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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