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Champions in Norway – Krokhol Open Final Recap

By Zac Kuykendall
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PDGA EuroTour #3 – Krokhol Open Final Recap

Monday, June 26, 2023 – 00:33

From Texas to Norway

When a player with 400 PDGA Events and 127 victories says that this performance can draw back to some of his best wins it means that something special has happened in the Krokhol Disc Golf Club near Oslo, Norway at the 2023 PDGA EuroTour – Krokhol Open.

More than 2,000 people gathered throughout the weekend to follow the third stop of the PDGA Euro Tour and the gallery that was following the leading card continued to increase in size until it reached its maximum on the 18th hole.

The leader after the second day, the Finn Elias Lukkonen, had a very disconcerting start with a double bogey on hole 1 after an OB and a strange miss on a putt just five meters away and, after a good central part of the course, he returned to suffering, especially in the back nine, to finally finish 5th in the general classification.

His also-young compatriot Miro Ryhänen couldn’t keep up with the lead either and ended up tied for fifth place after an almost miraculous roll of his disc back to inbounds through the chain of rocks that guarded the island at hole 18 and the tiebreaker for an invitation to the USDGC.

The one who got better as the rounds went by (-2, -3, and -5) was the Estonian Silver Lätt, who, with his solid game and brilliant forehand, managed to reach fourth place when it mattered most: at the end of the tournament

The Norwegian Øyvind Jarnes came back from the chase card to the final third place with a great -6 and decided not to have references to the results of the lead card to play without pressure, and it looks like it worked!

So, the battle was between the two Americans: Bradley Williams declared that he wanted to play aggressively on holes 3 and 4 with a faster disc and this positive dynamic was extended between holes 2 and 7 with six birdies in a row, maintaining a nice battle with the Californian to get tied at the end of the front nine.

And on the 14th hole, the moment that would mark the rest of the tournament occurred: after going OB backhand yesterday, Paul McBeth plays more safely with the forehand, but leaves himself a death putt with the basket on the edge of a drop that leads to the lake. Bradley Williams parks his drive for a tap-in birdie, and McBeth takes a risk with the putt, but at the last moment something happens, and his shot becomes something in between a putt and a layup that rolls inevitably into the water.

On the 15th hole, he falls short to fall on the OB to give up another two shots for Williams’ new birdie and is four behind. But the great champions never give up, and he chains three birdies in a row on the last three holes to put all the pressure on Williams on the approach of 18 where he was forced to hit the island with a forehand with his Pig: more than 1,000 people save a sepulchral silence… and he succeeds!

Collective ecstasy, and the Texan lifts the trophy, ending an unforgettable weekend of high-level disc golf in the Norwegian woods.

Rising Stars

Rachel Turton’s weekend has been a true roller coaster: from Friday’s even par and yesterday’s plus-6, we went to 6-under on Championship Sunday, marking the best round of the day. The Brit told us that a bit of rowing on a nearby lake was the best recipe to reset the mind, drive away bad thoughts, and let her best disc golf flow again, achieving the third final position in the event and relegating to fourth the Swedish Sofie Björlycke, who did not have her best performance this Sunday.

And just one shot was missing to reach the second classified, the Finnish Jenni Karpinnen, who was perfectly aware of the magnificent round that Turton was playing and who remained faithful to her game, delivering for the third time a card close to par on the field. It is worth noting the incredible putt she achieved on the 9th hole with a great upward slope and a shot that fell directly from the sky to the basket without the help of the chains.

The one who was able to develop a somewhat calmer game was her compatriot Silva Saarinen, to whom the 7-stroke advantage after the second break offered her a very important margin of safety and who, despite delivering the most discreet card of her three rounds, was able to easily win the trophy that accredits her as champion of this PDGA Euro Tour Krokhol Open 2023 in what constitutes the most important victory of her career along with last year’s European Pro Tour Turku Open and the 2021 Junior European Championship.