Three players who reached the highest level in 2022

The offseason can happen a world differently, and the results of these professionals prove it.

Kat Merch at the 2021 Disc Golf Pro Tour. Photo: DGPT

Ahead of the Texas State Disc golf tournament, Kat Merch said one thing made the difference in her quality start to the 2022 tour season: “Mid-range practice.”

“I decided in the off-season to only work with middle players and speculators and I’ve seen improvement,” Mersch explained. “The mid-range is more of a real ride, and racket, because it’s slow. Your mistakes will show more. And I had a lot of mistakes with those discs last year.”

The combination of the new training regimen and a focus on mental health showed results for Merch. With five events this year, Mertsch has an average of 74%, up 18 percentage points from UDisc Live’s stats by the end of 2021 in 26 events. It also finds both District 1 and District 2 on the list 20 percentage points higher year on year.

And while Mertsch’s scramble rate is technically lower at the moment, if you compare the total Drives Off Fairway at the Waco Annual Charity Open from 2021 (13) to 2022 (3), you’ll see that she finds herself in less serious lies than before, Hence the need to scramble less.

Mertsch’s rise into her second full season on the Tour is one of the most impressive early returns we’ve seen in recent years.

In 2021 Mertsch finished with four Top 10 Elite Series, four Top 10S Silver Series including a Silver Series podium, and one Class A win. Prior to last season, Mersch had yet to finish in the top 10 in the Series Professional Elite or Flagship.

In 2022, Mertsch already had one of the top five (best in career) and three of the top 10 elite groups in three events, and finished second in last weekend’s Music City Open Silver Series event (career best).

Cat Merch – Early Season Endings

Goal class 2021 2022 they change
Las vigas Elite Series 39 9 +30
Waco Elite Series 26 4 +22
Pelton silver chain 13 16 -3
Texas State Elite Series 16 8 +8
vintage / MCO silver chain 10 2 +8

Mertsch has made great strides in becoming more comfortable with slower discs. Here are two other players who have shown some individual improvements so far in 2022.

Thomas Gilbert

Canadian Thomas Gilbert is known for his big arm and ability to keep scoring. For his career, Gilbert had four Elite Class finishes in the Top 10 Finals and a Silver Class showdown in second place. In 2022, Gilbert has already had the best five Elite Series rounds of his career, is one of the top 10 in the Elite class, and has improved dramatically in nearly every event so far this season compared to last year.

Thomas Gilbert – Early season ends

Goal class 2021 2022 they change
Las vigas Elite Series 15th 10 +5
Memorial a 17 9 +8
Waco Elite Series 60 5 +55
Pelton silver chain 58 16 +42
vintage / TDTM Silver Chain / A 44 4 +40

The live stats for hits earned in the shot and from the tee to the green may not seem to increase exponentially to explain jumping higher in the leaderboards (UDisc Live: 2022 vs 2021), the reason may be head-and-hand consistency. As well as entering his second year of shedding plastic miracle, Gilbert has also publicly revealed some personal news over the holiday season. Either way, and for different reasons, perhaps Gilbert feels more comfortable and in control of the course.

Gilbert plays in this week’s Open Championship at the Tallahassee DGPT Silver Series event. It’s the first time the event has played.

Aaron Jossig

The first time most observers learned of Aaron Gossage’s name was during the 2021 OTB Open. In his first season traveling to Elite Series events, Gossage earned a Top 10 OTB finish and qualified for the DGPT Championship due in part to five of the top 25 events in the OTB events. DGPT. During the first run of 2022, Gossage already had his first elite class career within the top five, top 10 in the Silver Series, and strong showings across the board.

Aaron Gossaj – Early season ends

Goal class 2021 2022 they change
Las vigas Elite Series 34 57 -23
Memorial a 28 3 +25
Waco Elite Series 86 5 +81
Pelton silver chain 37 13 +24
Texas State Elite Series 106 50 +56
vintage / MCO silver chain 44 10 +34

Gossig used a big forehand and increased his accuracy in the wooded drills in Waco and Belton that challenged him last year. In 2022, Gossage placed third and second in strokes earned from the tee to the green at the WACO (12.63) and Open at Belton (12.6), respectively, up from 84th and 22nd in the 2021 events.

Gossage plays in this week’s Open in the Tallahassee DGPT Silver Series event. It’s the first time the event has played.

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