Tour Storylines – OTB Open

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Kicking off the West Coast Swing and previewing a Major, this event had high expectations. And thanks to the dreamy conditions, the California state of mind was in full force.

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

1 – Easy to par, hard to birdie.

Hidden behind the ball golf exterior is a calculated design by Leonard Muise. From low ceilings to dangerous greens, he takes advantage of what he can while challenging different skill sets.

And despite some criticism, Swenson Park is still one of the better hybrid courses. The biggest praise comes from the FPO field.

On Tour, it’s rare to see FPO scores in line with MPO. But thanks to Muise’s dual layouts, Jomez’s star frame jingle was on repeat.

And pushing past the disappointing Champions Cup announcement, Muise plans to continue tinkering. Multiple pin positions will likely spread to half the holes, if not more.

2 – The beacon of hope for the 2025 Champions Cup.

Even with unanimous frustration and a long history of this event’s botches, the PDGA won’t back down. It’s not going to be the wooded Major we want, but it’ll happen with minimal issues.

It’s not easy pulling off a Major, and these TDs (Sean Jack & Shawn Mercy) have proved themselves. This event is known for its on-ground amenities and dedicated crowd. They delivered both.

The atmosphere was up there with other well-established stops and even beats out most so far. In what felt like the best turnout of the season (in the States), the 1.3k crowd was hyped and added to the experience.

“It’s unreal. They’re so loud… It was super motivating. This is one of the coolest tournaments to be a part of.” – Rathbun (DGN)

So if we can’t watch discs under a tree canopy, then at least we’ll get rowdy crowds, fox b-roll, and saxophone intros.

3 – It’s about damn time.

Taking full advantage of the scorable layout, Ella Hansen and Holyn Handley spent the first two days flexing. Their Moving Day rounds were impressive and set the two-horse race everyone expected.

But with all eyes on the bestie battle, only one was ready for it. Handley’s game collapsed, and she shot 13 strokes worse on Sunday.

Hansen went out and took the well-deserved, biggest win of her career. After a decorated Ultimate Frisbee background, she spent the last 5 years learning how to golf.

It was never about the physical skills; it was only between the ears. The West Coast isn’t only her home, but it’s where she could easily tack on another win.

4 – The cold-blooded closer.

Calvin Heimburg didn’t get the roller derby memo. Instead, he piped shot after shot while only needing 4’ off the ground.

The low-ceiling track is perfectly set up for his game, so in its fourth year, Heimburg finally cashed in. In this back-to-back Tour win, he wasn’t super flashy and didn’t need a power FH.

With Gannon Buhr ending his top-10 streak and AB continuing a minor slump, Heimburg is catching up in the points standings. After the West Coast Swing, the race gets interesting.

Poor performances will stop counting, and Heimburg’s consistency will shine. He’ll always be the final boss.

5 – Veterans, newcomers, and a revenge tour.

The comeback storylines for Paige Pierce, Paul McBeth, and Eagle McMahon didn’t fully develop but showed signs of life. The real noise was made by rising names.

Besides Randon Latta, Gavin Babcock, Zach Nash, and Andy Marwede, who made the unexpected top 10, there were 3 other notable storylines.

1/ Gavin Rathbun has had an incredible month. So far, he podiumed, got engaged, and almost took down his first DGPT. He’s been racking up the experience and will find a win soon.

2/ Sully Tipton broke his right hand six months ago. Now, he has just graduated college, hit the road full-time, and earned his first Elite Top 5. This was the first week he was throwing without tape on his finger.

3/ Colton Montgomery finished T13 and ended his DGPT cashless streak of 323 days. In that span, he supported his wife Kona through her battle with thyroid cancer. His commanding power shots could carry him far in this swing.

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