Tour Storylines – Copenhagen Open

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The Europe Tour kicked off its first Elite stop during a weekend full of global events. It was a great first look at what’s to come as the fields and courses become more impressive.

In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – A new era of European disc golf.

“Europe is more than ready for this. Is US ready for that the Europe will take over?” – Juha Kytö – DGPT Europe Media Director (The Upshot)

And he was mostly right… DGPT Europe and Copenhagen delivered on coverage, spectators, and players. Besides a few hiccups, the live & post coverages were up to par.

The commentators were professional, had great insights, and let the golf breathe. Their calming but balanced hype paired well with the ~1.5k spectators on the ground.

Big Danish Crowds (MDG Media)

With free tickets, the Danes showed up excited as they cheered and got rowdy. They’re in a disc golf hotspot, after all, with the Valbyparken course being the most played in the world.

The weekend’s layout was a typical park course made harder with particular landing zones. According to Gregg Barsby, the difficulty level was just short of most Elite US courses.

But even with the lessened course and field strength, the payout was Elite. This year, the MPO winner pocketed $8.2k compared to last year’s $2.5k.

2 – The most dramatic finish FPO might have all year.

The defending champ, Kaidi Allsalu, came out strong against recent Major winner Eveliina Salonen. She stuck to her game and, at one point, held a 9-stroke lead over the Finn.

But Allsalu hit a wall, and Salonen mounted an unbelievable comeback. Ignoring her 50% C1X stats, Salonen stepped her way to a playoff and carded the only eagle on FPO’s par 6 hole.

She then won on the second playoff hole with another deadly stepper. Proving she’s clutch, Salonen tacked on a third win to her already historic season.

Salonen Stepper (MDG Media)

3 – It’s not Kristin Tattar, it’s Kaidi Allsalu.

Watching FPO live, I had to wipe the sleep from my eyes to not confuse Kaidi Allsalu for her fellow Estonian, Kristin Tattar. But who is she?

  • Allsalu has two children (aged 9 & 4)
  • Started playing in 2014 and has gained notoriety in her country
  • 3x winner of the Estonian Winter Championships
  • Likes to focus on the mental side of the game

This season, Allsalu has only played one US event (USWDGC), where she placed 28th out of 100. She plans to finish her year with only DGPT Europe events.

4 – The Finnish takeover.

In unusually calm conditions, the coastal course quickly became a birdie-or-die affair, and like other DGPT events, the leaderboard was crowded. Those near the top were…

  • 2nd place: Niklas Anttila, who came in as the favorite but couldn’t overcome his round 1 performance.
  • Two 16-year-old Europeans who finished in the Top 4: Finland’s Eetu Tuominen (2nd) & Estonia’s Roland Kõur (4th). Both will continue on the Europe Tour.
  • Captain Paul Ulibarri continues his resurgence with a 4th place. Recently, he discovered that he has a pinched nerve in his shoulder that causes numbness with FHs and OHs. Uli’s working through it but may pursue surgery if it doesn’t improve.

And the dark horse to finish at the very top was Jesse Nieminen. In an unfamiliar scenario, he held them all back with his best performance on Tour.

Nieminen is already headed back to the US for another leg with his fellow Finns – Anttila and Väinö Mäkelä. He still has much to prove to himself on the West Coast Swing, which features courses not well suited to his game.

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Tour Storylines – Dynamic Discs Open

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After the unforgiving Northwood course, the 1st leg of the season ends with a classic stop in Emporia. In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – Emporia knows disc golf.

When DDO rolls around, the first thing that comes to mind is the KS winds. But even while they were evident, the course was the main focus.

Being mostly unchanged, Champions Landing was still a ball golf property that punished with OB and celebrated big bombs. The tweaked holes were 7, 16, and 18.

Hole 7’s fake river made no difference for the leaders as they blasted past it. Hole 16’s new drop zone was disappointing and probably won’t make the redesign. And Hole 18 is almost great with the excitement of eagles (see AB’s 450’+ upshot) but still needs tweaking.

A redesign is planned for the course later this summer. So even with the small crowds and occasional severe weather, this Tour stop won’t be dropped anytime soon.

Aside from the golf, this event still knows how to host a party. From the OB Kenobi spotter to the Block Party, there’s always fun to be had.

May the 4th spotter (@eric_mccabe)

Emporia Heimburg (@thediscgolfguy)

2 – The gift of gab.

