The first FPO round of the 2018 Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Dynamic Discs has swept across the Brazos East Disc Golf Course. The wind was in full effect
today, holding at 10-20 MPH out of the south with gusts as strong as 30 MPH. Brazos east plays about half in the open fields and the other half through tight wooded fairways. On a windy day like today, control and accuracy are essential. For those of you who don’t know, the WACO course starts on hole 7 for tournament efficiency and, of course, the dramatic finish across the water on the signature hole 6. In this article, the holes numbers have been changed to represent where the player’s round was chronologically, not the assigned hole number. Check out our live scoring at udisclive.com for up to date scores, player scores and stats, and much more.
Your current leader in the clubhouse is the side-arm phenom Sarah Hokom, throwing the hot round of the day at one-under par. Apparently, in the face of sustained winds, a trusty forehand and a lofty putt were the right tools for the day. On a day like today at WACO fairway hits are key. Hokom showed their value by leading the pack with a stunning 90% rate in some seriously tough conditions. Hokom also lead the pack with a 90% success rate for putts inside circle 1. Besides those killer stats, Hokom stayed out of trouble more than most, carding only three bogeys on a day where the average final score for the FPO field was almost ten over par at +9.37 throws.
From the first tee-pad, Catrina Allen started this round hot. It wasn’t until her 12th hole that things started to shift. This isn’t the first time we’ve witnessed Allen fail to see through a strong start. From that point forward she bogeyed three holes and double-bogeyed one. That was enough to erase all her work, as she finished her round even-to-par in second place, one throw behind Sarah Hokom.
Allen wasn’t the only top pro to struggle here in the Texas wind. Paige Pierce had an uncharacteristically slow start. It’s become so normal to see Paige on top of the lead card it was hard to believe she could come back to catch Catrina or Sarah. If Catrina hadn’t given up three throws on the last two holes, it would have been practically impossible for Paige or Hokom to catch her in these conditions. Pierce doesn’t tend to fold under pressure though and battled back with a smile on her face. That run for the top started on the 14th hole with a 16-foot putt for birdie. She followed it up with a drop in birdie on 15, and an eagle bid turned birdie on 16. Her push ended there though as she found trouble off the tee, on the fairway, and on the putting green on the last two holes. Pierce finished the day in third, at two over par.
Lisa Fajkus continues to show the world that she is here to stay. Not the longest player off the tee but solid with her up-game, and one of the best putters in the division, Fajkus held it together well enough to make the lead card tomorrow. Were it not for a couple of double bogeys on her fourth and ninth holes she’d only be a couple throws off Hokom. For now, she’ll have to settle for a four throw difference to overcome. If the wind dies down enough it might just give Fajkus’ putt a chance to bring her that much closer to victory.
At this point, it’s anyone’s game. The win isn’t supposed to stop anytime soon, but at the end of the day, we’re all playing the same course and at least the same conditions as the other players on our card. We also want to send out our best wishes to Des Reading who opted to end her tournament early due to troubles with a hip injury. Get better soon Des, look forward to seeing you back out on the course this year.
That wraps up our recap of the first FPO round of the Waco Annual Charity Open Presented by Dynamic Discs. Make sure to catch the footage during our live broadcast of the MPO feature card starting at 4 PM ET. Check back here tomorrow for the most current updates on your favorite pros battling for victory here in Waco, TX for the second stop of the 2018 Disc Golf Pro Tour. Until then, go find some chains to rattle!
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