All Open Women Disc Golf World Champions & Most Top 5s

Alex Williamson avatar
Alex WilliamsonWriter, Editor
Sep 5 • 4 min read

From 1975-1981, the disc golf portion of the World Frisbee Championship, which featured a variety of disc sports, was considered the de-facto world championship for the sport. The player who won the women's division in disc golf at the WFC was therefore the world champion.

In 1982, the first-ever world championship devoted solely to disc golf took place in California: the inaugural Professional Disc Golf Association Disc Golf World Championship. That first championship didn't feature a protected women's division, however, and, unsurprisingly, no women competed in it.

The next year, the event did include a protected women's division, making the 1983 PDGA Disc Golf World Championships the first time an event dedicated only to disc golf that awarded a world title to a woman. The professional women's division (Open Women or FPO) has been part of the event ever since.

Collage of professional women disc golfers who've won world championships
Six multi-time Open Women disc golf world champions. Top row left to right: Kristin Tattar, Paige Pierce, and Juliana Korver. Bottom row left to right: Valarie Jenkins, Des Reading, and Elaine King,. All photos are crops from originals. Tattar photo: Disc Golf Pro Tour. All others: PDGA

Though disc golf's Worlds (as it's commonly called) is a roving event that's only taken place in the same city in successive years one time in its history and the totals of rounds and courses players have been asked to play have fluctuated widely, the prestige its winners have earned has been constant. Those with a win at Worlds are forever etched into disc golf history.

Below you can find a table noting every pro Worlds winner in the Open Women (AKA, FPO) division along with how much money they earned, who they beat and by how many strokes, what city they won in, and more. We've included some of the most interesting things we noticed in the stats, too.

You can also take a look at which players have made the top five at Worlds most often, again with a few of our favorite takeaways included.

All Professional Disc Golf World Champions: FPO (Open Women)

Here is the list of every FPO (AKA, Open Women) disc golf world champion ever1:

