The final round of the 2018 Idlewild Open presented by Innova Champion Discs and Nati Disc Golf is in the history books for the FPO Division. Over the first two days of the tournament we watched Paige Pierce and Sarah Hokom, arguably two of the top women players in the sport at this time, strategically dissect the technical fairways and greens of the Idlewild course as they traded the lead back and forth and distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
The front nine seemed to favor Hokom’s forehand dominant throwing style, but it was apparent she was struggling to find her lines on the back side of the course and was losing valuable strokes to Pierce, who seemed to navigate it a bit better.
At the end of two rounds, the tournament was only a two-player race going into the final round. The next closest player in 3rd was Holly Finley sitting 15-strokes off the lead, while Paige Bjerkaas and Rebecca Cox, both tied for 4th, were sitting 18-strokes back and needed to shoot “lights-out,” and maybe get a little bit of luck, to have any chance at catching our leaders on Championship Sunday here in Burlington, Kentucky. Unfortunately, there were significant moves from the chase group and they pretty much ended-up finishing where they started the final round, except for Rebecca Cox moving up to 3rd place in the overall.
Starting off the final round two-strokes behind Pierce, Hokom needed to stick to her game plan on the front-side, and figure out some better lines around the back-side of this technical Idlewild course, if she wanted to take home the victory and maintain her current DGPT points lead. However, it was Paige Pierce with the hot-start today, taking three birdies through the first 4-holes and improving her lead over Hokom by 5-strokes.
FOCUS & DETERMINATION: Even though she missed the last two events, Paige’s early string of wins on the DGPT kept her in second-place in the standings, and she looked focused and determined to take the victory here in Burlington Kentucky to steal back the points lead from Hokom.
Paige continued to play solid on the front nine carding a string of pars, with only one misstep on hole 7, which resulted in a double-bogey, although she didn’t lose any stokes to Hokom, who unfortunately took a double-bogey on the same hole and carded additional bogies on holes 5 and 8. Coming in on the back 9, both players got the short 192-foot hole 11, but Hokom continued to bleed four more strokes to Pierce on holes 10 thru 13. However, Hokom did compose herself and turned it around, carding a solid string of par’s on 4 of the final five holes to take 4-strokes back from Pierce, but it was ‘too little too late’ to affect change in the overall tournament results. Paige Pierce has done what she came to do! She is your 2018 Idlewild FPO Champion and regains the DGPT points lead heading back to the Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft, in Peoria Illinois, August 9 thru 12th.
Be sure to check out our shot-by-shot coverage today at the Pro Tour live at 2pm EST for today’s FPO and 3pm EST for the MPO coverage, and check out the Disc Golf Pro Tour for updates, tournament news, and live coverage of the 2018 Idlewild Open presented by Innova Champion Discs and Nati Disc Golf.
Article written by DGPT Staff Writer Jon Berg
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