Not for the first time, Big Jerm and Sarah Hokom joined Ian Anderson in the live booth. Hokom received middling praise, while Big Jerm was celebrated.

His endless stories and insightful analysis made it clear he’s a veteran on the mic. But all things come at a price, and his double duty on JomezPro wasn’t as well received.

It was obviously his second time seeing the shots, and his foreshadowing was distracting. But as he continues to bridge his career, there’s no doubt Big Jerm will be our sport’s voice.

In 3 weeks, he’ll flex his vocal skills again, rejoining the live broadcast for the DGPT+ Portland Open.

3 – Playoffs? Aggregate playoffs??

Before Sunday, it was a grind for both the FPO players and fans. The slimmed-down field struggled with missed putts and low ratings.

While most reasoned it was due to the missing Europeans, the flat play probably had more to do with the course. It wasn’t well-tuned for FPO.

But thanks to it, the finish was made much more exciting. Hailey King was on her way to defending her title and proving her comfort at this event.

But she barely missed both islands, pushing play into more holes. It was time for the debut of aggregate playoffs, and Big Money Missy came alive.

While confusing at first, the 3-hole showdown was a success. Gannon clutched up to birdie 16 & 17 for the first time all weekend while King lost all momentum.

Ultimately, the format forced decision-making and the better player won. This was Gannon’s 1st win at Emporia and 2nd win of the season after USWDGC (Major).

“Thank you to my sponsors for having my back. We got another one.” – Gannon (JomezPro)

4 – Heimborg is back online.

No matter how focused Ricky Wysocki looked on Sunday, he was no match for Calvin Heimburg. With little emotion, Vinny put on a clinical final round.

He had a red-hot start with 7 straight birdies, then continued putting his pizza in the oven. And the fat lady sang after Heimburg fell on the fortunate side of Hole 16’s back wall when Wysocki didn’t.

Since Jonesboro last year, it took 371 days to see him win. Minus big shots, his FH is almost back to normal, and he looks like the final boss again.

How long will it take to get his 2nd of the season? He heads to Vegas for Innova’s homecoming event next weekend, where he’s a 2x champ.

5 – Careers showings, continued streaks, & no hangovers.

This event capped off a grueling stretch before home to some, and to others, it was just another weekend. Here are their storylines:

Emily Weatherman was a blade of grass away from a 3-way playoff with King and Gannon. In her 1st podium finish, the 18-year-old looked like a veteran by sticking landing zones, staying calm, and consistently putting.

Joey “Buckets” Anderson keeps coming back to the leaderboard with his 4th top-15 this season. If he keeps breaking course records, he’ll find a win and continue to be a fan favorite.

Andrew Presnell avoided the Major hangover and finished 5th on a course not suited to him. He’s already back home and plans to hit local B-Tiers before coming back to Portland.

Gavin Rathbun earned his 1st podium since his surgery in 2021. It makes you wonder where he’d be if he never tore his labrum.

Anthony Barela ended his top-10 streak, while Gannon Buhr & Chris Dickerson continued theirs.

Cole Redalen unexpectedly dropped out with 3 holes left while waiting 45 min for the FPO playoff. He claims “the last 3 holes didn’t matter anyway” and that he had “logistical and practical reasons.”

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Tour Storylines – Champions Cup

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Months ago, the PDGA made Northwood Park the one-time host of its springtime Major. This last-minute switch made for historic conditions, golf, and winners.

In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – Wacky delays forced overtime for players and crew.

Spring in the Midwest = wind and thunderstorms. It was the perfect combo for delays, upset pros, and overtime for those on the ground.

On Friday morning, lightning forced a 5-hour delay that pushed both divisions to their limits. Before sunset, the MPO lead card was allowed 19 minutes of play and then had to finish, reshuffle, and play another round on Saturday.

This turned an already grueling weekend into a real grind. The JomezPro player commentators had it especially rough.

Sunday, April 28

Mother Nature aside, the DGPT crew deserves kudos for continuing coverage and even improving it. In the past, certain Northwood holes couldn’t be covered live, but with investments into a cell tower, wooded courses can stay on Tour.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service (@AWallen90)

2 – Northwood demanded excellence.

Friday, April 26

On top of widowmaker scares and streams turned rivers, Northwood forced actual golf to be played. Course management and placement mattered so much that only great shots earned birdies.

It was refreshing and made fans want more of this style. Par was good, winning scores weren’t high, and the finish was unpredictable.

