Ledgestone’s international reach is booming.
Players representing 11 countries will take part in the 2022 Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open, more than doubling the previous high from 2019.
Eight European countries have residents in attendance this year: Austria, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Stanislaus Amann is traveling from Austria to experience the Ledgestone Open and the United States for the first time.
“Ledgestone is well known as one of the biggest events and everyone speaks about it as an experience you need to make,” Amann says. “Both tournament courses look so awesome in coverage and I can’t wait to try my skills on those courses. I'm one of the lowest rated players in the MPO field, so my expectations are pretty low. I just want to enjoy being here, play these courses, meet lots of people, and obviously play the best I can.”
Amann spent just under 48 hours traveling through various airports to arrive in the USA. He is excited to do a mini tour including the Mid-America Open, Ledgestone, the Des Moines Challenge and Worlds.
“For me it was a life goal to play some of the biggest tournaments in the US at least once, to experience what the sport is like over here and just to enjoy the US style of life,” he says.
Magnus Thorstensen also made the trip across the pond from Europe for the first time. Thorstensen and his good friend, Fredrik Glendrange, traveled from Oslo, Norway and are playing in the MA2 division.
“My friend and I have been doing disc golf holidays for several years, both inside Norway and also to Tyyni in Finland,” he said. “This year we wanted to up the experience another notch and set our aims to find a tournament in the states. Our choice quickly fell to Ledgestone since we have heard a lot about it and it is a big, famous tournament.”
The two Norwegians spent five days in New York and three days in Chicago to take in American culture. Now they’re spending a full week in Peoria to absorb the full Ledgestone experience with multiple Flex C tiers.
The farthest traveler for this year’s Ledgestone Open by a wide margin is Bryce Kennedy in the MA40 division. Kennedy flew a total of 8,043 miles from Kerikeri, New Zealand to reach Peoria, spending over 34 hours in the air and at airports.
Kennedy lived in Michigan for 15 years before moving back to his home country of New Zealand in 2019 so he is ecstatic to return to the USA. His trip was originally scheduled for 2020, but COVID put a wrench in those plans.
“Ledgestone is happening at the start of a two-week vacation and then I'm going to visit friends in Michigan,” Kennedy says. “Ledgestone always has a great players pack. The tournament is really a week-long disc golf event, which is a very well organized and fun time.”
Beyond the 11 countries at the Ledgestone Open, 45 of the 48 contiguous United States will be represented along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Only Maine, Nevada, and Rhode Island will not have attendees at this year’s tournament.