Final Round Recap
May 23, 2022 by Cameron Guidry in News, Recap with 0 comments
STOCKTON, Cal. — There was much talk before the season about the European contingent of players making their way over to compete on the Disc Golf Pro Tour, whether it was how much they would win, who they would push out of the cash on a consistent basis, and who would resonate with the new viewers who may have not been watching last time we saw them.
To this point, some had come close — Lauri Lehtinen and Väinö Mäkelä come to mind — but none have capture a crown. For all that talk of the European return, Simon Lizotte may have not been the first name you thought of as someone who would break up the streak of US dominance over the Pro Tour, at least not so soon after injury and significant life changes. However, he looked every part of the elite player that he promised to be back in the 2010s, cashing in long spin putts, showing off his course-bending power, and sprinkling in a highlight or two for good measure. While in the past if felt like he was winning despite high-risk decisions, this weekend felt like an evolved version of Lizotte’s game, his 100% fairway hits in the final round makes for a telling stat, showing control hitting the tough lines at Swenson Park.
“I was so happy with my drives today, it just felt easy,” said Lizotte. “…My decisions on the course weren’t always the best, because I was like the ‘show-off kid’, and I kind of still am and still want to be, but my body says no. I’ve got to tone it down a bit, 80% effort on a lot of throws, and with the discs I have, they go just as far with less effort.”
Lizotte has been riding a wave of good play over the last stretch of tournaments, and his trajectory has him on track to compete with the best of the best, week in and week out if his body can hold out. His new game plan seems to emphasize less wear, and this may be the season we see Lizotte regain his place as a mainstay of the tour.
Another Near Miss for Heimburg
Calvin Heimburg finds himself once again on the outside looking in this season.
Aside from his win at Jonesboro, Heimburg has found himself on the podium but outside of the winner’s circle four times already this year, just shy of taking home the hardware. Early in the season, it seems like his putter was cold and costing him, but this weekend he was simply outplayed by Lizotte. Heimburg was outshot by the eventual victor in every round, and Lizotte’s consistency snuffed out Heimburg’s late charge for the win. All facets of the Florida pro’s game seemed to be clicking at points over the course of the tournament, nailing long C2 putts in spots, lacing low drives, and putting together a strong showing that came up just short. Despite not taking home the trophy, Heimburg has momentum to ride through the rest of the West Coast swing.
OTB The First Experiment of a New Type of Tour Stop
OTB was the Pro Tour’s first attempt at building a tour stop around more than just golf. Between the Party Peninsula, the Concert Series, and the improved infrastructure for fans, this event may be a good look at what the future of disc golf may look like. While it may be a work in progress, look for more stops to go this route to try to maximize fan attendance and engagement in the years to come.
Simon Lizotte was far and away the best off the tee of the field at OTB. He lead the field in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, C1 in Regulation, and finished 2nd in Fairway Hits behind Calvin Heimburg. He was accurate as well as powerful this weekend.