Unlike other divisions in the sport of disc golf, the women’s division (FPO) has a much smaller universe. The number of faces the players see year after year never seems
to grow or shrink. For 2017, change in the air. With the outcry for equality, and disc golf itself growing faster than ever before, it is a great time to play disc golf as a woman.
One woman that exemplifies this sentiment is Paige Pierce. Since her recent transition to a new bag, she has undergone a renaissance. Winning both the Aussie Open and the Gentlemen’s Club in succession. Her rise seems unstoppable and perhaps it is, except there were times during the first round of the Memorial Championship presented by Discraft, that one could recognize moments of doubt or hesitation in her game. Was she playing it safe?
Catrina Allen was, without question, the most successful female disc golfer of the 2016 season. Her long drives and solid short game gave her the edge to pull away from her competition and snatch victories at will. With the start of the new season, will Catrina have the strength to fight off the other ladies of disc golf? Her first round at the Memorial Championship presented by Discraft, revealed an uneven performance, yet it was her fairway hits that kept her in the race.
Allen showed some frustration early during round 2 missing the mando on hole #1 and taking an unfortunate bogey as a result. Her aim for perfection and self-discipline kicked in by the third hole though, beginning a 3-hole birdie train. Her real turning point came in the form of a downhill death putt facing the water on hole # 6. Needing it to save par, she drained the putt and held onto her position. Allen parked the very next hole while the leader, Paige Pierce, incurred a watery penalty stroke. Remarkably, Allen never really got into a groove, spending most of the day spinning her wheels and battling frustration. Sadly, she was denied a spot on tomorrow’s lead card, an occurrence rarely seen.
Sarah Hokom always finding a way. She’s the type of player that can’t be counted out. If she finds herself on the lead card her competition better not make a mistake because she will likely take advantage of the opportunity. Although she carded several holes above par in round 1, her knowledge and skills allowed her to climb the leaderboard to second place.
Sarah avoided first hole jitters to place a short forehand close to the basket. She snatched the lone birdie and took an early advantage against her strong competition. She managed the unyielding wind and in the process made some tough putts to keep her right in the thick of it.
Paige Pierce did not disappoint today making some spectacular long shots and clutch par-saving putts that preserved some precious strokes, protecting her lead, and more importantly bolstering her confidence through her round.
An exciting story to note today was Madison Walker from Pensacola, Florida. Some casual fans may not know her but she is a mainstay on the professional tour with 12 career wins under her belt. She made a great move up the leaderboard. Her -3 was the score that rewarded her with the hot round of the day. She was heard on the course to have said, “I’m killing it!” and indeed she did just that. Walker is now in 3rd place. Something tells me we will be hearing her name more as the season progresses.
The lead card for Round 3 is shaping up to become one of the most exciting battles yet. Paige Pierce is seeking to fight off her competitors once again and hold onto her 5 stroke lead. Sarah Hokom remains steady with an even total score in second place. The third player to join the card will be Madison Walker. This exuberant player is hoping to face down her strong challengers and add to her low scoring day. These three women have unique styles and will no doubt show the fans a thrill tomorrow for round 3 at the Memorial Championship presented by Discraft.
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