The 4th stop on the 2020 Disc Golf Pro Tour has wrapped up and it’ll be one I’ll always remember. The Preserve Championships were held in Clearwater, Minnesota on a preexisting ball golf course that was beautifully transformed into a disc golf course by non other then Cale Leiviska. Cale did an amazing job designing this course to make it feel like its strictly disc golf and not just random holes thrown onto a ball golf fairway. I’m predicting there’s going to be several big events held on this property in the future. Most of the holes had men and women pads, which really gave the FPO division a chance to shoot well under par. It favors long throwers off the tee and demands accurate upshots on to touchy greens. I was excited to watch the women showcase their skills on a course that isn’t too punishing.
Paige Pierce was licking her chops stepping up to most of the tee pads as she knows she can outdrive whoever is on the card with her. My only criticism of the course was that there was hardly any OB. You could just drive it as far as you possibly could without having much worry in mind. Other then that, it plays great. After a putting nightmare at the Dynamic Discs Open, Catrina Allen put that in the past and came out first round with extreme confidence on the greens. It was great to see a player who knew needed to fix something and a week later it’s fixed. That’s not easy to do especially when it’s the putting yips. Jessica Weese was playing solid safe golf as she par’d every hole first round except the last, where she carded a birdie. Sarah Hokom was bombing forehands all over the course. She was just a couple made putts away from being on lead card for round 2.
After round 1, Paige Pierce was sitting at -10, Missy Gannon at -8, and Catrina and Kona tied at -5. Unlike last week in Emporia, it’s competitive at the top of the leaderboard, as Missy has been playing some of the best golf in her career. She hit 81% of the fairways and was 100% putting inside circle 1. Even on a long course like this, putting is still the most important which is why she found herself in second place going into round 2. Catrina went from 50% circle 1 putting in round one to 73% in round two. Kona had some struggles in the second round from circle 2 as she couldn’t connect on many long birdie putts. Once she can dial in the longer putts she’ll be gaining 4 to 5 strokes per round. She has every shot in the bag, which is why her future looks bright. Going into the final round, Paige has officially separated herself from the field by shooting back-to-back 1000+ rated rounds and putting 100% from circle 1 thus far. INSANE! Missy is 8 strokes back and trying to hold on to second place, as Catrina is just 1 stroke back of her. Paige Shue shot a -6, which landed her a spot on lead card going into the final round.
Paige Pierce came out the gate hot carding birdies on holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 shooting a blistering -7 thru the first nine holes and giving the rest of the card no hope of catching her. Catrina continued to improve on the putting green as she was -5 thru 9 holes and 100% from circle 1. The basket must’ve looked huge to her because it seemed like she could close her eyes and it was going in every time. Paige Shue had a tough start and really struggled to get birdies on a course where you need them desperately. Catrina and Missy were neck and neck all round and on hole 17 Missy canned a 30 foot death putt with water behind the basket to tie it up with Cat. Hole 18 is a 930ft par 5 with danger from the start. You have to drive it over 300ft of water to a tight fairway, avoid the bunkers on your second shot, throw it over more water and onto a green with a bunker about 30ft from the basket. Missy and Catrina both avoid the water on their drives but Missy had a misrelease on her upshot that put her in a spot where she had to lay up in front of the water. After Cat’s upshot, she’s in the same bunker she was in the previous two rounds in which one of those she threw it in the water because of the tricky footing. She executes it this time and is left with just a pitch up and tap in for solo second place.
It was a wonderful tournament with some outstanding play from the FPO division. Congrats to Paige Pierce for once again showing us how dominant she is. She shot over 1000 rated all three rounds and was 100% from circle 1 all tournament. It’s hard to beat the best female player in the world when she’s doing that. We will be filming the FPO again this week at the Silver Cup here in Wisconsin. Be sure to subscribe so you know when our next day coverage drops and we’ll see you soon!