Ending on a High Note
2023 DGPT Championship – Final Recap
This is it, the final round of the 2023 Elite season. After a season of chase card comebacks, logjam leaderboards, and first-time PDGA Major winners, the top tour points leaders fought through the semifinals to make it to the last round of the finals of the 2023 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship presented by Barbasol.
As we’ve seen all year, both the FPO and MPO competitions came down to the hole 18 to crown the 2023 Tour Champions.
Gannon Takes the Reins
Tensions were high and the scores were tight as the eight FPO finalists returned to Nevin Park for the final round of the 2023 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship.
After the first round of the Finals, Ohn Scoggins held a two-stroke lead over Kat Mertsch with Missy Gannon just one additional stroke behind. Throughout the round, the lead would change three times as the lead card fought their way through the woods of the Matt Keatts Memorial DGC. Gannon’s discs kept finding the fairways and a two-stroke swing on hole 13 put Gannon in the lead over Scoggins.
“This is one of those courses where if you’re off by a little bit, it could be okay or it could be really bad,” Gannon said of navigating narrow gaps through the trees while simultaneously facing the pressure of playing against the top players on tour, “It’s just trying to stay focused; you cannot lose sight of what the goal is in front of you and that’s the next shot.”
Gannon maintained 91% fairway hits in the final round as she consistently hit tight gaps while her closest competition struggled to find the fairway. After keeping a clean scorecard throughout the round, Gannon saw her first real mistake after she went OB on hole 17 and was staring down a 27ft putt to save the bogey.
“If you can minimize mistakes to just single bogeys out here, then you’re going to be okay, I knew that I did not want to get my first double bogey on this course today,” said Gannon, who avoided taking any double bogeys or worse during the weekend.
With one more successful putt, Gannon continued her perfect streak inside Circle 1 in the Finals. Gannon was the only FPO player to finish both rounds of the Finals with 100% C1X putting and overall had 4.41 strokes gained from C1X in the last two rounds.
While other players on the lead card gave a few strokes back to the course, Gannon kept from making too many costly mistakes and found herself with a two-stroke lead over Mertsch as they stepped up to the tee of hole 18 for the last time. Gannon stayed dialed in and took one last par to finish with a 3-under hot round and win by three strokes after starting the final round trailing the lead by three strokes.
“I just knew that I had to stay within my own limits and hit the lines and make the putts. I’m just glad that I had a couple strokes to play with going into the last couple holes,” Gannon said after becoming the 2023 Tour Champion.
After a season with an Elite Series win and two Podium finishes at Majors, Gannon now has her second DGPT Championship win and is tied with Catrina Allen for most Tour Championship wins in the FPO division.
Kat Mertsch and Ohn Scoggins, who both took their first Elite Series victories earlier this year, capped off their 2023 seasons with a tie for 2nd place.
Back-to-Back Wins for Wysocki
With their last round at Nevin Park, the MPO finalists had one more chance to end their season on a high note in the final round of the 2023 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship.
The MPO competition turned into a battle for the lead as Kyle Klein chased down defending Tour Champion Ricky Wysocki. After setting a 10-under course record in the first round of the Finals, Wysocki started championship Sunday with a three-stroke lead over Klein. Even with Calvin Heimburg posting a 9-under hot round, it was clear that the title would come down to Wysocki or Klein as the lead card came down the stretch.
The two traded strokes throughout the round with Klein managing to catch up by hole 7 after Wysocki took a couple of big numbers. Wysocki never completely gave up the lead and found himself two strokes ahead going into hole 16.
When Wysocki’s drive came up short and Klein’s drive left him with a 25ft birdie putt, it seemed that Klein would shrink that lead down to a single stroke as Klein had maintained 100% C1X putting in the final two rounds. Wysocki decided to go for it, successfully making a 75ft downhill putt into an elevated basket.
“I had to be aggressive. One stroke coming down these last two holes is nothing,” Wysocki said of his decision to run the putt, “I wanted to have at least two strokes coming into 17 and 18.”
Wysocki put on a show from Circle 2 in the final round, making all four of his C2 attempts in addition to his massive birdie putt on hole 16. Throughout the last two rounds, Wysocki maintained 86% C2 putting and 4.01 strokes gained from C2.
With two strokes going into the final hole, Wysocki got less aggressive and chose to lay up his second shot and put the pressure on Klein to take a birdie on the small green of hole 18. Klein’s second shot made the mando but didn’t cross in bounds, forcing him to throw a nearly identical shot to save the bogey. While Klein executed this next shot to perfection, Wysocki simply chipped his way up to the basket to take a double bogey and win by one stroke.
“There was no better way to put on a show for everybody, that was an intense battle with Kyle,” Wysocki said after the round, “I had to make some great shots under some high-pressure situations. It was a pleasure battling with him.”
With his win at the 2023 DGPT Championship, Wysocki has back-to-back Tour Championship titles and is the first three-time winner of the event.
Klein’s 2nd place finish capped off an excellent season that included a chase card win at the Waco Annual Charity Open and taking his first Major victory at the United States Disc Golf Championship.
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