While Northwood won’t be featured in another Major soon, it proved that a wooded Major is necessary. Savor it though, cause the Tour moves to Emporia, KS this weekend.

3 – An anti-climatic round turned into an exciting Finnish.

Going into Sunday, most expected a clawback by Tattar to challenge Salonen. But instead, it fell flat and turned into a maintenance round.

It wasn’t until the final hole that one off-throw or missed putt would cause a 3-way playoff. But Salonen’s work paid off and she’s back in the winner’s circle.

With her 2nd win of the season, it’s clear now that Salonen’s hitting her stride on both tee and green. When you can pair made comeback putts with accurate whole-body drives, then you get a winner.

Salonen’s already home in Finland taking a well-deserved break until mid-June.

4 – Your favorite player’s favorite player.

After watching Casey White lead for 2 days and fall off, it was Presnell’s turn to take the reins. And while he had never finished top 10 at a Major, he locked into his other experiences.

For years, he’s gone out of his way to grind B & C-Tiers between Tour stops. He loves the competition and the extra cash from local pros.

So with his big bro on the bag, Presnell threw mids, stuck to his game plan, and “didn’t try to make one ‘hero’ shot all tournament.” The 32-year-old golfed his way to his 1st Major victory.

The once college soccer player, teacher, and HS coach has come a long way to vindicating his hard work. As a reward, he’s been immediately bumped back up to the Discraft Elite Team and will be getting the brand new Swarm mold as his Tour Series.

5 – 6 out of the 11 players who made it into the top 10 were European.

Kristin Tattar is a coin flip away from hitting the 1000-rating mark. Coming into the event, the PDGA said she needed to average 990 to do it.

After Sunday’s uncharacteristic 947, she finished with a 988 event rating. Some crunched the numbers and still think she’ll be 1000 in 2 weeks.

Silva Saarinen is all business. After switching to MVP this off-season, she’s played in 5 US events and progressively improved in each.

Now she’s heading back to Europe for 10 events until Worlds in August. I would be shocked if she doesn’t come back with at least 1 win.

Rachel Turton works full-time as the University of St Andrews’ Sports Development Officer. Since transitioning from ultimate in 2020, she’s already won 5 Euro tours and will be right there battling Saarinen this season.

6 – MPO young guns dominated the storylines.

Niklas Anttila is now a 3x runner-up at Majors. He has finished 2nd at 50% of the Majors starting with 2022 USDGC.

Ezra Robinson is on a mission to get out of Isaac’s shadow, and even Isaac admits that Ezra is the better brother. He claims Ezra would win 6 out of 10 times between them.

Gannon Buhr and AB both hold the longest active MPO top-10 streak at 8 now. They finished tied at 10th alongside McBeth & Burridge.

Eagle McMahon missed the cut and finished 90th out of 95. He claims he feels good physically, but mentally, it’s not there yet. The West Coast Swing will be the real judge as it has his favorite events and performances.

“This is the worst event I’ve ever played. I have actually never missed a cut in my career.” – McMahon (EagleUNLIMITED)

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Tour Storylines – Music City Open

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With the close of MCO, the season completes its 7th event out of 28, and Nashville brought the heat. In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – MCO almost checked all the boxes: Trophy, Commentators, Course.

The TN disc golf scene is steeped in history with dedicated clubs and wooded courses. But when the Tour comes to town, a Mini-Jonesboro gets put up with elevation and air space.

The Mill Ridge course is notoriously one of the least liked on Tour, and that hasn’t changed. Complaints included impossible birdies even by FPO power players, older baskets that couldn’t catch, and specifically hole 11 hatred.

But looking past the fact that only 2 FPO finished under par, there was a lot to love this weekend. The best trophy on Tour was in the form of a Les Paul, and the commentary teams won fans over.

Many social posts wanted Charlie Eisenhood, Juliana Korver, Brian Earhart, and the one and only Zach Melton to be weekly mainstays. That won’t happen, but it’s safe to say Melton stole the show and has a future in this.

2 – A first and hopefully last for the DGPT.

“Today someone called in a threat of violence against myself and potentially the other players, staff, and spectators. Play was suspended today because of this person.” – Natalie Ryan (IG on Saturday)

As of now, the specific threat has not been made public. But here’s what transpired from Charlie Eisenhood’s perspective:

  • Ryan received a threat to herself or others if she played
  • It was brought to the DGPT which immediately tried to get more police presence
  • That didn’t happen quickly enough, so play was suspended before Ryan teed off
  • Police arrived, evaluated the situation, and play was resumed 90 minutes later with an officer following Ryan’s card

Also on the ground, the boys from The Disc Golf World shared that bags were being checked as part of the new protocols. There’s not much more to say about this hopefully one-off incident.

