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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