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Missy Gannon’s Journey to Her First PDGA Pro Major Title

By Nick Quargnenti
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A decade has passed since Missy Gannon first picked up a disc, and in that time, she’s achieved something truly remarkable. Known for her mastery of hyzer-flips and her ability to bring home victories, Missy has just secured her FIRST PDGA Pro Major win at the U.S. Women’s Disc Golf Championship (USWDGC) this past weekend. Strap in as we unravel the journey that led Missy to this historic milestone.

Discovering Disc Golf: Missy’s Adventure Begins

Born and raised in Beacon, New York, Missy Gannon’s competitive spirit was evident from a young age. With a background in volleyball, basketball, and softball, she thrived in the realm of sports, always seeking new challenges to conquer. However, it wasn’t until 2014, when a friend introduced her to the world of disc golf, that Missy found her true calling.

Initially dipping her toes into the sport, Missy’s passion for disc golf truly ignited when she relocated to Colorado. Surrounded by a vibrant disc golf community, complete with weekly events and numerous clubs, Gannon found herself immersed in the game, playing and competing every weekend without fail.

Fast forward to 2017, a pivotal year for Gannon as she made her mark on the disc golf scene. Following a remarkable 3rd place finish at the PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships, Missy’s transition to the professional circuit was inevitable. By July 2018, she was hitting the road as a full-fledged professional, establishing herself as one of the top women in the sport.

Becoming “Big Money” Missy

Currently sponsored by Discraft, Gannon’s accolades speak volumes. With a remarkable tally of 5 victories on the Disc Golf Pro Tour* (excluding her 2 DGPT Silver wins), notably securing consecutive triumphs at the Ledgestone Open in 2022 and 2023, along with wins at DGPT Championships in 2021 and 2023. Currently ranked as the No. 3 player in the world according to the StatMando World Rankings, Gannon’s dominance in the sport is unmistakable.

Gannon’s list of high-profile victories makes it easy to understand why she’s earned the nickname “Big Money” Missy! In her standout season of 2021, she clinched victories at both the Des Moines Challenge and the DGPT Championship. She’d cap off the year by setting the all-time FPO single-season tournament earnings record at the time, $67,029.

Missy also owns the largest cash prize ever earned at an FPO disc golf event, a whopping $40,000 payout at the 2023 DGPT Championship. What’s even more remarkable? Missy holds 2 more spots on the top-10 FPO payout list, a total of 3 of the top 10 largest cash prizes in FPO history and 2 of the top-3. Furthermore, Missy Gannon boasts an impressive 4 payouts exceeding $10,000, trailing just behind Kristin Tattar for the most of all time.

Oh, and let’s not forget her career earnings! With an astounding cash rate of 89% across DGPT and PDGA Pro Major events, Missy has racked up an impressive $256,652.00 to date. Nearly half of that ($106,370) has come in within the past 12 months alone – talk about “Big Money” Missy living up to her name!

TOP-10 LARGEST CASH PRIZES (FPO)
PLAYER PRIZE CASH EVENT PLACE
Missy Gannon $40,000 2023 DGPT Championship 1
Kristin Tattar $35,000 2022 DGPT Championship 1
Missy Gannon $30,000 2021 DGPT Championship 1
Hailey King $20,000 2020 DGPT Championship 1
Ohn Scoggins $20,000 2022 DGPT Championship 2
Ohn Scoggins $18,000 2023 DGPT Championship 2
Kat Mertsch $18,000 2023 DGPT Championship 2
Kristin Tattar $15,000 2023 PDGA Pro World Championships 1
Missy Gannon $14,000 2022 DGPT Championship 3
Hailey King $13,000 2023 MVP Open 1

On the Big Stage: Missy Gannon’s Performances at PDGA Pro Majors

When the lights are the brightest, Missy seems to play her best, or that’s at least been proven true at PDGA Pro Majors. Missy’s got 15 of these Pro Major events under her belt, and her track record speaks volumes. Fresh off her recent triumph at USWDGC, Gannon’s tally includes 1 victory, 3 podium finishes, and an impressive 87% cash rate throughout her PDGA Pro Major career. Additionally, since 2019, she has consistently improved, never placing lower than her previous Major event.

In her career across PDGA Pro Majors, Missy maintains an average rating of 957.867. However, at the recent USWDGC, she achieved a remarkable feat by tying her highest event rating record at PDGA Pro Majors with an impressive 1004 event rating – matching her stellar performance at the 2023 PDGA Pro World Championships. What’s more, her ratings at both of these PDGA Pro Major events also land her among the top 5 highest FPO PDGA Pro Major event ratings in history.

HIGHEST FPO MAJOR EVENT RATINGS
PLAYER RATING EVENT ROUNDS
Paige Pierce 1024 2021 USWDGC 3
Kristin Tattar 1013 2023 Pro Worlds 5
Kristin Tattar 1010 2023 Champs Cup 4
Kristin Tattar 1007 2022 Pro Worlds 5
Missy Gannon 1004 2023 Pro Worlds 5
Missy Gannon 1004 2024 USWDGC 4

Missy’s performance at USWDGC was nothing short of spectacular, catapulting her to a well-deserved victory. She kicked off the first PDGA Pro Major of the year with a scorching hot round, finishing at an impressive -7. Throughout the tournament, she dominated the leaderboard, leading in birdie percentage at 32%, scramble percentage at 65%, and strokes gained in C1X with an impressive 7.88. Not stopping there, Missy also secured top-3 positions in fairway hit percentage (78%), strokes gained from putting (8.63), and strokes gained from tee to green (27.22). For a detailed rundown of Missy’s triumph at USWDGC, check out the full recap here.

* DGPT wins include standard DGPT, DGPT+, and DGPT Playoff events.

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