Four days ago we started the inaugural Spartan Mowers / R&R Equipment Jonesboro Open presented by Prodiscus with Ricky Wysocki and Paige Pierce out in front for their divisions. Neither player is a stranger to holding the top spot in a tournament. While Paige fell off for a bit in day two and three, before a strong finish for the win in the final round, Ricky held on to his position all four days. So first and foremost, congratulations to our two winners, Paige Pierce, at five under par for the week, and Ricky Wysocki at 37 under par. Both players won by only two strokes in fantastic final rounds.
When the FPO division lead card teed off this morning, Pierce trailed Sarah Hokom by two strokes. By time they had rounded out the front nine the two world champs were tied for the lead. They stayed neck and neck for a while, but ultimately Pierce pulled ahead. Pressure was high headed into the 18th hole. Paige asserted herself by parking her third shot for a drop in birdie four on the 818 foot par five. Hokom finished her round with a solid par, ultimately unable to hold on to the two stroke lead she had started the day with. Read up on our full coverage of the FPO final round of the JBO here.
At the start of the MPO final round Wysocki held a generous nine stroke lead over JohnE McCray and Simon Lizotte who were tied for second. Catching Wysocki, although not impossible, was certainly unreasonable. If there is anyone able to turn unreasonable into reality it is Simon Lizotte. Although Simon could not quite put it all together to catch Ricky, he certainly came close. Capitalizing on a slow round for Wysocki (2 under par, his worst for the event by 8 strokes) Lizotte threw an impressive nine under par, 55. Like any round that falls short of a player’s expectations, there are a thousand things to blame. In Simon’s case, it might just be one – a devastating four putt on hole 16 turning an eagle look from circle two into a bogey 6. I’ve heard of and experienced my fair share of the infamous “birdogey” (when a birdie putt goes awry and you stumble your way to a bogey) but never have I seen an “eaglogey.” Horrible mash-up words aside, changing nothing else, if Lizotte had laid up his circle 2 putt and taken the birdie 4, saving two strokes he could have forced a play-off with Ricky. Read more about Simon’s dramatic run and the rest of the MPO division here.
As I mentioned a week ago, If you build it they will come, and if you fund it they will bring the fire. That is absolutely what we saw here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Brad Pietz has designed a fantastic championship level course that pushes the top pros to balance precision and power in almost every shot. With a touch over $10,000 added to the payouts plus the promise of a first time win at the gorgeous and challenging Disc Side of Heaven, the event brought in a truly impressive field of players. With a stunning total of $23,210 in payouts between the MPO an FPO it’s clear that the more money we get in to the the professional disc golf scene through tours like the DGPT, the more we will see top rated players showing up to throw. So a huge thank you to all the sponsors of the inaugural Spartan Mowers / R&R Farm Equipment Jonesboro Open presented by Prodiscus, Brad Pietz and the event staff and volunteers, Steve Dodge and the DGPT staff, all the pros who came out to play and of course you, the viewer, for making it clear that live coverage, post round articles, and fantastic disc golf from around the country is what you want to see.
The DGPT will be on a break for six weeks and will be back June 1-3 in Ogden, UT for the Utah Open. If you haven’t watched the footage from last year’s Utah Open, I recommend it. The course at Mulligan’s is deceiving. While it may look wide open, beautiful mountain landscapes in the background, and ready to be crushed, it is also riddled with water, sand traps, and of course challenging OB lines. Until then, enjoy the weather and get out there and crush some discs and rattle those chains.