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Top 5 Stories from the 2024 Texas State Disc Golf Championships!

By Nick Quargnenti
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1) Anthony Barela Claims 2nd DGPT Victory!

Anthony Barela delivered a standout performance at the Texas State Disc Golf Championship presented by Lone Star Disc this weekend, securing his 2nd DGPT* victory of the season and of his career. Joining an elite group, he became the 6th MPO player ever to secure their first 2 DGPT*/PDGA Pro Major events in the same season.

Anthony Barela led the tournament in the following stats (entire weekend/all rounds):

  • Birdie percentage (72%)
  • Fairway hit percentage (89%)
  • Parked Percentage (30%)
  • Reaching C1 in Regulation (69%)
  • Reaching C2 in Regulation (87%)
  • Strokes Gained from Tee-to-Green (18.15)

During the event’s Moving Day (Round 2), Barela set a remarkable course record with an 1106-rated performance, finishing the round with an impressive score and hot round of the weekend at -16. Moreover, he now joins an exclusive club as the 3rd MPO player to conquer 2 out of the first 4 DGPT*/PDGA Pro Major events at the start of a season since the DGPT started (2016):

  • Wysocki: 2021(included Texas State), 2017, 2016
  • McBeth: 2019

Remarkably, prior to this season, Barela had never led the field heading into the final round. However, he has now achieved this feat twice, first at the Chess.com Invitational with a 1-point lead and now at the Texas State Championship with a commanding 6-point lead. With both tournaments ending in his favor!

This triumph also propels Barela back to the coveted #1 spot in the DGPT World Standings, underscoring his consistent presence in the Top-3 points standings throughout the season. Notably, he has maintained a Top-10 points position since the 2023 OTB Open, boasting an impressive streak of 23-weeks. Currently, only Gannon Buhr holds a longer streak in MPO, standing at 29-weeks.

2) Anniken Steen Makes History as First Norwegian DGPT Champion!

Anniken Steen emerged victorious at the Texas State Disc Golf Championship presented by Lone Star Disc this weekend, marking her inaugural DGPT* event triumph and etching her name in history as the FIRST Norwegian to achieve such a feat. Concluding the Final Round with a -9 (projected as a 1006 event rating) which would be 64 greater than her current rating of 942, which is the 2nd-highest above a player’s rating ever shot to win an event in the FPO division since Kona Montgomery (formerly Panis) shot 70 above her rating to win the 2021 Waco Open.

With an impressive resume boasting 4 PDGA Euro Tour victories and 1 Silver Event win, Steen solidifies her status as a force to be reckoned with in the disc golf world, now adding her 30th PDGA victory to her accolades (notably, her triumph at the 2022 PCS Sula Open saw her clinch victory in both a PDGA Euro Tour and a Silver Event).

A nominee for FPO’s Most Improved Player during the 2023 DGPT End-of-Season Awards, Steen showcased her prowess throughout the tournament, leading in birdie percentage at 57%, and reaching C2 in regulation at 83% (45/54). Furthermore, her win at the Texas State Championship adds to the historic significance of the event, as Steen now officially becomes the 5th different FPO DGPT*/PDGA Pro Major event winner from the first 5 events, a new first in the sport’s history.

3) Thrilling Comebacks Thwarted!

After shooting an impressive -12, Kristin Tattar kicked off the final round trailing leader Anniken Steen by just 3-strokes. By the time they reached Hole 10, Tattar had caught up to Steen, finding herself tied with her rival with only 8 holes left in the game. Despite Tattar’s valiant effort with a final round score of -10, she couldn’t quite keep pace with Steen, who remained relentless, stringing together 5 consecutive birdies in the last 7 holes of play. Even with Tattar boasting a field-leading 61% birdie percentage and a 28% parked percentage in Round 3, her slower start in Round 1 proved to be a hurdle she couldn’t overcome, especially against the formidable performance of the Norwegian powerhouse, Anniken Steen!

While Anniken Steen was working on holding off the relentless Kristin Tattar, Gannon Buhr would also stage a thrilling comeback in the final stretch of the tournament on the MPO side, kicking off the Final Round trailing Anthony Barela by a significant 8-strokes. Buhr went on a birdie spree, notching birdies on the last 10 holes, narrowing the gap to just 2-strokes behind the leader heading into the final hole! An in-bounds throw from AB would all but guarantee his win, despite Buhr’s incredibly close ace he threw not only on Hole 15, but also to conclude the tournament on Hole 18!

While Barela maintained his elite composure under pressure, Buhr’s relentless pursuit continued as he flawlessly navigated the course without a single bogey in the final round, a notable achievement considering he only had 1 bogey throughout the last 36 holes of play. With a final round score of -15, just 1-stroke shy of Barela’s impressive performance during Round 2, Buhr showcased his resilience and prowess, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats until the very end.

4) Making History: 5 DGPT Events, 5 Different FPO Champions

The 2024 DGPT season has truly kicked off with a bang, marking a historic milestone with 5 consecutive DGPT*/PDGA Pro Major events featuring 5 distinct FPO champions! This unprecedented feat sets a new standard in the sport, showcasing the diversity and depth of talent among the female players at the elite level. For the first time ever, the disc golf community witnesses such a remarkable display of skill and competition, highlighting the unpredictability and excitement inherent in the sport. With each event bringing forth a new victor, fans and players alike are treated to an exhilarating journey, where every tournament holds the promise of witnessing history in the making.

5) Sarah Hokom & Ezra Aderhold: Back in the Mix!

Sarah Hokom achieved her strongest placement of the season, landing in 6th-place, marking her best finish in a DGPT*/PDGA Pro Major event since she clinched 3rd-place at the 2023 Ledgestone Open. It’s worth noting that Hokom also secured a 6th-place finish at the 2023 LWS Open at Idlewild. This notable performance highlights her consistency and competitive prowess, signaling a return to top form for the seasoned athlete.

Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Leading the entire field in C2 putting for the entire tournament (56%), Ezra Aderhold nailed a spot on the podium, landing an impressive 3rd-place finish, marking his best performance of the season so far. Previously, his top finish this season had been 18th-place at Waco. This podium achievement also signifies Aderhold’s return to the limelight, as it marks his first podium finish in a DGPT*/PDGA Pro Major event since his stellar 3rd-place finish at the 2023 Ledgestone Open. It’s a clear indication of his talent and potential, signaling an upward trajectory for the young athlete in the competitive disc golf scene.

BONUS) Texas-Sized Highlights!

  • The best way to finish a round! Lykke Lorentzen hits an epic ACE on Hole 18 (272′)…

  • Evan Smith throws in for the ONLY eagle in the MPO field this weekend! 🦅 Hole 17 from 230…

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

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