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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