The final round of the 2019 MVP Open at Maple Hill was one for the record books as the top five players were all in contention going into the day. At one point in time, four of the five players were in the hunt.
James Conrad dropped off early after a double-bogey on hole eight. With two more bogeys on holes eleven and twelve, he was out of contention for a repeat victory. That being said, James focused on giving the crowd a show. His highlight reel of the day came on hole seventeen when he carded the eagle two.
Racing to the top at one point were Joel Freeman and Simon Lizotte from the chase card. Simon Lizotte was tied for fifth place and spent most of the day tied or one-off the lead with Garrett Gurthie and Paul McBeth. Simon's run for the win came to an end with a bogey on hole sixteen. After going for the birdie on 18 and going OB Simon would finish in a tie with Joel Freeman.
Joel Freeman made his push from the chase card but was too far back to catch up in the race to the top. Instead, Joel was racing (and succeeding) at garnering a podium finish. Joel's -9 performance tied McBeth for the best round of the day. Joel carries the unique distinction of being the only player in the MPO field not to card a bogey during the final round. Joel came into the tournament 20th in Tour Standings and will be right around top ten in tour points with his finish this weekend.
In what faded away to a two-horse race for the win yesterday's leader Garrett Gurthie went head-to-head with 2019 World Champion Paul McBeth to see who could bring home the win. The two players traded shots back and forth all day. It ended up being Paul's birdies on seven, thirteen, and seventeen to Double G's pars that helped him bring home the win. This was Paul's second win at Maple Hill and his first since his 1121 rated final round in 2013.
McBeth will extend his tour points lead while Simon Lizotte will jump Discmania teammate Eagle McMahon in points standings. Garrett Gurthie will also jump McMahon and now be in fifth in Tour Standings going into the final event of the season. Make plans to watch the Green Mountain Championships on September 13-16th.
Saturday presented another perfect weather day at the MVP Open at Maple Hill, and the scores on the course reflected the weather. Several players made significant moves to put themselves in position for a top finish on Championship Sunday.
Thomas Gilbert and Andrew Marwede made moves early, carding six-under rounds to move up thirty-one spots into a tie for 20th place. Alex Russell was a little further down in the field, and his five-under performance moved him up forty spots into a tie for 50th place. The second hottest round of the day came from Calvin Heimburg. Calvin put together a nine-under near stunner to also move up forty spots and is now solidly in the hunt for a top ten finish. He credited his success to throwing clean off the tee, "I was throwing clean off the tee, better than yesterday, and gave myself birdie looks. I wasn't able to convert on some C2 putts, but I was able to stay clean and capitalize."
Calvin was upstaged though by his Florida counterpart Garrett Gurthie. Double G avoided trouble and put together a scorching twelve under par, 1101 rated round. Garrett avoided OB and bogeys and was able to move up eighteen spots and his way into first place with his performance today. Post-round Garrett said he felt like this was the best round he had ever played. He indicated a few others had come close, but this round definitely felt like the best. He said, "I knew once I hit the gap on 16 I was home free." Garrett chalked up his success to the many years he had played at the course, "This is like my 8th MVP Open." Knowing that James Conrad had to birdie out to tie him for the lead Garrett was excited to be starting at the top of the card going into the final round tomorrow.
Also joining the lead card tomorrow will be 2018 World Champion Gregg Barsby. Barsby spent all day battling with semi-local Pro Simon Lizotte for who would take the final spot on the lead card going into Championship Sunday. Ultimately the two players would finish tied at the end of the round with the fourth spot on the lead card going to Barsby with the tie based on who carded the hot round.
James Conrad was able to hold steady today even with bogeys on holes six, nine, and fourteen to stay within a few throws of being able to defend his title. James finishes the day two throws back from the lead and well within striking distance.
Paul McBeth will round out the lead card tomorrow after going 5-for-5 on the last five holes of the course. McBeth's only miscues came on holes eight and nine where he went OB on both holes and was unable to scramble to save par. McBeth's nine-under round tied Heimburg for the second hottest round of the day. He did all of this only netting 17% from C2. Paul clearly has more left in the tank and is sitting only one throw back from the lead.
It is shaping up to be an exciting finish at the MVP Open at Maple Hill. Make plans to tune in tomorrow starting at 3:30 PM ET to watch the lead card live with Garrett Gurthie, Paul McBeth, James Conrad, and Gregg Barsby.
It's day two at the MVP Open at Maple Hill, and uniquely, the entire lead card has separated itself from the rest of the field. When the day started the chase card was in a position to make moves, but even in perfect weather, they were unable to match the play of the lead card.
