Disc Golf Tournament Profiles: 2023 Jonesboro Open

Jacob Arvidson avatar
Jacob ArvidsonContributor
May 1 • 6 min read

The 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament was from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30. The tournament was a Disc Golf Pro Tour Elite Event.

The competition was at Disc Side of Heaven Championship Course, which is one of the world's best 100 disc golf courses. Learn more about it and how it stacks up against tracks at other 2023 Elite and Silver Events in our post with overviews and rankings of all of this year's DGPT courses.

Click or tap a section below to find out more about the 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament:

A beautiful sunny day and the sun shining through a mature tree. A disc golf basket just visible in the shadow of two trees in front of a pond
A pretty view with an intimidating island at the Disc Side of Heaven course where the Jonesboro Open is played. Photo: Disc Golf Pro Tour

How to Watch the 2023 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament: Live

The 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament was on the Disc Golf Network starting at 10:30 a.m. Eastern (FPO) and 4:30 p.m. Eastern (MPO) on April 28, 29, and 30. You can watch the live broadcast in the Disc Golf Network archives.

The first rounds for each division were broadcast live for free on the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube Channel, and the footage is still available there. To watch live coverage of rounds two and three of the 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament, you need a paid subscription to the Disc Golf Network.

Unlike in previous years, final rounds of DGPT tournaments are not being streamed live for free on YouTube in 2023.

How to Watch the 2023 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament for Free

You can watch the 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament for free via JomezPro (FPO and MPO lead cards), Gatekeeper Media (MPO chase cards), and Ace Run Pro (FPO chase cards). All offer condensed, post-produced rounds on their YouTube channels.

Scores & Stats for the 2023 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament

You can find shot-by-shot scores and in-depth stats for every round of the 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament on UDisc Live for MPO and FPO.

2023 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament Win Probabilities

Prior to the start of the 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament, these are the players UDisc Live's pro disc golf Win Probability model gave at least a 2% chance to win in MPO and FPO:

Win Probability Before Event Player: MPO Actual 2023 Finish Win Probability Before Event Player: FPO Actual 2023 Finish
15% Paul McBeth T15 59% Kristin Tattar 6
12% Calvin Heimburg 1 9% Catrina Allen T11
10% Eagle McMahon T2 8% Paige Pierce Did not compete
9% Gannon Buhr 10 4% Holyn Handley 4
8% Chris Dickerson T15 4% Henna Blomroos 8
6% Kyle Klein T5 4% Missy Gannon 10
4% Simon Lizotte T23 2% Eveliina Salonen 5
4% Anthony Barela T15 2% Hailey King 2
4% Joel Freeman T34 2% Kat Mertsch 1
3% Isaac Robinson T2 2% Ella Hansen 7
2% Niklas Anttila T15
2% Nikko Locastro T80
2% Joona Heinänen T59

On mobile, swipe left/right to see all columns.

These percentages were created prior to the start of the event and changed dramatically as the it played out. To see how, check out Win Probability on UDisc Live.

Note that Win Probability doesn't always match up with Disc Golf World Ranking because Win Probability takes into account how players have historically performed on holes of specific distances and difficulties and compares that information just to holes they'll face at a single event. That means the probabilities above relate to how players' historical performances suggested they'd do just at the 2023 Jonesboro Open whereas World Ranking is a broader assessment of past performance.

Who Won the 2023 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament?

Calvin Heimburg (MPO, 31-under par) and Kat Mertsch (FPO, 22-under par) won the 2023 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament.

All Winners of the Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament

  • 2023: Calvin Heimburg (MPO), Kat Mertsch (FPO)
  • 2022: Calvin Heimburg (MPO), Kristin Tattar (FPO)
  • 2021: Ricky Wysocki (MPO), Catrina Allen (FPO)
  • 2020: Calvin Heimburg (MPO), Paige Pierce (FPO)
  • 2019: Paul McBeth (MPO), Paige Pierce (FPO)
  • 2018: Ricky Wysocki (MPO), Paige Pierce (FPO)
  • 2017: Ricky Wysocki (MPO), Paige Pierce (FPO)

Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament History

The Jonesboro Open has an atypical origin story among Pro Tour stops. Whereas most events on the circuit had been institutions in their respective areas for many years and had slowly gained prestige, the first iteration of the Jonesboro Open in any form was its DGPT debut.

The 2023 edition will be the seventh anniversary of the competition. Tournament Director Brad Pietz said it grew out of a disc golf void in the community.

"Myself and other people who had moved to town from other parts of the country and loved disc golf saw a need in the city to do something," he said.

A group of people in a small set of bleachers among tents at an outside event
A scene from the first Jonesboro Open in 2017. Photo: Disc Golf Pro Tour

Pietz said it was a "tough sell" to those outside of the disc golf community in Jonesboro, but only a few years in, things have turned around completely.

"We told people we could build this big event and have a major economic impact for the city, but it was met with a lot of hesitation," Pietz said. "And now...I have people from all across the city calling me and asking how they can be involved."

The tournament has become a mainstay in Jonesboro, with residents eagerly anticipating the mass of people it brings to town and the boost it provides to the local economy during the week of the event.

"The local campground is a 770-acre [312-hectare] city park and it doesn't fill up throughout the year very often," Pietz said. "The Jonesboro Open fills it and it's literally overflowing."

In 2017, when the Jonesboro Open first joined the DGPT, few outside Arkansas had ever heard of the city and fewer had ever heard of the Disc Side of Heaven course hosting the tournament.

"There were a lot of people who thought [DGPT founder and majority owner until late 2019] Steve Dodge had lost his mind putting a Pro Tour event somewhere that no one had ever heard of," Pietz said. "But again, just five years later, several players will tell you the Disc Side of Heaven's Championship Course is their favorite course on tour."

A crowd on watches someone throw a disc golf drive
In normal years, spectators flock to Jonesboro to watch the pros compete, like in this image from the 2022 event. Photo: Disc Golf Pro Tour

But no matter how much players liked the course and the community supported the event, the Jonesboro Open wouldn't have stayed on the Disc Golf Pro Tour if it hadn't been run smoothly year after year. As our article "What Do Pro Disc Golfers Want Most From Tournaments?" shows, pros care a lot about tournament directors running events well. And Pietz has been up to the job from day one.

Pietz is the biggest reason the Jonesboro Open was added to the tour without the event having existed before. He has worked in college athletics and event management for over two decades, so organizing a disc golf tournament is just another day on the job for him.

"I've done 20 years of working sold-out concerts, working Final Fours, and working Sugar Bowls, Independence Bowls, and Cotton Bowls," he said. "My entire career has been large event management. I was able to let Steve know that if I can put 30,000-40,000 people into a football stadium every other Saturday, then I think I could handle a disc golf event."

With that sort of experience, Pietz naturally executed the event like the DGPT expected from year one and has established the Jonesboro Open as a staple on tour, turning a little-known town in Arkansas into a must-visit destination for disc golfers in the process.

The Jonesboro Open has also become an opportunity to create an even greater impact. In 2021, the tournament partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, St. Jude is only an hour drive from the Disc Side of Heaven course. The event has raised over $90,000 in total for St. Jude's so far.

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