We knew that this FPO field would provide some highlights and fireworks throughout the Utah Open presented by Latitude 64 and the first round did not disappoint. The event got kicked off at Mulligan’s Creekside disc golf course on Thursday and when the dust settled, three women sat atop of the leaderboard with Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen and Jessica Weese all sharing a portion of the lead. All three women shot a five over par, 63 to set up what looks to be a heated weekend of competition. The other two women in the field are keeping it close with Madison Walker (+6) and Utah native, Amy Bilodeue (+10) sitting just one and five strokes off the lead respectively.
There was a stark contrast in play from Pierce, Allen and Weese. While Pierce was finding success off the tee, Allen and Weese were finding success with their short game. Paige led the field by hitting 56% of her circle 2s in regulation but struggled putting within circle 1, finishing last in the field in the category. Allen and Weese, on the other hand, both knocked down 90% of their circle 1 putts.
Pierce got off to the best start of the three going one under par through the first five holes. Allen and Weese fared worse than Pierce shooting four over through the same stretch. Part of Pierce’s early success was her ability to survive hole four. The out-of-bounds latent hole played as the second most difficult of the FPO division and both Allen and Weese caught themselves taking a double bogey compared to Pierce’s par.
Both Allen and Weese settled down the rest of the round to keep pace with Pierce. Pierce, however, struggled down the stretch bogeying four of the last five holes to allow Allen and Weese to tie her for the lead.
The entire field struggled keeping the disc between the lines as most competitors found themselves out of bounds often. Paige Pierce and Madison Walker took six out-of-bounds penalties and Catrina Allen took seven. Being able to avoid these penalty strokes will play a large factor in determining the outcome of the event.
If the first day was any indication, the Utah Open presented by Latitude 64 is going to provide a showdown in the FPO division. Continue to tune in to the Disc Golf Pro Tour as we cover all the action throughout the weekend.
Paige Pierce has had to withdraw from the tournament due to a family emergency. This leads to only four women in the FPO field. Jessica Weese and Catrina Allen maintain their tie in first and Madison Walker and Amy Bilodeau will move onto the lead card sitting one off the lead and five off the lead respectively. It’s still a close competition and we look forward to seeing how the next two days unfold. Our thoughts are with Paige during this time and we hope to see her back out on the course again soon.