For it being moving day, only a few players ended up making moves. Hannah McBeth jumped the most spots, carding a plus-four today compared to her plus-nine yesterday which moved her up six spots. She is now in a tie for fourteenth place. Other movers include Courtney Cannon who moved up four spots and Kona Panis and Hailey King who each moved up three spots.
The real story of the day came from the separation built by the lead card. As the lead card separated itself from the pack, the leader of the tournament separated herself from the rest of the field. Paige Pierce faltered early which briefly brought Catrina into a tie for first. Pierce stopped the bleeding on hole five with a par and would not stumble again until hole fifteen. She would gain those throws back on the very next hole, grabbing an eagle two on the long hole sixteen. Paige would finish the day -5, one throw off the pace she set yesterday.
Sarah Hokom was able to make moves on the lead card today; her -3 finish was the second-best round of the day. She credited her drives for putting her in that position. She did lament about a shift in weather that was not similar to anything they saw in practice. She said, "The wind was stronger than we have seen all week, so that was a big challenge." Overall she is positive looking to the final round, she added,
"I'm having fun; it was fun playing with Paige and watching her shoot well."
Also on the card, Kristin Tattar was the only other player in the field to shoot under par for the day. Kristin was able to maintain her third-place position with a two-under-par, improving on her one-under-par performance from yesterday. Kristin is in position to make a podium finish in her first Disc Golf Pro Tour event.
Rounding out today's lead card was Catrina Allen. Catrina finished over par on the day but is still in a position to make a push for a podium finish tomorrow. Catrina started well but struggled inside C1 today, finishing the day with a 46% C1 putting percentage. Today's putting was a stark contrast to yesterday's 83% C1 performance where she only two-putted once. If Catrina cleans up her putting tomorrow, she could be in an excellent position to make a podium finish.
Make plans to tune in and watch the final round tomorrow at 9 AM ET from the storied Maple Hill course.
Round One has come to a close at the 2019 MVP Open at Maple Hill, and as the day wound down, the wind picked up. As the wind picked up, it became clear that players who finished earlier in the day had more favorable scoring conditions than those who played later in the day.
One of the first hot rounds of the day came from Joel Freeman. Joel Freeman is coming off a strong finish last week in Delaware on the National Tour. Joel took a bogey after going OB on his second hole of the day and didn't look back. Joel finished with three birdies on his round to put him at -8, one back from the lead. He was the only player in the field to card birdies on all of the final three holes today.
The next hot round to come into the clubhouse was Adam Hammes. Adam's only blemish came from a double-bogey on the water-ridden hole fourteen. Going OB on the drive, Adam struggled to scramble to save bogey. Adam's hot streak began in the middle of the course when he carded birdies on holes 7-11. He capped his birdie streak with C2 putts on both seven and eleven. Adam finished the day one throw better than Joel and is tied for the lead with Nathan Queen.
Nathan Queen came into the clubhouse, not knowing that he had tied the hot round for the day. He was just excited to have a good day on the course. The first thing he said after turning in his scorecard was, "It feels good to be back in the woods." Nathan finished the round 100% inside circle one, and he said it was a C2 putt that got him started, "I started off with a good C2 putt on hole two, and it kept me feeling good inside the circle." When asked how he felt about the round, in general, he said, "I started off one, two, three; I don't know if anyone else has done that." He should have gone one further. He started his round with birdies on one through four, and he was correct that no one else in the field accomplished that feat today. Nathan will look to continue his work in the woods tomorrow and hopefully start with the same success he found today.
Rounding out tomorrow's lead card will be James Conrad. If we look back to the preview article, we will remember that James has been on a solid play streak since Ledgestone. It was not surprising at all to see him move up into a tie for third place with Joel Freeman. James is looking to defend his title from last year. James started the day with a bogey but quickly shook off the nerves and stayed in the white and blue colors on Udisc for the rest of the day. James peppered his birdies throughout the round and never appeared to struggle to keep on pace. Instead, James stayed focused on the goal at hand and took the birdies that the course gave him and grabbed pars when they were available. He was able to avoid troubles with the wind and is in prime position to defend his title and make moves on moving day.
Make plans to tune in tomorrow to watch the live coverage at 3:30 PM ET from the MVP Open at Maple Hill.
On a picturesque Massachusetts day, the scoring conditions could not be more ideal for the first round of the MVP Open at Maple Hill. A familiar battle is unfolding before our eyes. We will need to follow along this weekend to see if the constant holds and a familiar face will take the podium on Sunday.