Year Winner Win Margin Host City Rounds Played Top Prize Prize Adjusted Second Place
2023 flag-ee.svgKristin Tattar 6 Jeffersonville, Vermont 5 $15,000 - Missy Gannon
2022 flag-ee.svgKristin Tattar 8 Emporia, Kansas 5 $11,000 $11,330 Henna Blomroos
2021 flag-us.svgCatrina Allen 1 Ogden, Utah 5 $10,000 $11,252 Paige Pierce
2020 None. Didn't occur due to the pandemic.
2019 flag-us.svgPaige Pierce 5 Peoria, Illinois 5 $5,000 $5,958 Eveliina Salonen
2018 flag-us.svgPaige Shue (neė Bjerkaas) 6 Jeffersonville, Vermont 5 $5,000 $6,055 Paige Pierce
2017 flag-us.svgPaige Pierce 5 Augusta, Georgia 4 $5,500 $6,864 Valarie Jenkins
2016 flag-us.svgValarie Jenkins 6 Emporia, Kansas 5.5 $5,000 $6,346 Catrina Allen
2015 flag-us.svgPaige Pierce 1 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 6.5 $2,500 $3,207 Sarah Hokom
2014 flag-us.svgCatrina Allen 2 Portland, Oregon 7.5 $2,250 $2,892 Paige Pierce
2013 flag-us.svgPaige Pierce 1 Crown Point, Indiana 7.5 $2,000 $2,614 Valarie Jenkins
2012 flag-us.svgSarah Hokom 1 Charlotte, North Carolina 7.5 $2,000 $2,669 Valarie Jenkins
2011 flag-us.svgPaige Pierce 3 Santa Cruz, California 5.5 $2,000 $2,699 Valarie Jenkins
2010 flag-us.svgSarah Cunningham (née Stanhope) 6 Crown Point, Indiana 7.5 $1,450 $2,033 Des Reading
2009 flag-us.svgValarie Jenkins 14 Kansas City, Missouri 7.5 $1,600 $2,266 Des Reading
2008 flag-us.svgValarie Jenkins 12 Kalamazoo / Battle Creek, Michigan 8.5 $1,650 $2,302 Des Reading
2007 flag-us.svgValarie Jenkins 5 Highbridge, Wisconsin 7.5 $1,800 $2,647 Des Reading
2006 flag-us.svgDes Reading 9 Augusta, Georgia 7.5 $1,800 $2,699 Courtney Peavy
2005 flag-us.svgDes Reading 18 Allentown, Pennsylvania 8.5 $1,750 $2,738 Juliana Korver
2004 flag-se.svgBirgitta Lagerholm 2 Des Moines, Iowa 9.5 $1,400 $2,258 Des Reading
2003 flag-us.svgJuliana Korver 11 Flagstaff, Arizona 8 $1,500 $2,484 Des Reading
2002 flag-us.svgDes Reading 8 Houston, Texas 9.5 $1,500 $2,538 Juliana Korver
2001 flag-us.svgJuliana Korver 7 St. Paul, Minnesota 8.5 $1,460 $2,514 Lesli Todd
2000 flag-us.svgJuliana Korver 11 Ann Arbor, Michigan 7.5 $1,765 $3,122 Elaine King
1999 flag-us.svgJuliana Korver 19 Rochester, New York 9.5 $850 $1,555 Elaine King
1998 flag-us.svgJuliana Korver 13 Cincinatti, Ohio 8.5 $952 $1,781 Elaine King
1997 can.svgElaine King 25 Charlotte, North Carolina 9.5 $1,015 $1,930 Anni Kreml
1996 flag-us.svgBeth Tanner 4 South Bend, Indiana 9.5 $1,060 $2,060 Anni Kreml
1995 flag-us.svgBecky Powell 1 Port Arthur, Texas 9.5 $650 $1,300 Anni Kreml
1994 can.svgElaine King 15 Port Arthur, Texas 9.5 $800 $1,641 Amy Schiller (neė Bekken)
1993 can.svgElaine King 16 Huntsville, Alabama 8.5 $751 $1,590 Chris O'Cleary
1992 can.svgElaine King 11 Detroit, Michigan 9 $750 $1,627 Amye Jerez
1991 can.svgElaine King 10 Dayton, Ohio 7 $775 $1,734 Susanne Giendl
1990 flag-us.svgAmy Schiller (neė Bekken) 19 Scottsdale / Mesa / Fountain Hills, Arizona 9 $588 $1,346 Elaine King
1989 flag-us.svgChris O'Cleary 3 Waterloo / Cedar Falls, Iowa 5 $450 $1,104 Amy Schiller (neė Bekken)
1988 flag-us.svgChris O'Cleary 8 Cincinatti, Ohio 6 $930 $2,373 Elaine King
1987 flag-us.svgVanessa Chambers 1 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 6 $800 $2,138 Chris O'Cleary
1986 flag-us.svgVanessa Chambers 4 Charlotte, North Carolina 6 $415 $1,159 Roxanne Spencer
1985 flag-us.svgRamona Hale 6 Tulsa, Oklahoma 6 $500 $1,418 Vanessa Chambers
1984 flag-us.svgMarie Jackson Elsner 6 Rochester, New York 5 Judy Horowitz
1983 flag-us.svgMarie Jackson Elsner 2 Huntsville, Alabama 4 Vanessa Chambers

If you're wondering about all those half rounds, they're there because a "Final Nine" was once extremely common at disc golf world championships. They've fallen out of favor more recently, though.

In case you don't have the time to comb through the table for some of the biggest and/or most interesting takeaways, we've put together some of them for you below.

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  • Who is the current women's disc golf world champion?
    Kristin Tattar

  • Who has won the most women's disc golf world championships?
    Currently, three players are tied for the most disc golf world championships in FPO. Elaine King, Juliana Korver, and Paige Pierce have all won the title five times. 

  • How many different women's disc golf world champions have there been?
    18 different players have won the FPO division at a pro disc golf Worlds. Ten players have won the event twice or more and eight are one-time champions.

  • What is the largest margin of victory ever in the women's disc golf world championship?
    Elaine King's 25-stroke advantage over second-place Anni Kreml in 1997 is the largest margin of victory ever in FPO at a disc golf world championship.

  • What is the average margin of victory for the women's disc golf world championship?
    Women's world champions tend to dominate their competition. The average win in FPO has been by 7.8 strokes. 

    Another interesting stat in this vein is that women champions have won by double digits a total of 13 times. That's only happened four times in Open.

  • Who has the most second-place finishes in women's disc golf world championships?
    Des Reading finished in second at the world championships in FPO a record six times. Reading wasn't always denied the top spot, though, and won the world title in 2002, 2005, and 2006. On a related note, Anni Kreml is the only FPO disc golfer to come in second at the world championships more than twice but have no world titles. She came in second three times.

  • How many playoffs have there been for the women's disc golf world championship?
    None. The event has been decided by one stroke six times, but there has never been a playoff for the women's disc golf world title.

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  • What is the most money anyone has ever won for the women's disc golf world championship?
    $15,000, which Kristin Tattar won in 2023.

