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Spotlight: PDGA Rookie of the Year Award


PDGA Rookie of the Year art

The PDGA’s recently crowned Rookies of the Year earned their honors thanks to a variety of championship traits that elevated their performances when taking on the game’s best players at majors, elite series and A-tier events.

ICYMI

On December 31, the PDGA recognized the 2021 honorees for Rookie of the Year in the MPO and FPO divisions – Gannon Buhr and Ella Hansen. Despite being new to the professional disc golf scene, these rookies made a big impact on disc golf’s biggest stage with their performances at a number of key tournaments vaulting them to the top.

How it Works

Similar to the PDGA Player of the Year award, players earned points based on their finishing position in PDGA-sanctioned Majors, Elite Series and A-Tier events during the 2021 calendar year. However, rookies on the pro scene earn points for finishes outside of the top-ten, as illustrated in the table below. The player with the highest total by December 31 is crowned Rookie of the Year (RoY).

Elite Series events are weighted most heavily with PDGA Majors earning players the most points. Disc Golf Pro Tour events also earn players significant points toward their RoY points totals. Finally, players can earn points for podium finishes at A-Tier events

Note: In 2020 and 2021, National Tour and DGPT events were weighted the same. With the new partnership between the PDGA and DGPT and the consolidation of the two tours, DGPT events will now exclusively occupy that tier for points multiplier for RoY standings and will receive the established National Tour (NT) tier distinction.

Place Points
Major Elite A-Tier
1 100 60 15
2 80 45 10
3 70 40 5
4 60 35  
5 50 30  
6 45 26  
7 40 24  
8 35 22  
9 30 20  
10 28 18  
11 26 16  
12 24 14  
13 22 12  
14 20 11  
15 18 10  
16 16 9  
17 14 8  
18 12 7  
19 11 6  
20 10 5  
21 9    
22 8    
23 7    
24 6    
25 5    

How a Rookie Rises to the Top

Gannon Buhr played in 17 events in 2021, but structured his schedule to include many majors and elite series tournaments. His finishes in those events - including a top five at The Preserve Championship - helped him acquire significantly more RoY points than any other competitor, including those who played more total events and/or notched more victories in 2021. In fact, with the exception of Kade Filimoehala’s 15th place finish at the OTB Open, no other player that finished in the top 10 in RoY points earned any points at any major or elite series event.

Rank Name PDGA # Country Events Wins Prize Points  
1 Gannon Buhr 75412 US 17 1 $18,934 107
2 Christopher Parks 134049 US 9 1 $2,215 15
2 Jack Kingsley 135523 US 8 2 $2,099 15
2 James Mallard 155051 CA 9 1 $1,220 15
5 Sullivan Tipton 78817 US 10 1 $3,169 10
5 Levi Hancock 103050 US 34 3 $6,087 10
5 Woody Hass 103944 US 22 0 $3,226 10
5 Kade Filimoehala 104984 US 31 3 $3,789 10
5 Dylan Capaccioli 122655 US 41 11 $9,091 10
5 Griffin Bainter 125245 US 9 0 $2,675 10

Ella Hansen won RoY honors in the FPO field despite playing in seven fewer events than second place, Stacie Rawnsley, and notching eight fewer victories than third place, Holyn Handley. Again, majors and elite series events were the difference maker, where Ella’s performances earned significantly more points than all other RoY competitors. Ella’s top 3 finish at USWDGC was particularly valuable.

Rank Name PDGA # Country Events Wins Prize Points  
1 Ella Hansen 144112 US 21 4 $7,208 191
2 Stacie Rawnsley 122208 US 28 3 $5,715 128
3 Holyn Handley 133547 US 25 12 $6,245 64
4 Raven Klein 138272 US 17 8 $2,766 51
5 Stacie Hass 124963 US 18 11 $2,084 40

In summary, how a rookie finishes in disc golf’s biggest events matters more than the number of events played when it comes to earning RoY honors.

2022

The race for the 2022 PDGA Rookie of the Year officially began on January 1. Point totals are updated each Wednesday, so be sure to follow the RoY standings throughout the year. 

 

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