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Round 3: The Grand Finale – Music City Open Final Round Recap

By Nick Quargnenti
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2023 DGPT – Music City Open Final Recap

Monday, April 10, 2023 – 09:20

The final round of the 2023 Music City Open presented by Lone Star Disc finally saw some sunshine at Mill Ridge Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

As well as presenting a great opportunity to score well, this was also the last Elite Series event before the first major of the 2023 season so a strong finish here could give players momentum going into the PDGA Champions Cup.

The FPO field saw a return to form for Kristin Tattar and the MPO field had yet another come-from-behind victory as Simon Lizotte won from the chase card.

According to StatMando, this is the second Elite Series event where both winners were European. The first one was the 2022 Des Moines Challenge where the winners were also Kristin Tattar and Simon Lizotte.

Here’s how the show played out in the Music City:

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Tattar Sets the Record Straight

After two miserable, rainy days, the FPO field finally got sunny scoring conditions at Mill Ridge Park for the final round of the 2023 Music City Open. Once again, the field averaged over two strokes better than the previous round. With Holyn Handley leading by only one stroke over the other players on the lead card, the calm conditions provided a huge opportunity for anyone to make a push for the win.

Among Handley’s card-mates was Kristin Tattar, whose four-over score in Round 2 set her back to even par. Tattar would go on to score 7 strokes under par on Sunday, sharing the hot round with Rebecca Cox. Despite taking an eagle on Hole 4 (the only eagle on the hole in the tournament), Handley dropped out of the lead and finished the final round at two strokes over par. As Tattar kept racking up birdies, it seemed like she would be uncatchable.

After pushing her drive long on Hole 14, Tattar was left with a circle 2 look for the birdie.

“The entire time I was walking up to my disc, I was telling myself you’re going to make it,” Tattar said afterwards. Her putting had been on point so far and her optimism paid off as she sank the putt. Tattar would go on to finish the round with 100% C1X Putting.

Tattar took her first bogey of the round on Hole 16 after her drive went out of bounds, still leaving her in 1st place with a three-stroke lead going into Hole 17. While she had a sizable cushion with only two holes left to play, Hole 17 had shown its teeth the day before as Tattar was in the 52% of players to take a bogey or worse on the hole in Round 2.

“I was pretty scared going into that shot but I just told myself to throw it hard and trust your disc,” Tattar said when asked about her mindset going into the tee shot on Hole 17. Tattar’s bogey on Hole 16 would be her last as she went on to birdie Hole 17 and give herself a tap-in birdie on Hole 18 to finish the tournament with a five-stroke lead over 2nd place.

With Tattar stretching her lead, the battle for 2nd place continued through the final hole. Macie Velediaz and Jennifer Allen started the final round tied with Tattar at even par and were tied with each other at 2 strokes under par with two holes to go. Allen took two pars and Velediaz took a bogey and birdie, finishing the tournament tied for 2nd place.

Having won the 2023 Waco Annual Charity Open, Tattar’s win at the 2023 MCO makes her the first FPO player to win multiple Elite Series events in 2023.

Lizotte Turns it Up to 11

“It feels so weird to never feel like you’re in contention until suddenly you’re on top,” said Simon Lizotte after his come-from-behind victory in the 2023 Music City Open. This is the third Elite Series event in a row that has been won from the chase card for the MPO field. In fact, according to StatMando, the last three Elite Series events have seen 21.4% of all elite chase card victories ever.

Lizotte started the final round tied for 5th at four strokes back of Chris Dickerson’s lead. While he scored a respectable three-under on the front 9, he was still multiple strokes back of players on the lead card. Then on the back 9, something clicked as Lizotte went on to birdie Holes 11-18.

“The last eight holes, I was just sticking those shots. Eight tap-ins in a row basically,” Lizotte said of his impressive birdie streak. Lizotte birdied the last eight holes with a putt no longer than 25 feet, taking some of the mental stress off of his game as he finished the round.

With the best scoring conditions of the weekend, Lizotte scored the hot round at 11 strokes under par, a score also shared by Cole Redalen and John Willis. Lizotte was now in the lead at 23 strokes under par and all that was left for him to do was wait and watch the lead card finish out their round.

As Gannon Buhr approached the tee of Hole 17 at 21 strokes under par, he stood the best chance of catching up to Lizotte. However, after an OB drive and missed par putt, Buhr finished his round in a tie for 3rd and left room for Anthony Barela to take solo 2nd place at 22 strokes under par. Chris Dickerson and Calvin Heimburg also finished tied for 3rd, continuing Heimburg’s streak of taking a podium finish at every 2023 DGPT event so far.

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