Final Round Recap
October 18, 2021 by Anthony Mikos in Recap with 0 comments
The final curtain call to the Elite Series season took place at one of the newer, yet more historic courses on tour, and the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship had a historic ending with the FPO’s top trending talent. As the final bows were being taken, only one champion was able to be crowned and that was none other than Missy Gannon.
“I knew I had it in me,” said Gannon. “When I got through some of those last holes really clean, honestly, I couldn’t believe it.”
After dominating the field over the last month, Gannon ends her season with a bang and sets a new standard in the division. Standout performances on the year include her first Elite Series win at the Des Moines Challenge, and with the $30,000 first place prize at the DGPT Championship, Gannon breaks the all-time single season cash record for the FPO division at $67,029.
“I can’t even believe that,” said Gannon, in tears after her win. “Such a big shoutout to the Disc Golf Pro Tour for just elevating the game in so many ways. Especially for the women’s payouts because a stat like that would not be able to happen without all that hard work. It’s just an incredible season.”
Gannon has been locked-in since becoming the inaugural Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship winner last week at Winthrop to now winning the largest purse in tour history. Her game is every bit as dialed-in as it can be, and Gannon’s ridden her strengths to finish the season strong and continue to establish herself among the elite within this division.
Her nerves on the course Sunday were unmatched, although it seems as if Gannon has no nerves since she’s learned to redirect them into bettering her game.
“It’s channeled in a way that just really helps me commit to those putts fully,” said Gannon. “This is what I love to do, especially putting. When I’m on the green, I feel so confident and so ready to just put it in the basket and be done.”
Putting was the name of her game during the final round, leading the four finalists in both Circle 1X and C2 putting percentages. She was able to cash on 86% of Circle 1X putts while leading the field from C2 at 60% (3-of-5). She finished the finals round at 2.69 strokes gained putting and the blacked-out Challenger SS was her driving force.
Gannon birdied five holes of the front 9 to take an early advantage she would hold onto. Sarah Hokom and Heather Young matched Gannon’s 2-down pace through the opening five holes, but Gannon quickly got a two stroke lead with a parked birdie on hole 6 and C2 make for birdie on hole 7, her third long make of the day.
Anything can happen on the back 9 at Hornets Nest, and it was all about keeping it together for Gannon. The putter didn’t cool down, but she was also able to lean on her game off the tee on the tight fairways, leading the round in strokes gained from tee-to-green at 5.61, more than 1.5 strokes better than Hokom.
“I really have to give a shout out to Tom. He’s my life partner, my life caddy, he keeps me calm in situations like this,” said Gannon. “I’m fortunate to have him by my side.”
Only two bogeys beset Gannon for the second half of the course and she offset them with birdies on holes 12 and 17. Her 1001 rated, 5-under par round was four strokes ahead of second place, where Sarah Hokom and Heather Young split a combined $25,000 evenly at 1-under par. Young, who made 11 C1X putts on Sunday, took control of solo second place at 2-under par with a birdie on hole 17 before she missed a par save from just inside of the circle on the elevated basket of hole 18 to drop back into a tie.
Out of the top three spots, not a single competitor went OB, which meant that putting was going to be the separator. Gannon has proven to be one of the most consistent putters on tour and definitely displayed that during her victory lap round.
“We’re competitors sometimes but at the end of the day we’re friends and we’re always rooting for each other,” said Gannon. “To see all of my friends behind me and watching me today it was such a awesome feeling.”
Rounding out the card in fourth place was defending champion Hailey King. Her round opened with a double bogey on hole 1 followed by bogeys on three of the next four holes. Her one birdie on the round placed her at 11-over on the day. She never established a rhythm, but King will get back to work for next year and do so $8K richer.
The FPO division experienced all sorts of twists and turns during the 2021 tour schedule. Big names were crowned while also welcoming some new kids to the block to break up the old guard. All in all, the FPO division is as competitive as it ever has been and will be for years to come.