A familiar face started the day strong with Paige Pierce carding her first birdie on hole two and not looking back. Paige would start a par-free streak on hole seven that would not end until hole fourteen. While that comprised of five birdies, there were also two bogeys mixed in there. Pierce would pick back up the birdie streak on hole fifteen, and that would go until hole eighteen when she carded her third OB penalty of the day. During the round today Pierce commented to her caddy that she leads for the season in most OB strokes. That was the case today too. When looking at tomorrow's lead card the rest of the card has fewer OB throws in today's round than she did. Paige would finish the day with a double-OB, double-bogey six on hole eighteen which would give her only a two throw lead going into moving day. When asked about her OB's Paige said hole one and nine were because she was playing aggressive. On hole nine, in particular, she said, "If I have a putt inside the circle, I'm still going to go for it and not feel bad about missing it." Discussing her double-OB on eighteen, she said, "I don't feel comfortable off the tee there, I didn't feel comfortable after practice, and I think I'm going to change my gameplan for tomorrow." Paige finished the day four throws ahead of where she finished last year on day one, and she chalked it up to good putting, "I landed three C2 putts within the first four holes, and I think that was the difference." Make plans to tune in tomorrow to see how she and the rest of the field handle day two of competition.
A not-so-familiar face to jump out early and finish under par for the day was Kristin Tattar. Kristin is continuing her US tour and was able to grab her first birdie of the day on the downhill hole four. She would struggle in the middle of the course ultimately carding two bogeys and then a double-bogey on the treacherous hole fourteen. She landed in the water on the drive and ended up two-putting on the green to finish with the double-bogey. Kristin overcame her struggles though by making back-to-back birdies on holes sixteen and seventeen.
Perhaps the most impressive round of the day came from Catrina Allen. Catrina would card a bogey on hole two and not look back. Catrina had a phenomenal day placing almost every single one of her drives inside C1 or C2. Outside of two-putting on hole seven Catrina had a solid day inside C1 but missed 100% of her C2 putts. Even if Catrina had landed half of her C2 putts would be well in the lead. Catrina finished the day four down and within four strokes of the lead going into moving day. When asked about her round Catrina immediately said, "I had an awesome group" following up on that Catrina added, "I was just executing my game plan, I would have liked to have more shots at birdies on the par fours, but other than that I was giving myself looks which was good." Looking towards tomorrow, Catrina concluded, "all my jump putts were on" (she motioned at the basket and indicating many of them were just missing on the front cage) and "I just really had an awesome group."
Rounding out the lead card tomorrow will be last year's winner Sarah Hokom. Last year Sarah finished the day tied for the lead with Paige Pierce before eventually going on to win the tournament. Last year that score was a -2 round. This year with better scoring conditions, a two-under would not cut it for the hot score of the day. Sarah was gunning for a day similar to Pierce's except three holes got in the way. Holes three, twelve, and eighteen all gave Hokom issues on the green. She two-putted on each of them, which is what led to the bogeys (and double-bogey) on the three. She will look to clean those up and hopefully card a few more birdies for moving day tomorrow.
Players to watch tomorrow not on the live card will include Elaine King, Missy Gannon, and Rebecca Cox who all made moves towards the end of their rounds. Each player grabbed back-to-back birdies on sixteen and seventeen and moved into a tie for fifth place. Each of them has what it takes to make a move to the lead card on Saturday. Make sure to tune in on Udisc Live to follow their scores.
Make plans to tune in tomorrow morning to watch the FPO lead card live at 9 AM ET as Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Kristin Tattar take on the Maple Hill course once again.
The MVP Open at Maple Hill kicks off tomorrow and excitement is in the air as players return to one of the most storied courses in the nation. Since the event has joined the Disc Golf Pro Tour, it has had its fair share of excitement from title sponsor changes to chipmunk gate to come-from-behind victories. In this article we will dive into both divisions and see what exciting stories are bound to unfold at this year’s MVP Open.
Starting with the FPO side of the event, we look back first to last year. Last year Sarah Hokom won the tournament by a wide margin. Hokom’s win at the MVP Open had final DGPT Points Standing’s implications. Her first-place finish coupled with Pierce’s sixth-place finish was enough for Hokom to finish first place in 2018 Tour Standings. Hokom started last year’s event on the feature card and finished the day tied for the hot round with Paige Pierce. On the second day, Hokom was able to begin to separate herself from the field. She and Paige Bjerkaas were the only two players in the FPO division to shoot under par for the day. Paige Bjerkaas was moving her way up the leaderboard after starting the day in third place. Bjerkaas would start the final round three throws behind Sarah Hokom. Sarah would proceed to card the hot round of the tournament carding a five-under-par round while Bjerkaas would only card a one-under round. Sarah’s win last year at the MVP Open solidified that her earlier successes in the season were not unfounded. Her win at the final event of the season paved the way for what would become her Tour Championship victory in Jacksonville later that year.
