This year was the 30th annual Kansas City Wide Open. Please note that this tournament has been a tradition since before either of us reached the developmental stage of zygote. That is a long time.
The beauty of being a fan of the game these days is the commitment of those who support the sport. Aside from the rare appearance on Conan or ESPN's former show Cold Pizza, the mainstream availability just isn't there. In spite of this, options for viewing the sport at its elite levels is readily accessible on the internet (thank you discgolfplanet.tv!). Meaning I get to see what the talented among us can really do.
I was doing exactly that, taking advantage of a replay of the Final 9 round of the Kansas City Wide Open. The way these broadcasts typically role is a heavy focus on the lead card in the men's open division with occasional splashes of coverage from other notable male players and the women. As expected, amateurs don't get any love during the broadcast. The KCWO mixed it up in what I consider a very positive way.
Instead of focusing on the final men, the opened things up to include the women. By that I don't mean that the coverage bounced between the two groups; I mean that the two lead open groups, men and women, played together. We had the opportunity to watch Valerie Jenkins throw alongside David Feldberg, to see Paige Pierce putt next to Will Schusterick.
This seems to resonate with the recent focus to expand the scope of the sport to include more women (Women's Global Event, anyone?). I appreciated this expanded look at our sport and the possibilities that lay within it.
There was also something strangely satisfying to watch Paul Ulibarri carry Catrina Allen's bag or Nate Doss carry Val Jenkins.
I was half hoping she'd turn to Nate after a bad throw and scream, "Damn it, Bobby!"