3 – Early season Did Not Start’s and Did Not Finish’s.

For some reason, numerous DNFs happen around MCO timing. This year there was more than a handful dropping out due to injury, scheduling, and unforeseen circumstances.

  • Eagle McMahon didn’t play due to tweaking his back. His return was always planned for Champions Cup, so he didn’t “want to come back and it be a flop.”
  • Both Valerie Mandujano & Mason Ford dropped due to trigger finger and a hamstring injury respectively
  • To recover before the Major, Corey Ellis dropped due to a newly discovered anterior shoulder impingement that’s causing pinching pain
  • Cynthia Ricciotti DNF’d after the 2nd round and Kyle Klein after one round. It’s been speculated that the couple decided to skip out early after she posted this:

4 – “It was fun while we had it.” – Juliana Korver

MCO has run for 10 years, and up until now, there have always been unique FPO winners. The unflappable Tattar is back to her winning ways after a slow March.

She became the back-to-back MCO Champ, got her 3rd win in 3 weekends, and officially started a guitar collection. And while the final scorecard showed Tattar’s dominance, it was more entertaining than met the eye.

There was legitimate hope that the two-horse race between her & Handley was going to be close. But after too many missed putts and opportunities, Handley must wait longer for her 1st Elite win (even if it comes when Tattar goes back to Estonia).

5 – Simon “Belly Ache” Lizotte.

Hours after Tattar raised her 2nd guitar, Lizotte completed his wire-to-wire weekend and the 1st double-title defense since Pierce & McBeth did it at the 2020 MVP Open.

While fighting all his ailments, he put up his best event rating ever thanks to his smart plays and effortless putts. His encore performance might prove that 1 child gives you dad strength and a 2nd makes you dad smart.

Lizotte now gets a well-deserved and uncommon spring at home as his family grows in 2 days. He plans to return at the end of May for the Portland Open.

6 – “It’s not a course for old people.” – Zach Melton

The veteran-filled leaderboard proved him wrong. With bad shoulders, bad hips, and beautiful dad bods, the leaders of years passed stayed relevant.

It was the 1st time since 2017 that Lizotte, McBack, & Wysocki all shared the podium. And for the big man himself, it was Jeremy Koling’s 1st Top-5 finish since 2019 USDGC.

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Tour Storylines – Jonesboro Open

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The best sporting event of the year happened over the weekend, and it wasn’t the Masters… Joking aside, Jonesboro is always a treat.

In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – This course is more than meets the eye.

As one of the long-standing Tour stops, Disc Side of Heaven has earned its spot as an iconic venue. To the uninitiated, many of the holes appear to be “open”, but in reality, it has intrigue built in.

And when there’s inconsistent wind adding to the undulating fairways and greens, it becomes must-watch TV.

As for the reorganized layout, it was neither better nor worse. FPO’s had some rough edges needing fixing (hole 2 had 0 birdies), and the par 3 finishing hole was thankfully made better by the moment.

Regardless, this course truly has its own identity. And with a 2nd wooded course being built nearby, Jonesboro is 2 years away from being a 4-day event or maybe even a Major.

2 – A one in 221.8k chance.

Before the action even began, the memes were flowing. Thanks to the TD, we were treated to some non-standard feature cards: The Pauls & the Lefties.

It was confirmed that these cards were partly by chance and then influenced by choice to keep things fun. As for which Paul or Lefty came out on top…

  • Ulibarri edged it out over McBeth thanks to his 1050-rated Sunday
  • Clemons beat Queen by 2 to become King Lefty

3 – 2024’s 1st repeat win was no contest.

Away from the recent normal, FPO turned out to be less of a nail-biter. But it was still a pleasure to watch as Tattar went from a scorched-earth 1044 round to a solid 1009 and finally a walk-in 994.

Overcoming her worst 2023 finish here (6th), Tattar was firing on all cylinders. And despite the commentators’ storylines, her earned lead was never in any real danger.

Bonus stat: This was Tattar’s 6th 8+ stroke victory at Elite/Major events. In the last 3 years, there have been only 6 other instances where that’s happened.

4 – The snakes were out in early spring.

