Mistake-Free Round One Gives Hokom Lead At Las Vegas Challenge

Pierce starting in a hole for second consecutive year.

 

Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen

Ultiworld Disc Golf’s coverage of the 2019 Las Vegas Challenge is presented by Innova Discs; all opinions are those of the authors. 

Hey, did you know it snowed in Nevada before round one of the year’s first PDGA National Tour event at the Las Vegas Challenge?

The Open Women’s field teed off early Thursday meaning temps were still in the 30s as they took on the Infinite Discs Course at Wildhorse Golf Club. Sarah Hokom earned her lead after 18 holes by playing mistake-free golf. A 992-rated, 6-under par 53 came honestly, as Hokom was the only FPO player to finish bogey-free, as well as 100-percent from C1X. The only real criticism to her round could be the low Circle 1 and Circle 2 in regulation totals, 22 and 50-percent respectively. Two early throw-ins for birdie from 72 and 66 feet helped negate the low green hit rate. This is Hokom’s first sanctioned tournament after moving manufacturer sponsors to MVP Disc Sports. 

Paige Bjerkaas sits one stroke behind Hokom in second at 5-under par 54. She found herself in more scoring positions than Hokom but two-putted several holes to finish at 43-percent C1X putting.

Jennifer Allen carded the most birdies on the day with seven and is tied with Catrina Allen in third at 3-under par 56. Catrina started the day birdieing three of the first four before paring 12 of the final 14 holes.

Takeaways

  • C1X putting is already proving to give us a more true measure of player performance. Paige Pierce, currently tied for 11th at 2-over par 61, was 0-percent from C1X. By the former measure of Circle 1 putting, she would have finished around 80-percent, which is by no means good, yet wouldn’t have properly shown that Pierce missed every tester putt inside 10 meters.1
  • Hokom wasn’t the only player tacking on some throw-ins. Lisa Fajkus also hit two, both for birdie, from 80 and 70 feet.

Lisa Fajkus From Downtown (2019 Las Vegas Challenge | The Disc Golf Guy)

Shot of the day so far from the The Las Vegas Challenge presented by Innova: Lisa Fajkus bangs the 70-footer and jogs in the celebration. 💪📽️: The Disc Golf Guy

Posted by Professional Disc Golf Association on Thursday, February 21, 2019

  • Eveliina Salonen caught a couple bad breaks but showed the U.S. field what she’s capable of. She converted on four Circle 2 putts, best of FPO, and if she’s able to continue that she’ll most likely be competing for the win.
  • Pierce may seem like she’s in a big hole at eight strokes behind the leader, but she’s been in this exact place. Pierce was eight back after round one at last year’s LVC before rallying over the next three rounds to win the event by three.

The lead card of Hokom, Bjerkaas, J. Allen, and C. Allen tees off at 8:04 a.m. local time. Jomez Pro will feature next day coverage, and live scores can be followed at UDisc Live.


  1. Ed. Note – This article was published before video coverage was released. After viewing JomezPro round one coverage, Pierce does appear to make several putts from C1X that were misreported as inside 3.3 meters. While this changes the 0-percent putting rate, it does not change our opinion of the importance of the statistic. 

  1. Bennett Wineka
    Bennett Wineka

    Benn started playing disc golf in the '90s but has somehow never gotten any better. He lives in Decatur, Georgia and cares too much about Atlanta United and UNC basketball. Email him at bennwineka [at] gmail if you have something interesting.

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