The Top 10 Storylines of the 2024 Texas State Disc Golf Championships

From the desk of Owl P. Jackson, Esq.

Anniken Steen. Photo: DGPT

On Easter weekend in Texas, a trio in each division rose above the rest—a fitting end to an exciting trio of Texas DGPT events. In my opinion, these are the top 10 storylines of the 2024 Texas State Disc Golf Championships.

1. Anniken Steen’s first Pro Tour win

“I remember down in Houston; We were puttin’ on a show…”

How many of you had Anniken Steen on your podium before this weekend? Let’s take it a step farther. How many of you thought Steen was going to win going into the final day? Sure, she was in the lead, but she was tied with Ohn Scoggins and Kristin Tattar was only three strokes back and coming off a course record round. My money was on the world’s best two players. But, when the Texas dust settled, Steen became the first Norwegian champion on the Pro Tour.

Anniken had an unimpressive Texas swing up to this point, finishing T16th, T16th, and T28th. In Houston, she found another level of play, shooting -10, -10, -9 over the three days. Round 1 was her first ever 1000-rated round. Round 2 was her second. Round 3 was her third.

2. Anthony Barela’s second win of the year

“…when a cowboy in the back stood up and yelled ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe.’”

When Barela won at, many wondered if the flood gates would be opened. With the monkey off his back, would AB finally become the player we’ve been predicting at the beginning of the last four seasons? It appears so. AB got his second victory already in this early stretch of the season.

His putting was so solid this weekend that he went into the final round with a 6-stroke lead. I tuned in just to see if the commentators would be able to fill three hours of airtime. I’m glad I did. It turned out to be an incredibly entertaining round, with Aderhold and Buhr keeping things close to the final hole. But AB no longer folds down the stretch. He secured the victory with huge putts on 16 and 17, before parking 18 to close it out.

3. Barela vs. Buhr

“He said, ‘We love what you’re doin’. Boys, don’t get us wrong. There’s just somethin’ missin’ in your song.’”

Are we in the era of parity? Or do we just have new players who will define the season each year? 2024, so far, has been the year of Barela and Gannon Buhr. They occupy the top two spots in the Pro Tour standings…and no one else is really near them. Neither has missed the top 4—that’s 2023 Calvin levels of consistency. AB’s average finish is 2.5. Buhr’s average finish is 2.75.

Both were able to put together 1100-rated round at Texas States. AB did it in round 2, shooting a blistering -16. Gannon did it on the final day, shooting a slightly less blistering -15. Gannon’s round was oddly understated since he started the day 8 strokes back of the lead, but he fought all the way back with a chance to ace the final hole and send it to a playoff. That’s the first time since 2019 Pro Worlds, five years ago, that we had two 1100+ rated rounds in the same event. The players to do it back then? Ricky and Paul. Could be a fun year.

4. Ezra Aderhold

“So, we dusted off our boots and put our cowboy hats on straight.”

2024 has been a rocky year for Ezra Aderhold, who came into our lives a few years ago with plenty of hype and even more muscles. Aderhold has had strong starts in years past, particularly at Las Vegas Challenge. Coming into this tournament, his finishes were T70th, T18th, and T44th. Not exactly setting the world on fire. Hopefully this was not just a “pop-off” tournament, but a “he’s back” one. At times, it felt like his stepper couldn’t miss. If he can stay deadly from 35 feet, he’s got a chance to really excel in Jonesboro and Nashville.

5. Unique FPO Winners

“Them Texans raised the roof when Jeff opened up his case.”

As much as I loved watching Tattar’s greatness last season, I wasn’t really excited to run it back. I am pleased to report the FPO committee has risen to the challenge! Through five events, FPO has seen five unique winners: Eveliina Salonen, Kristin Tattar, Ohn Scoggins, Missy Gannon, and Anniken Steen. Let’s see how long we can keep this streak going. Can Kat Mertsch repeat in Jonesboro? Will Ella Hansen or Holyn Handley finally get it done? Only time will tell.

Even cooler—all of our five FPO winners were born in five different countries: Finland, Estonia, Laos, United States, and now Norway. I can hear “O Canada” playing softly in the distance. You’re up, Miss Frisbees.

6. MPO leaderboard roundup

“You say y’all all want to two-step, you say ya want to doe-si-doe; Well, here’s a fiddlin’ song before we go.”

A couple of quick-hits from the MPO top 10. Heimburg (5th), Orum (4th), and Klein (10th) added another good finish to their impressive resumes. Those are names you just expect to be finishing well. Gavin Rathbun (6th) and Mason Ford (T7th) continued to impress early in the season. Braeden Sides and Nathan Queen were also able to finish T7th. It was nice to see Queen on coverage again after a lengthy injury recovery. It feels like we haven’t seen him since he ran the gauntlet to win the Pro Tour Championship.

7. FPO leaderboard roundup

“That lead guitar is hot, but not for ‘Louisiana Man.’”

FPO top 10 featured some familiar faces like Missy Gannon (4th), Holyn Handley (T8th), and Valerie Mandujano (T8th). Rebecca Cox (T6th) and Lykke Lorentzen (T4th) had another good tournament. Sarah Hokom (T6th) and Lisa Fajkus (T8th) brought back memories of an era gone by. And shoutout to 18-year-old Emily Weatherman with her season-best T8th finish.

8. Pro Tour Standings

“So, rosin up that bow for ‘faded love’ and let’s all dance.”

Here’s what stands out to me when I look at the Pro Tour standings:

  • The MPO youth movement shows no signs of slowing down. Barela, Buhr, Klein, and Anttila hold on to the top four spots. Barela, Buhr, and Klein have not missed the top 10 yet.
  • Gavin Rathbun is in 11th, but doesn’t have a primary manufacturer sponsor.
  • Ezra Robinson is the top “Ezra” and the top “Robinson” right now.
  • Missy (1st), Ohn (2nd), and Kristin (4th, missing one event) have not missed the top 10.
  • Eveliina Salonen and Natalie Ryan missed the top 10 for the first time this season.
  • 6 of the top 14 FPO players are European.

9. Ricky’s Streak

“If you’re gonna play in Texas…”

Ricky Wysocki had played the Texas State Championships six times. Although it had taken place at courses around the state, Ricky Wysocki had won the Texas State Championships six times. Before the tournament, he talked about the “hometown feel” he got in Texas. That streak came to an end this year, with Ricky finishing T17th. In the words of Geoffrey Chaucer and Randolph from Free Willy, “all good things must come to an end.” Not sure who said it first.

10. Injury report

“…you gotta have a fiddle in the band.”

Not a doctor, but here we go.

  • I hope Calvin gets his sidearm back. His putting has been great, and he is finishing well even without it.
  • Kristin is still able to do Kristin things.
  • Sarah Hokom could barely walk. She gets foot surgery on April 22nd.
  • Paige went to a music festival.
  • Are we about to see the debut of MVP Eagle? He’s signed up for Music City. Can’t wait.

Thanks for reading, everyone! See you in Jonesboro!

More from Ultiworld
Comments on "The Top 10 Storylines of the 2024 Texas State Disc Golf Championships"

Find us on Twitter

Recent Comments

Find us on Facebook