  • What is the all-time average for the top prize for women's disc golf world championships?
    Not adjusted for inflation, the top prizes over 40 iterations of the women's disc golf world championships average out to winners earning $2,405. Inflation considered, it comes to $3,231.

  • Have those averages changed in recent years?
    Yes. The average payout to the women's disc golf world champion since 2016 has been $8,071 or $8,971 adjusted for inflation.

  • How do FPO payouts compare to MPO?
    Winners of FPO have always earned less than winners of the MPO division. On average, MPO winners have earned around $3,400 more per Worlds win than FPO winners. Inflation considered, the number jumps to nearly $5,600 more in today's buying power. All numbers adjusted for inflation, the highest ever women's payout ($15,000) is 1,259% more than the lowest ($1,104). In Open, the inflation-adjusted highest ($30,000) is 1,320% more than the lowest ($2,112).

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  • Have the disc golf world championships ever been played outside the U.S.A.?
    In 1987, the disc golf world championships were played in Ontario, Canada. That's the only time.

  • Which city has hosted the most professional disc golf world championships?
    Charlotte, North Carolina, has hosted three pro disc golf world championships, more than any other city.

  • Has anyone not from North America ever won a women's disc golf world championship?
    Yes. In 2022, Kristin Tattar became the second European woman to win a Pro Disc Golf World Championship and in 2023 the first-ever back-to-back FPO champ from Europe. In 2004 Birgitta Lagerholm of Sweden was the first person in FPO or MPO from outside North America to win pro Worlds.

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The Most Top 5 Finishes in FPO at Disc Golf World Championships

Even for those who don't win, getting on or near the podium at a world championship demonstrates elite skill. Knowing this made us wonder which professional women disc golfers had most consistently been among the best at world championships over the years.  

That's why we created a table of FPO competitors who've made the top five at disc golf's Worlds more than twice:

Rank Name Top 5s Total Championships Played Top 5 %
1 Elaine King 15 28 54%
2 Valarie Jenkins 12 15 80%
3 Paige Pierce 11 12 92%
4 Des Reading 10 15 67%
T5 Juliana Korver 9 14 64%
T5 Catrina Allen 9 12 75%
7 Anni Kreml 8 10 80%
8 Birgitta Lagerholm 7 10 70%
9 Vanessa Chambers 6 6 100%
T10 Sarah Hokom 5 12 42%
T10 Kelli Hughes 5 6 83%
T10 Amy Schiller 5 5 100%
T13 Sarah Cunningham 4 9 44%
T13 Ramona Hale 4 4 100%
T13 Chris O'Cleary 4 5 80%
T13 Roxanne Spencer 4 7 57%
T13 Beth Tanner 4 4 100%
T13 Lesli Todd 4 9 44%
T19 Carrie Berlogar 3 7 43%
T19 Henna Blomroos 3 3 100%
T19 Ragna Bygde 3 5 60%
T19 Elizabeth Carr-Sypien 3 5 60%
T19 Lisa Fajkus 3 8 38%
T19 Joanne Gallagher 3 4 75%
T19 Courtney McCoy 3 7 43%
T19 Deb Renner 3 6 50%
T19 Eveliina Salonen 3 3 100%
T19 Kristin Tattar 3 5 60%
T19 Angela Tschiggfrie 3 6 50%

These are some of the takeaways we found most interesting about these numbers:

  • King is Queen.
    Elaine King leads the FPO division in top five finishes at Worlds by three. She's also competed in the top tier of her division at more world championships than any player in history: 28. We know we didn't put the top 10s here, but King actually placed in the top 10 at 24 of those 28 events. That's longevity if we've ever seen it.
  • Vanessa Chambers leads 100% club.
    Eight women have competed in more than two Worlds and made the top five every time they've competed. Two-time world champ Vanessa Chambers managed that feat through the most competitions. Chambers last competed in Worlds in 1989 before leaving her world championship days behind to start a family. That was her sixth straight Worlds and sixth straight top five showing. She was in the first group of disc golfers ever inducted into the Disc Golf Hall of Fame in 1993.
  • Pierce leads active players.
    Pierce's 11 top fives at Worlds is the most of any actively touring FPO disc golfer.

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We'll Keep You Posted

We plan to update this post as soon as the disc golf world championships take place each year, so keep it in a safe place if you'd like to find it again.

If you enjoy breakdowns of disc golf stats like this or are looking for great disc golf travel tips and stories, this blog has what you're looking for. Think about subscribing to our newsletter to make sure you always know what we've posted lately.

1. The information in our table of winners was taken whenever possible directly from PDGA event pages. On rare occasions, the information on those pages differs slightly from the information the PDGA has in its own overview of Worlds winners.

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