This year a different story is unfolding. Sarah Hokom made a switch over to a new manufacturer sponsor during the offseason and has been working all season to gain confidence in her game. When considering this event, Sarah said, “Coming in as defending champ always adds a little pressure, plus I haven’t been able to get a Pro Tour win yet this year, so it’s easy to feel the added pressure to finally snag that win, especially one of my absolute favorite stops. But I’ve been battling that kind of pressure all season and will do my best to block it out and simply do the best I can. So, I am preparing as usual. I’ve got three practice rounds in and have developed a solid game plan to execute. Mentally, I’ll do my best to stay positive, hopeful, and play as relaxed as possible.”
This season has featured a return of the storied Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen battles of 2017 and earlier. Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen are in a head-to-head race to see who will finish atop the DGPT standings. With two more events to play the MVP Open will be a determining factor in who will come out at the top. Last year’s performance at the MVP Open was not hallmarked returns for either competitor. While both openly discuss their enjoyment for playing this course, the course was not kind to them. Both players have won this event before, so they know what it will take to bring home the trophy. With a stacked field of 32 players, it could be a race to the finish.
Outside of the same old story, will a new story unfold? Last year’s runner-up will not be in attendance this year. Paige Bjerkaas is currently planning a wedding and has taken a weekend off to prepare for her upcoming nuptials. Last year Lisa Fajkus put together a solid performance to finish third on the podium. Will her consistent putting stroke help elevate her to another podium finish? Rebecca Cox has been trending up all season and currently is fifth in Tour Points and finished fourth at the event last year. We could even see another international player win the FPO division at a DGPT event for the second time this season as Kristin Tattar will be in attendance. Or will there be a fresh face who steals the show?
Tune in tomorrow starting at 9 AM ET to watch the feature card live which will include Sarah Hokom, Paige Pierce, Amanda Melwiki, and Kristina Draeger. Post-produced coverage of the feature card will be provided by GK Pro all weekend.
The Stories Continue on the MPO Side...
On the MPO side, we have a first-time winner emerging to defend his title alongside the most recently crowned five-time world champion on the round one feature card. Paul McBeth has not won this event since 2013. Only one player has won the competition twice since 2013, Ricky Wysocki. Ricky won in 2015 and 2017. Why go back to 2013? In 2013 McBeth carded an 1121 rated 45 final round at the event to create a come-from-behind win. McBeth was in contention for success last year, but James Conrad carded an -11, 48 in the final round to secure a one throw victory for his first win at Maple Hill.
This year James Conrad is still a part of the story. James has carded podium finishes at the past three elite series events going into MVP (Idlewild, Worlds, and Delaware). James is tracking for a solid shot at defending his title and becoming the first repeat winner of the MVP Open at Maple Hill. James said that he had taken it pretty easy this week when asked how he was preparing for the event he continued, “[With] a good bit of rest and some light practice to stay loose. I’m making sure I’m feeling good and focused for the tournament.” Also, gunning for the victory will be Paul McBeth. Fresh on the heels of his World Title McBeth spent the past week and a half focused on preparation. Choosing to forego the National Tour event last weekend Paul will have fresh legs when he tees off on the live feature card tomorrow with James Conrad, Andrew Presnell, and Justin Bilodeau at 3:30 PM ET.
Other stories to follow will include German national but course local Simon Lizotte. Having a full year and a half with Maple Hill as his home course, Simon will look for some local love to propel him to his first tournament win at Maple Hill. Another international player in the mix will be European Open sensation, Albert Tamm. Kevin Jones is another name to have in the mix, fresh off the heels of his first DGPT win. Kevin is in position build upon his success at Idlewild on another challenging wooded course. Some players are looking for their first Pro Tour Wins who could end up being the story of the weekend. 2018 World Champion Gregg Barsby has played well at Maple Hill for years but is yet to convert on a win. Gregg did have an ESPN highlight from 2017 when he carded the ace on the elevated hole five. He is an exciting player to watch and will be featured on the Gatekeeper first-round filmed card. Make sure to be watching for him alongside Ricky Wysocki, MVP sponsored player Matt Dollar and fan vote winner Joel Freeman on the next-day coverage.
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