The winner of the 2017 Memorial Championship Presented by Discraft is Paige Pierce!
On the final round of the tournament, the professional women of disc
golf met to do battle for the first stop of the Disc Golf Pro Tour. Paige Pierce came into this round leading the entire way and hoping to close it out. She can execute the shot when her game is on the line – the true mark of a champion. Watching Paige Pierce throw between the lines today with authority shows that she is transcending the limits of the Women’s Open division. She throws hard, plays smart, and can match any competitor on the field, throw for throw. She started the final round taking advantage of her lead with 2 quick birdies in 3 holes and soon fell into a comfortable groove, looking to protect her lead. Pierce played with the poise of a confident champion, intelligently responding to what the course gave her. Pierce is clearly a force to be reckoned with in 2017.
Sarah Hokom has played a remarkable tournament, working hard to keep a steady balance between being aggressive and playing it safe. If Sarah came to the this event with a game plan, it was to play smart and conservative. The lines she threw for all four rounds were safe, and more importantly they always gave her a chance to either attack the basket or lay up. She watched as other players went too aggressive and paid the price. Her rise to the lead card was a textbook example of how to make the lead card and wait patiently for any opportunity. Sarah doesn’t have the biggest arm on tour, but she does all the little things necessary to be a spectacular competitor. Her final day began by dropping 2 strokes that she quickly gained back. Hokom is the queen of neutrality and a fighter at heart, this time it just wasn’t enough to catch Pierce.
Catrina Allen has all the skills that a top professional disc golfer can obtain. She has the passion, the shots, and the will to win. The question is whether or not she has the mental stamina to push her game back to the level we saw in 2016. In 2017 she has been visibly frustrated, her emotions getting the best of her. Although she started her day far behind the leader, her round stalled out, maintaining her overall score for the week. With only 8% of holes parked and 0% putting from circle 2, she was forcing herself to make long putts far too often. As a fan I was waiting for her to kick into overdrive, sink some putts, and apply the pressure. Unfortunately, this week didn’t give us the back and forth battle between the two best female disc golfers in the world.
Jennifer Allen may not have had the tournament results that she had initially planned, scoring most rounds in 60’s. Her stats remained impressive with a 78% circle 1 putting rate and ranked 3rd and hitting 61% of the fairways. It’s stats like these that cause a shake of the head, wondering why she couldn’t rise higher among the field.
Another player of note was Valerie Jenkins. She allowed her rounds to dip into the 60’s but played a bogey free final round, carding a -3. Jenkins is new to the Discraft family and should overcome the learning curve and break in her new plastic to be back to her 4x World Champion form in no time at all. Being a fan-favorite, Val will likely be turning heads as she progresses with her new sponsor.
The day and the week belonged to your champion, Paige Pierce. Watching her control the tempo of the entire tournament, leading wire to wire was an exhilarating testament to how great the FPO division has become. Pierce won the tournament by 13 strokes over her closet rival, Sarah Hokom (+5) in 2nd, and rounding out the top three with Val Jenkins coming from behind to take 3rd with a (+9). Adding a little icing on the cake, Paige also shot the hot round of the day with a -5. Paige Pierce is the definition of dominance. Armed with her trusty Dynamic Discs “Convict”, she shredded the courses all four days and set the bar extremely high. Some of her stats include #1 ranking in Fairway hits, scrambling, and 1 & 2 circle putts. Playing her extraordinary game was enough to fend off her competitors and bring home a victory. Congratulations to Paige Pierce, the winner of the 2017 Memorial Championship presented by Discraft.
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