The 2016 PSCA season is upon us and to go along with the new faces on the PSCA Tour we have some new locations along the Tour for both the professionals and amateurs to experience. This year’s opening event will be held in conjunction with the NSCA Championship Tour’s South Central Regional Event and the North American FITASC Championships. This week will surely be a marathon for all of the competitors heading to Oklahoma.
Ground Zero for this weekend’s plethora of clay sport action will be the Side by Side Ranch in Wynnewood, OK. Located on the rising plains of southern Oklahoma, Side by Side Ranch was founded by business partners John Folkert and PSCA President Scott Robertson as a place for their families and friends to get together and celebrate their love of the outdoors. Side by Side Ranch was built by nature in the valleys of a disappearing mountain range, with rolling hills that have been expertly nurtured and stocked to become a private playground for both serious sportsmen and beginners alike. Amenities include the option for your group or family to reside either in the new 7,000 square foot lodge (R5), or the 19,000 square foot lodge (F5). The facility will certainly be a highlight of all who are able to attend this weekend.
The Tour is in its third year, this means the lessons of the rookie season were learned and in the second season we saw a totally revamped PSCA Tour. The second season provided a new format, new leadership and along with it new challenges. Now season 3, it’s the season of experience the season of put up or shut up. The tour has expanded, adding two new stops. The commitment of the sponsors has been secured for another season of television production. Here’s where we see the fruits of the experience over the last two seasons. Has the popularity of the tour ushered in new faces to the sport? Will another season of the tour guide in even more? Did adding the challengers aspect to the tour add value to the tour? Is this just the beginning of main stream shooting sports? As the season progresses, we should be able to see the answers to these questions.
The 2016 season will kick off after two and a half months of some of the best tournaments sporting clays has to offer. Last weekend’s Diamond Classic proved to be a fine warmup for many pros and if it is any indication of how this season will start out David Radulovich and Zach Kienbaum will be two to keep your eye for at the top of the leader board.
Zach is coming off and impressive start to 2016, finishing High Over All at the Seminole Cup followed by an impressive Runner Up finish at the Diamond Classic. This is Zach’s third year as a tour pro and has experienced those same lessons and growing pains with the tour. 2016 could be Zach’s year especially if he can start off on a winning note here in Oklahoma.
David Radulovich had a remarkably clutch and impressive victory in Houston at the 2016 Diamond Classic. He already has one tour victory under his belt from 2015 and is hungry to make his mark on the tour.
Desirae Edmunds, two time PSCA Women’s Tour champion will be looking to have a Three-peat on this year’s tour, but Jenni Clark, Alex Wampler and 2016 tour rookie Grace Callahan, who as a challenger won a PSCA event in 2015, are looking for their shot at the Queen of the Women’s tour.
Notably missing from this season’s opener will be the men’s two time tour champion Gebben Miles, who had an offseason snowboarding accident and is undergoing rehabilitation on a dislocated shoulder. Gebben could be out through summer of 2016.
Other names to keep on your list to watch are tour rookie Jonathan Henrici, a John Woolley student who is recent years has been blazing a trail up the leaderboards and has become a real contender among the field. Jon has yet to compete under the lights in the final bracket, but has all of the skill set to make it far. Matt Fisher made a name for himself on the 2015 tour and earned his 2016 tour card by competing at a high level all season long as a challenger. If you ask around sporting clays community Will Hinton has a level of talent that when dialed in is almost impossible to match. Kevin DeMichiel, 2015 Tour leader for most of last season hasn’t missed a beat and was recognizable name among the top of the leaderboards along the early major shoots of 2016 including the Seminole Cup. Mike Wilgus, the 2015 embodiment of the old saying ‘close but no cigar’. Wilgus was a contender in every PSCA Tour stop finishing runner up twice along the way. Bill McGuire, the nicest man in your squad, is always a contender and a beast with his Blaser. “Uncle” Bill is coming off of the early 2016 NSCA Big Blasts earning the most purse money among all of the competitors who competed in those events.
Any of the names we mentioned here have a real chance to be the next PSCA Tour Champion, or it could be a brand new face on the tour like Rollins Brown or Shawn Kemeter or even a challenger from Middle America who we haven’t even heard of….. yet.
In any outcome, the marathon of this weekend’s events will surely test every professional and challenger’s stamina, focus and skill set.