The Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open will return to Central Illinois for the 8th consecutive year. This year’s event will take place August 9th through the 12th on some of the best courses in Illinois. The top men in the world will once again tackle the infamous Lake Eureka Temp Course, while the top women in the world will once again play Northwood Park in Morton and Sunset Hills in Pekin. The Lake Eureka temp course will showcase Discraft’s new championship target, the Chainstar Pro. The Eureka course will also feature new concrete tee pads. The women will see a few different tees at Northwood and a few minor changes at Sunset Hills. The AMS and the age protected professionals will tackle Sunset Hills and Northwood, as well as the famed McNaughton, Westwood Park, Bradley Park, the permanent course at Lake Eureka and Wildlife Prairie Park. Further upgrades and improvements have been made at Wildlife Prairie Park.
The tournament expects a top notch field, with a few players returning in 2018 that did not compete in 2017. Nate Sexton plans on competing again, after missing the 2017 event after he and his wife had a baby. Said Sexton, “I am very excited to return to this event. I think it’s a top ten event in the nation that boasts a world class field and purse!” Jeremy Koling missed the 2017 event as he was in Europe, but has already signed up for the 2018 event. Eagle McMahon has missed the event the last few years, but recently was in contact with tournament director Nate Heinold to confirm he was playing. Defending champion Josh Anthon will also be returning, as well as Nate Doss, who has finished near the top several times. Michael Johansen will also be making the way to Illinois from the east coast, and Paul McBeth is also expected to return. Ricky Wysocki is signed up and will be fighting to earn his first Ledgestone victory. The tournament also expects a large women’s field, with Valerie Jenkins expected back to defend her title. Multiple time champion Catrina Allen is also expected back, as well as Lisa Fajkus, who has already signed up. According to Catrina, “The Ledgestone is one of the few events that has a true professional feel. The involvement of the cites, the press conference, the payout and the tournament involvement with St Jude make this event great. Its been awesome watching this event grow from a small A Tier to one of the biggest tournaments of the year.”
The amount of added cash to the tournament will be a massive $55,000, which will be the second most added cash ever added to a PDGA event. The tournament will also give another donation to St Jude, with the goal being $25,000, which would bring the total amount donated to St Jude to $100,000 since 2013. The St Jude donation will primarily be funded by the raffle, which will include 18 special Chainstar Pro baskets. The baskets raffled will be the same baskets used in the tournament at Lake Eureka. The tournament will also boast a record AM payout of nearly $70,000. It won’t be uncommon to see people walking away with stacks of discs, a basket (or two), disc golf bags, etc. “One year the winner of MA1 took home over 60 discs with his prize money,” said Nate Heinold, the longtime Ledgestone TD. The Ledgestone players pack is always impressive, and this year will be no exception. One year the players got 7 discs, and last year the players got 4 discs and a backpack bag. Who knows what’s in store for this year, but Heinold promises it will be awesome. One item that has already been announced in the player packs is a KEEN gift: KEEN will be back on board as a sponsor and will give every AM player a coupon to buy up to two pairs of KEEN shoes at 50% off, which essentially acts as a buy one get one free coupon.
If you are in the market to buy a disc you will have plenty of options. Some of the best disc golf retailers in the world will be on hand selling discs at the event, including official tournament retail sponsor Infinite Discs, Sunking Discs, Plastic Addicts, LS Discs, Paper or Plastic Sports, and more! If you are interested in purchasing Ledgestone fundraiser discs make sure to check out Infinite Discs, who will have the largest selection of Ledgestone discs available for purchase.
However, the event is more than just the competition rounds. Ledgestone boasts a wide variety of fun side games and activities, including the Disc Golf Pro Tour Festival games, Disc Golf Night at the Ballpark, two massive flymarts, the St Jude dunk tank, glo disc golf, a mini tournament, flex c tiers throughout the week, an ice cream social, a players party, player clinics, exhibitions, hole-in-one contests, a chapel service, and more! For more information on all of the week’s activities check out this link: http://lisopen.com/event/2018/default.aspx
This event will also be featured live on Smashboxx TV, and post production coverage will be provided by Jomez Productions, Central Coast Disc Golf, Prodigy Disc and the Disc Golf Pro Tour. UDisc will provide live scoring throughout the event, and the DGPT will be on hand helping to promote the event. Registration will open today at 6PM CST for MPO players rated 970 and above and FPO players rated 870 and above. Amateurs will be able to register starting March 14th at 6PM CST. All pros will be able to register regardless of rating on March 19th at 6PM CST. Registration will take place exclusively at Disc Golf Scene.