. Johnny Sias of Lavalette, West Virginia captured the victory in the Grandmasters division and Anni Kreml of Richmond, California took her second consecutive Grandmaster Women division title.

Rick Voakes won the Senior Grandmasters division and Pete May won the Legends division. 

The Amateur World Championship titles went to Spencer Wilken in the Advanced division, with Michelle Frazer taking the Women’s Advanced division. Local Craig “PP” Wesnofske won the Advanced Masters division, while Michelle Horn won the Women’s Advanced Masters division and James Elkins captured the victory in the Advanced Grandmasters division. Carla Dee Proffitt won the Women’s Advanced Grandmasters division and Jim Banbury took the victory in the Advanced Senior Grandmasters division while Bill Charron, Sr. won the Advanced Legends division.

In addition to Forest Deason, the Junior division winners were Adam Morrison, Justin Lammers, Vivian Dillen, Devyon Baldwin, Alex Lambert and Desiree Duran.

Written by: K.C. Dermody

Photo Credit: Lauren E. Lakeberg