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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