Allen Pulls Away In WACO Win

Allen put up consecutively stronger rounds for three straight days at the bEast

Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen – DGPT

It’s Brazos East — the bEast. The tournament was always going to be decided in the woods.

Heading into the final round Saturday, Catrina Allen and Paige Bjerkaas co-led the Waco Annual Charity Open and were nine strokes clear of the rest of the field. Bjerkaas had been the steadier of the two, keeping the disc in play and avoiding bogeys, but Allen had birdied close to half of her holes through two rounds.

The storyline didn’t change much as the final round started Saturday morning in Texas. Both women were still tied for first through the opening eight holes, with Allen picking up an extra birdie but a bogey to go with it.

On the first wooded par 5, however, Bjerkaas flinched. The 519-foot hole 9 is only the 10th most difficult on the course, but as soon as you find your disc off the fairway the strokes can pile on quickly. Bjerkaas was off the tee clean, and Allen dissected the fairway with a perfect drive. It was an errant kick on a Bjerkaas upshot that saw her pitching out from the left side to the green. By the time she was near the pin, Bjerkaas was just inside Circle 1 for a shot at a 5 and Allen had chipped her way to a drop-in for birdie.

Looking at the basket with a chance to save par, Bjerkaas was a touch high and hit the band atop the Veteran target to fall beside the metal. Bjerkaas’ bogey meant a two-stroke swing and the first time almost all tournament that either Allen or Bjerkaas had been able to separate from the other player.

Over the next six holes, Allen would add birdies on holes 11, 13, and 15, and Bjerkaas only recorded bogeys and pars. With three holes left, Allen was ahead by six strokes and able to walk in the victory. Allen finished the tournament at 12-under par 189 total in the win. Bjerkaas was 7-under par 194 total for second place after an even par 67 final round.

Allen’s 979-rated, 5-under par 62 final round was not the highest-rated outing of the event on the FPO side ((Allen and Bjerkaas’ first and second rounds were rated 997.)) but it was the lowest to par. She scorched her drives and approaches finding Circle 2 in regulation at an 82-percent rate during round three. Allen led the tournament in parked, birdie, Circle 1 in regulation, and Circle 2 in regulation percentage.

WACO is Allen’s first Disc Golf Pro Tour win since last June’s Utah Open. She has not finished below fifth at any event since the 2018 PDGA Professional World Championships in September.  

Paige Pierce maintained third place with a 3-under par 64 round to finish at 1-under par 200 total. Sarah Hokom moved into fourth place after a 2-under par final to finish at 3-over par 204 total.

  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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