Thanks to the scoreable but dangerous holes, 7 guys were pushing for the win. Through the better part of the broadcast, most eyes were on the chasers.

But now knowing how to win, AB waited for his moment to strike. He was even par through 12, then started his fire sale with a 59’ stepper eagle.

Now that he’s won 3 of the 5 events already, AB’s officially joined an elite club. He’s slowly shifting the scales from the Year of AB to the full-blown Era of AB.

“Ever since, it’s just been a new me, and I’m so excited for the future. And this is just the beginning.” – Barela (JomezPro)

And as the stand-up guy that he is, AB’s bringing his good friend Jacob “Cupcake” Courtis along for the ride. Who cares about finishing out of the cash when you can caddie for the future Player of the Year?

Friday, April 12 (@anthonybarela11)

5 – What about the what-ifs?

Both Ben Callaway & Ezra Aderhold fought their way to their best finishes since early last year. And down the stretch, both had their fair share of mistakes and bad luck. But now with the added experience, the pair are trending up.

All while handicapped with no FH, Calvin Heimburg was 2 rollaways away from maybe going back-to-back-to-back at this event. But unfortunately, it’s still the same no-win story we keep seeing.

Even with a noteworthy finish, Holyn Handley continues her trend of playing below average during final rounds. So far this season, she’s only shot above her rating in a final round once.

Eliezra Midtlyng gets her best finish yet (5th). Skipping the West Coast and Europe swing, the 16-year-old still has a full schedule planned for her 1st touring season.

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Tour Storylines – Texas State Championships

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We’re finally out of the heavy stretch now. The Texas Swing is always big, but with the women’s Major it felt bigger.

Pros get to breathe a sigh of relief for the upcoming off-week and the Great American Eclipse. In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – Houston, we (used to) have a problem.

For decades, Brock Park was a municipal ball golf course about 45 minutes from main city areas. Then rumor has it the public property got shut down due to patrons getting mugged.

A year ago, it was turned into an adventure park with a beautiful disc golf course. Now, it’s an oasis for the Tour even if the surrounding area still gave some bad vibes.

The municipality has seen a positive impact when the Tour rolls in. So it wouldn’t be surprising if this once-traveling championship finds its permanent home at Brock Park.

2 – Brock was a walk-in-the-park birdie or die.

Sharing the same 350-acre property, the MPO & FPO courses were very different but played similarly. It was a good old-fashioned shootout.

FPO’s Diamond course was downright easy. Designed so the average player could score, it highlighted all of FPO’s skillsets instead of just the top 5’s.

“So easy this course compared with last week.” – Ohn Scoggins
“So far my favorite course that we’ve played on Tour.” – Paul Ulibarri

And while MPO’s Premier course was shredded, it gave a more balanced risk vs reward feel. Great, technical shots were demanded as well as putts in the Texas winds.

During such a long season, there’s a place for scorable park hybrids with drama-filled endings. It’d get stale every week, but especially after Scramble Sprinkle Valley, it’s welcome.

3 – A weekend of firsts as the 5th unique winner was crowned.

Just because everyone could score on every hole, doesn’t mean they will across all 54. But the 26-year-old lefty – Anniken Kristiansen Steen – did it while poised and collected.

Steen’s no stranger to winning, but it’s never been with a deep field, cameras on her, or in the States. Something got into her as she shot 64 points above her 942 rating becoming the 1st Norwegian winner.

So who is Steen?

  • Former figure skater, teacher, & Olympic torch bearer
  • Signed a 5-year contract with PCS in 2023
  • 3x Norwegian Champion
  • 3x PCS Open Champion
  • 4x Euro Tour Champion

While the course played to her lefty BH and matched her distance well, Steen still closed it out with her 3rd 1000-rated round ever in the faces of Tattar and Scoggins.

She’s heading home for a month-long break but will be back for the West Coast Swing in May.

4 – 🆎’s the complete player now.

In Saturday’s calm conditions, Anthony Barela put on a show. It had me staring at the screen, willing him to make the last putt, and knowing it meant greatness.

His abilities to throw downtempo, make important putts, and string together great shots complete his game. How could you not think he’s #1 in the world?

Well, because Gannon Buhr’s right there. On Sunday, he was on his way to make the best comeback ever.

He followed up the best round of the year with arguably a better round including a spit-out and 2 near aces. Buhr shot 1102, averaged 1074, and still lost.

