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USWDGC Smashes Records...Again

Photo: Sara Sinclair

Another year, another record turnout for the United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship (USWDGC). Renowned Virginia club Spotsy Disc Golf will serve as host for this year’s USWDGC, which now boasts not only the largest Open Women’s division in PDGA history at 52, but also the single largest women’s field in PDGA history with 169 players.

The USWDGC has grown significantly in the past few years, but it wasn’t without a bit of a struggle leading up to the recent, rapid expansion. After finally breaking the 100-player mark in 2013 (105 in total), the event dipped back into double-digits for the three years that followed. The 2017 USWDGC in Johnson City, Tennessee, saw a massive increase in registration and eventually landed on a final count of 156, which was followed by 159 in 2018 in Lansing, Michigan.

“It’s amazing,” said reigning USWDGC Champion and five-time PDGA World Champion Paige Pierce. “When I looked at the registration and saw 52 Open Women I was blown away, absolutely. And then every division to follow is just as stacked, so it’s really awesome to be here and see so many women out on the course, you know, vibing together and being a part of something special. It’s awesome.”

Coming into the event having already won the European Open and the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championship, Pierce has laid down the groundwork for a historic run. If she clinches the USWDGC win this weekend, she will have swept the 2019 PDGA Majors.

“It’s definitely on my mind,” Pierce said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now and I’m just excited about the opportunity. I think even if it doesn’t happen it’s still a great year for me, but the motivation of having history potentially being made this week is really exciting for me.”

While the event offers plenty on the competitive side, for many of the girls and/or women here this weekend it’s just as much about the camaraderie and sense of community.

"The word ‘special’ doesn’t do the feeling justice,” 2018 5th-place USWDGC finisher and 2018 PDGA EDGE Award winner Zoe Andyke. “This is everybody’s dream that’s here. Growing women’s disc golf and, of course, introducing it to kids is pretty much what all the hype has been for the last decade, if not longer. To be at a record-setting event--the FPO field I think is at 53 out of a total of 170…this is amazing. Amazing.”

With 169 competitors in 16 divisions spread out across four courses, the next three days are going to be truly awe-inspiring.

“When I think U.S. Women’s, I think it’s the most beautiful display of disc golf,” Andyke said. “I would recommend to anyone out there that’s interested in disc golf, even at the amateur level, to watch the women over the men, just so you can get the technique right. We’re using our entire bodies to get there, and we make it look good!”

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