USWDGC: Perfect Pierce Becomes 4X U.S. Champ

Final Round Recap

Photo: PDGA

Paige Pierce made waves at the beginning of United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship week with a criticism of the PDGA, but made the most noise with her dominance on the courses in Northern California.

Averaging 1020-rated golf over three rounds, and getting better each day, Pierce finished out the tournament with an 8-under par final round at Rocklin to win the 2021 USWDGC by 13 strokes at 22-under par total.

“I couldn’t feel better,” said Pierce after tapping out on hole 18. “The putt and the mental game that has been holding me back for a few tournaments now. This really [proved] I am capable of anything. 100% inside the circle, no doubts in my mind, basket looked huge all weekend. I got to keep that going.”

Pierce kept her putting streak alive on Sunday, never letting the putter hit the ground from inside 10 meters. She was 26-for-26 over 54 holes and led the field in strokes gained putting at 10.58, more than three strokes better than second place. Pierce’s Fierce had her ready for a showdown with Hailey King, who came into the round trailing Pierce by two. It didn’t become the back-and-forth battle like we thought it might though.

“It wasn’t anything that I did. It was kind of mistakes that she made early. It took a lot of the weight off my shoulders,” said Pierce. “Maybe you couldn’t tell, but I was panicking. I was super nervous, my heart rate was at all time high. I went birdie, birdie, really separated. It was kind of going to be hard for her to catch me after that.”

King started her round with a two-stroke swing against her as she two-putted for bogey on hole 1 to Pierce’s birdie. Pierce rattled off three more birdies in a row and from there it wasn’t much of a contest.

“After I made the separation early in the round, it totally did feel like cruise control,” said Pierce. “This is a relatively simple track so it was just kind of get close and keep making your putts like you have been.”

Pierce led Open Women in strokes gained from tee-to-green and putting, fairway hits, finding both circles in regulation, parked percentage, and C1X putting.

King held onto her second place position despite a 3-over par final round. She edged third place Ella Hansen by one stroke, which she gained back with a birdie on the final hole as Hansen struggled to finish around the basket. Putting was Hansen’s only issue on Sunday, which otherwise saw her go 5-under par and earn her first career Elite Series podium. Hansen was bogey-free until hole 18. Missy Gannon finished fourth, and Holly Finley and Catrina Allen tied for fifth.

  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 bennett@ultiworld.com

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