In the end, AB wasn’t going to be the only guy to blow a 6+ stroke lead in Tour history. It took him years to get his 1st win but only took 5 weeks for his 2nd.

Until Buhr wins the next event, it’s the year of AB. He’s proven now and has just as many Elite wins as Calvin Heimburg got all last year.

5 – The field’s storylines.

6th/ Gavin Rathbun continues to wow without a main sponsor on his back. But thanks to his string of good finishes, he’s getting a tour series Warlock from Gateway.

17th/ Ricky Wysocki’s win streak at TX States ended, and his record at this event dropped to 6-1.

120th/ Jacob “Cupcake” Courtis battled out of DFL. Per Joey Temali’s IG, the backstory is he had a 9:50 tee time, set 6 alarms that never went off, woke up at 10, raced to the course missing 6 holes, AND still made $500 from AB for caddie duties.

8th/ Emily Weatherman is an 18-year-old from west TX. She’s been rising the ranks, plans to play Q-Series for a 2025 Tour Card, and wants to do this full-time.

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Tour Storylines – US Women’s Disc Golf Championships

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The 1st Major is in the books and so is the Tour’s 2-week stint in Austin, TX. With all its offerings, this frisbee hub is slowly turning into an iconic Tour stop.

In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – “Baby Maple Hill in the making” – Brian Earhart

This venue is a disc golfer’s dream. Besides the championship course, it has the Austin Beerworks Brewery, restaurant, pro shop, putting course, kids play area, and plenty of parking.

It’s a complete package, and similarities were drawn between it and Maple Hill. As for the Scramble Sprinkle Valley course, it’s considered the hardest in the area.

It’s one of those tracks where if you’re dialed, then every hole can be birdied. But if you’re lacking confidence, then bogeys come easy and often.

On paper, that sounds like the perfect modern-day FPO course. But when paired with high stakes, winds, and backups, the 4+ hour rounds got to the competitors.

“It’s a tough event to watch. It’s emotional. It’s stressful. A lot of the girls out there were in tears. I saw more tears than I’ve ever seen.” – Bradley Williams (caddied for Lykke Lorentzen)

But it wouldn’t have the capital M if the most deserving didn’t persevere to win. Mint Discs and Austin Beerworks deserve Major props for their hard work to get this property ready in less than half a year.

The potential will come through as the Texas-sized mulch becomes green grass. And with time, Sprinkle Valley deserves to become a regular Tour stop.

2 – Big Money Missy → Major Money Missy

While it feels like she’s been here before, this was actually Missy Gannon’s 1st Major win. Since 2021, she’s found success at big 4-round events: Throw Pink, 2x Ledgestone, & 2x DGPT Champ.

When it comes down to it, Gannon knows how to win when the stakes and money are at their highest. And this time around, it took a 1004 event rating to bring home the $12k.

As for 2nd place, the opportunities were there for Eveliina Salonen to grab her 2nd Major (1st at 2018 Konopiště). But her confidence was gone with the wind, and we didn’t get the battle we were expecting.

“I’m just so disappointed in how I played today. I tried to fight, but it wasn’t enough. And I don’t know how I played so bad today.” – Salonen (post-final round)

After 4 challenging days, Salonen wasn’t the only competitor feeling the mental fatigue. Ali Smith was frustrated with her own short-range lapses.

3 – Who outlasted or fell behind during this marathon stretch?

With only 3 days between events, players had to either push through or succumb to this stretch of high competition. Those who succeeded:

3rd/ Valerie Mandujano found her best finish since her Idlewild win in Aug 2023.

5th/ If you follow Heidi Laine’s socials, then you know she’s been working hard in the off-season. She’ll soon be a lead card mainstay, especially during the Europe Swing.

14th/ This was Sai Ananda’s 1st event of the season. She’s taking a small step back from full-time touring, but expect her to be a contender at every West Coast stop.

And those who underperformed by fans’ standards:

6th/ Kristin Tattar struggled to find her normal flow state. Her inability to dominate the field made fans question what was going on.

Besides battling back/neck pain for the past two events, Tattar revealed that she woke up with swollen ankles and a fever on Sunday. She has 5 more weekends of events before a planned break.

Now that a repeat Grand Slam is out of the question, Tattar should be able to play more freely. But can she perform her best during this exhaustive stretch?

From ant bites (@kristin.tattar)

4 – 21 Major winners were crowned across the record field of 346 women.

