The Memorial Championship - Round 1 Recap
February 27, 2020 by Bennett Wineka in Recap with 0 comments
Round 1 of the Memorial Championship was our first look at the Disc Golf Network, although the tournament is also streaming entirely on YouTube, and besides a slight hiccup with a UDisc Live scorer on the men’s feature card, the early results look good.
The switch to Open teeing off first was welcome, and while the feature women’s coverage was cut into, it was a seamless transition between the divisions, with numerous check-ins as both cards were in action.
- Paige Pierce broke away from the pack with an impressive back 9 which included seven birdies. Her 8-under par 48 comes in at a provisionally-rated 1021 and has Pierce three clear of second place. Pierce wasn’t just using her distance to her advantage but hit three Circle 2 putts on the round and was 100% from inside 10 meters.
- On one of her home courses, Jennifer Allen set the tone of the afternoon with a 4-under par playing on the first women’s card of the event. She sits in fourth place and will be on Friday’s lead card.
- The putting issues have still not been sorted out by Catrina Allen, as she two-putted five times during round 1. Her driving, a field-leading 56% C1 in regulation rate, is still finding her in position to score though and she is tied with Jennifer Allen in fourth.
- Henna Blomroos leads the division in driving accuracy and C2 in regulation. She’s tied with Zoe AnDyke for second place at 5-under par. AnDyke characteristically hit all of her C1 attempts, but otherwise limited her mistakes — one bogey, zero OBs — to earn her place.
“I just told myself, ‘Don’t get upset, there are eight birdies ahead,’ and I was able to capture seven of them.” – Paige Pierce on her double-bogey on hole 10.
The winds stayed down on Thursday on the notoriously windy Fountain Hills course and the Open Women’s field took advantage. The average score during round 1 was 1.25 strokes over par, almost three strokes lower than last year’s lowest round on the track.
- Drew Gibson posted the early hot round of 14-under par 42 and was the clubhouse leader as the feature card of Paul McBeth, Eagle McMahon, Nate Sexton, and Paul Ulibarri just got started. He is one stroke off the lead and the only player on round 2’s lead card to finish 100% from Circle 1.
- McBeth would catch and pass Gibson on the final card to match Calvin Heimburg’s 1092-rated,1 15-under par 41. McBeth had a near ace on hole 6.
- According to his scorecard, Heimburg didn’t attempt a C2 putt on the day.
- The lack of early season tournament play didn’t seem to affect McMahon who would tie Gibson at 14-under par and sits in third.
- Young Crush Boi Oskari Vikström made an impression with a 12-under par and is tied in seventh. He is one of two Europeans who will be on the chase card, joining Norway’s Øyvind Jarnes who sits in fifth at 13-under par.
- Las Vegas Challenge champion Nate Sexton was reportedly favoring a sore side during the round. His 9-under par has him tied in 28th.
- Two sub-1000-rated players are currently in the top 10 at 11-under par: Jeremy Novak and Kristo Raik.
“I feel like I left a few putts out there. I didn’t really have confidence in my putt today, which is kinda weird. I was able to sink a lot of putts though even with that so it feels good.” – Paul McBeth
The Memorial is a sprint, and it’s easy to get left behind. Since Will Schusterick come back from a five stroke deficit after round 1 to win the 2013 edition in a playoff, only one Open player has won The Memorial after trailing by more than three strokes after 18 holes.
Bascially, if anyone outside the current top seven emerges victorious it will be surprise.
at time of publication ↩