Salonen Ahead After Konopiště Open’s First Round

Van Dyken four back heading into day two in Czechia

Eveliina Salonen’s even-par performance finds her atop the leaderboard at the Konopiště Open. Photo: Eino Ansio, Disc Golf World Tour

With temperatures a balmy 60 degrees at tee off and no rain in sight, the Open Women’s feature card got things started at the Konopiště Open, and some familiar names are already out in front.

The field will have to play catch-up to pre-tournament favorite and reigning European and Finnish National Champion Eveliina Salonen, as her even-par 67 has her four strokes out in front. Vanessa Van Dyken came into the clubhouse with a 4-over par 71 to land in second place, just one stroke ahead of Henna Blomroos’ 5-over par 72. Kristin Tattar finished the first round tied for fourth with Katka Bodová, as the pair notched 7-over par 74s on the day.

The final round one feature card participant, Hannah Croke – who is playing in her first event in the Open Women’s division — sits in eighth place after a 12-over par 79 performance.

Salonen got off to a strong start during her 957-rated round, birdieing the first five holes while making all her putts from inside the circle — two of which were tap-ins from inside three meters. This run of pars was made all the more impressive by holes 2, 3, 4, and 5 ranking as the eighth, third, second, and sixth most difficult holes for the field.

From there, Salonen snagged three birdies in a row starting on hole 6, where she secured the deuce with a putt from outside the circle. The run of birdies put her at 3-under par through the front nine, making her the only competitor in the field to not be over par through the first half.

While the first half of her round was ideal, Salonen ran into some trouble on the back nine. Two missed inside the circle putts kicked things off on holes 10 and 11, with the first for birdie and the second to save par. She then two-putted on hole 14 from inside 10 meters and had to settle for double bogey, before managing a bogey 6 on the second most difficult hole on the course, hole 16.

“Drives were very good today, but [through the back nine] my putting game was not so good,” Salonen said.

Despite the struggles, Salonen rebounded well on the final hole, putting her drive inside three meters and tapping in the birdie. After a rough start to her round, Van Dyken also rebounded to get back on track.

Van Dyken took two bogeys and a double bogey over the first three holes before settling down and parring out through the rest of the front nine. On hole 11 she got her first birdie, parking her upshot under the basket. She would go on to get two more birdies and three bogeys to finish out the back nine at even par. Van Dyken led the field in inside the circle putting percentage, hitting 92 percent of her putts from inside 10 meters.

Croke, meanwhile, said she enjoyed her first round in the Open Women’s division, even as she did not score as well as she wanted to.

“When I didn’t have the greatest upshot or the smoothest line, I just kept going and smiled through everything,” Croke said. “My nickname on the card today was ‘Smiley.’”

The lead card of Salonen, Van Dyken, Blomroos and Bodová begins play at 12:30 p.m. local time, after the majority of the Open field has already teed off. Live scoring of the Women’s Open field can be followed via Disc Golf Metrix.

  1. Alex Colucci
    Alex Colucci

    Alex Colucci is the managing editor at Ultiworld Disc Golf. He is a disc golfer currently living in Northeast Ohio who teaches geography sometimes. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, news and questions, and follow him on Twitter.

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