Pierce Extends European Open Lead With Second 1000-Rated Round

Salonen returns to lead card for round three

Photo: Eino Ansio – European Open

Paige Pierce was showing cracks in her armor early during round two of the European Open

Coming into Friday with a two stroke lead over Henna Blomroos, the American quickly gave up ground to the young Finn. Despite two early birdies, a double-bogey and bogey on holes 4 and 5, respectively, from Pierce meant she and Blomroos were tied going into hole 6. 

After that it wasn’t very close. Pierce was back up by two when the lead card reached the turn and added another birdie on the tricky hole 10. She’d pick up three birdies to one bogey on the back nine, saving her best for hole 17.

The 140-meter/459-foot par 3 has its basket situated on a daunting slope that can easily punish a righty-backhand drive if the disc comes in too hot or with too much height. Pierce played the hole as well as any player ever has.

“It’s one of the toughest par 3s I’ve ever played,” Pierce said after the round. “With the strong headwind, I had to club up to my most overstable Bio Defender and just trust that it was going to hyzer back. I put the right angle on it and I couldn’t have been more excited.”

Pierce landed inside Circle 1X and converted the birdie. She is one of only 10 players, male or female, to 2 the hole in 2019. She finished the round at 2-under par 62, bringing her two-day total to 5-under par 123, and is averaging close to 1010-rated golf.

As Pierce was doing that, her card mates were adding extra strokes to their scorecards. Blomroos stays in second place, but went 4-over par on the round to move to 3-over par 131 total, eight strokes off the lead. For the round she only hit 38% of her C1X attempts, not taking advantage of her second-best in the division greens in regulation rate. 

Catrina Allen’s day was not much different than Blomroos’s. She was even par through 14 holes before the bottom dropped out. Two OB strokes on hole 15 and a three-putt led to a quadruple-bogey, and on the island hole 16 things didn’t get much better with a triple-bogey. Including a bogey on hole 17, Allen lost eight strokes to Pierce in the three holes stretch. Allen remains in third at 10-over par 138 total. 

Eveliina Salonen will replace Kristin Tattar on the lead card for moving day on Saturday.

  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 [email protected]

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