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Memorial Championship – FPO DAY ONE RECAP: A close race at the top after day one

By Baker Helton
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​Day one is in the books for the FPO division at The Memorial Championship presented by Discraft. Scoring proved to be difficult at Fountain Hills, and the FPO division paced themselves with the top 1/3 of the field all within three throws of each other. Six players finished the day tied for the lead at even par. Paige Pierce is the only player who finished at one over par, then there two trios of FPO players who finished at plus two and plus three respectively.

The back nine at Fountain Hills plays significantly easier than the front nine providing plenty of opportunities for scoring. Missy Gannon took advantage of the opportunity by carding birdies on 12, 13, and 16 which helped her overcome two bogeys from the front nine. She would finish at even par after carding a bogey on the difficult hole 18.

A face we do not get to see often in the states also started the tournament off with a good round. Eveliina Salonen carded four birdies today which tied Catrina Allen for the most birdies on the course for round one. However, Eveliina was trying to recover from an OB double bogey on hole two and by her fourth birdie had moved into sole possession of first place at one under par. However, on the last hole of her round she carded her second OB of the day on hole 18 and finished with a bogey. Catrina Allen used her four birdies to offset seven bogeys during the first round, most of which came on the tricky front nine of the course. By capitalizing on the back nine, Catrina was able to finish the day +3 and only three throws out of first place.

The top three women teeing off on the lead card tomorrow will be Jennifer Allen, Jessica Weese, and Zoe Andyke. All three players carded three birdies and three bogeys during round one. Each player had their unique way of getting to their even-par finish with Jennifer Allen and Jessica Weese taking two of their three bogeys on the front nine and Zoe Andyke saving all of her scoring (both good and bad) for the back half of the course.

Maria Olivia used an 89% scramble rate to have the most consistent round of the FPO division carding her only bogey on hole eight and her only birdie on hole five. Maria will round out the top four even rounds to be on the lead card coverage tomorrow morning starting at 10 AM ET.

Notable players who did not finish in that top 1/3 include Sarah Hokom who finished the day a plus four and reigning World Champion Paige Bjerkaas who finished the day a plus seven.

It is still anyone’s race at the top, and we look forward to returning tomorrow at 10 AM ET with FPO coverage from The Memorial Championship presented by Discraft.