In FP40, Stephanie Vincent successfully battled against defending back-to-back champ Jen Allen. They played the same course as FPO and her winning score of +13 would’ve put her in 26th.

Vincent’s an Austin local who co-founded the Wildflower Tour last year. This women-only tour is responsible for introducing and culminating hundreds of women to Texas’s scene.

In FP50, Juliana Korver bested Des Reading by 15 strokes to win her 3rd USWDGC and 12th overall PDGA Major title. Last year the results were flipped, and these two will continue to battle for years to come.

FPO Wins (@DGPT)

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Tour Storylines – The Open at Austin

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In the heart of TX, there’s no better pairing than cowboy hats and frisbees. We’re only 3 events into the season, and it’s shaping up to be the best yet.

The 1st Major’s in 48 hours, and there’s no time to catch your breath. In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – They found a way to make a mostly great golf course.

For the Tour, the city of Austin is a perfect location to offer top disc golf. But last year, the obstacle to the match made in heaven was the course.

After an overhaul, Harvey Penick was notably better. For both divisions, the layouts were scorable with stroke swings found on every hole.

This created difficulty, separation, high ratings, and drama around every corner. Unfortunately, the drama was heightened by the poor weather.

Like last season, thunderstorms seem to follow the Tour. And with that unwanted guest, poor tee pad conditions are now a weekly conversation.

@simon_lizotte‘s 10ft drive

Without a standardized surface, players continue to complain and worry about injury. But outside of the things they can’t control, the Tour is doing what they can.

Complaints on Friday turned progress on Sunday

2 – The Tour forgot its green on Sunday.

Another week, another event ended in near darkness. Even with the luck of the Irish, the Tour struck out with thunderstorms, but all this could be changing next year.

During the press conference, Jeff Spring (DGPT CEO) hinted they’re in talks with the PDGA to allow pushed rounds by modifying the rule: “Under no circumstances should players be expected to return on a day following the last day of the regular scheduled rounds.”

This change sounds reasonable, but logistically, it’s a recipe for disaster. Whether it’s this option or more cuts, the weather will continue to be a storyline.

As for a positive change, Des Reading made her debut on live commentary. The 13x Major winner was met with high praise and requests to bring her back.

3 – Welcome to FPO 2024.

When you take a step back, it’s impossible to deny that this current era of FPO is the most competitive. And up even higher is Ohn Scoggins who laid a smackdown on the field.

Not only did she win by the biggest margin since 2021, but she also led in strokes gained tee to green, C2 putting, holes parked, and the highest FPO event rating in PDGA history.

At 42 years old, Scoggins is a fan-favorite inspiration. And now, she has half of the top 8 rated FPO events of all time.

It turns out the recipe for the highest ceiling is flex FH Destroyers and big putts.

4 – “I wanted to win so bad that normal life was difficult.”

The scriptwriters outdid themselves on Sunday.

  • Started as a showdown between Discmania’s young stars
  • Midday delay shortened MPO to 15 holes
  • Kyle Klein attempted a never before 3rd card win
  • Lead card pushed darkness
  • Niklas Anttila missed a 20-footer with 2 to go, clutched a barely visible 46’ putt on 17, and played 18 perfectly
  • His dramatic final putt prevented a glow-round playoff
  • History was made for Finland

For 2 years, Anttila made it his one goal to become the 1st MPO Finn to win a DGPT. And with that immense pressure, he went through so many close calls to finally achieve it.

Anttila is him. He’s the Nordic Phenom.

It was one of the most significant days in European disc golf history. And his legendary journey is just starting.


away from home like 6 months of the year, every year, and I sacrifice so much for this sport.” – Anttila (JomezPro)

5 – There were too many storylines.

It was a whirlwind weekend that eventually became a sprint. From broken records to sunset shootouts, there was action all over.

Here are some quick hitters:

  • Kristin Tattar had a 1000 event rating to continue her consistent march toward 1000 rated
  • With 4 months left of her pregnancy, Catrina Allen finished in the Top 10 for the 1st time since the 2023 European Open
  • Calvin Heimburg is back and doesn’t need a FH
  • Discmania’s three-headed dragon is scary: Anttila (23 years old), Klein (21), & Buhr (18)
  • Joey “Buckets” Anderson is no fluke and should’ve been the 2023 Rookie of the Year
  • Paul McBeth is showing signs of a return. At 22nd, he finally cashed and flexed some BH distance with a parked eagle on Hole 11
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