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High Drama, High Payout

The United States Army hosted Day 3 of the United States Women’s Disc Golf Championships at the Redstone Arsenal DGC in Huntsville, Alabama today.  The day dawned sunny, clear and a chilly 52 degrees with a steady breeze.  By midday it had reached 70 degrees with 42% humidity – absolute perfect disc golf weather.

The technical Redstone Arsenal course was immaculate and a great challenge for the final regulation round for all competitors and the Final 9 for the FPO leaders.  Initial concerns over access to the Army base were expertly handled by the Rocket City Chain Gang as all the players, caddies, staff, and spectators were carefully shepherded onto the course throughout the day.

The action in the morning round determined the Ladies National Champions for all divisions except Ladies Pro Open.

In the Ladies Pro Masters division, Des Reading ran into a bit of trouble but the 12 throw lead she had patiently built up over the four previous rounds was enough to win the National title by holding off the hard-charging Barrett White who moved from third place to second by shooting a very nice 55.  Sheila Kirkam finished in third place and Pam Reineke shot a nice 57 to move up into fourth place off the second card.

In Grandmasters, Sandy Gast had opened up a tremendous lead and she added another couple of throws to end up winning the National title by a full 25 throws.  Susan Macaluso and Suzette Simons battled to a draw in Round 5 which gave Susan second place by the single throw she had held over Suzette after the first four rounds.

A similar story was told over in the Amateur Grandmasters division where SueB “The Massage Lady” Lande had opened an incredible lead and added four more throws in round five to win the National title by 36 throws over second place finisher Tracy Lacue.

Junior Girls 10 and under player Victoria Scott continued to play very well and carded a real nice 91 to finish out her tournament.

In the Amateur Recreational Division, Aleux Beverly McFarling had the hot round of 69 for the division for the come-from-behind win of the National title.  Robin Black finished in second place and Christine Coronel finished third.

Sara Senkbeil had the hot round 67 for the Amateur Intermediate division to pad her lead to 19 throws and win the National title over second place finisher Kathy Yerby who staved off the hard-charging Kristen Brown who closed the gap considerably but finished in third place two throws back.

Michelle Jones shot the hot round 63 to win the Amateur Masters National title by 10 throws over Candy Rocque who took second and Jennifer Brooks who finished third.

The PDGA Memberships Manager, Sara Nicholson, shot a 59 to claim the National title by 11 throws in the Advanced Amateur division.  Sara also won the tournament putting championship across all Amateur and Pro divisions by shooting a perfect nine-for-nine in the putting Finals.  Wendy Boutin finished in second place for Advanced Am by holding off Kristen Chandler who had the hot round of 57 to close the gap to only a single throw taking third place.

TD Chris Jaskolka with Adv National Champ Sara Nicholson

Over in the Ladies Pro Open divison the drama built up as Paige Pierce, Sarah Hokom, and Elaine King all worked hard to reel in leader Catrina Allen in hopes of catching her later during the FPO-only Final 9.  Catrina opened the door a bit at Holes 8 and 9 when she ran into some trouble and gave up 3 throws to Paige and Sarah and 2 throws to Elaine who then got her third throw back on Hole 10 as she had the only deuce on the hole.  Paige picked up two more throws on Catrina on the back nine and Sarah picked up another throw as well.  Meanwhile, on the second card, Val Jenkins was on fire shooting the super hot round of 50 (rated 1008.)  The next closest score that round was Paige Pierce’s 53.  Val had a five on the long Hole 8, a four on the second longest Hole 15, and then 7 deuces to record that 50 and come off the second card to tie Elaine King for fourth place through five rounds.

So the Final 9 went off as a fivesome with Catrina leading Paige by two throws, Sarah four throws further back in third, and Val and Elaine tied for fourth another three throws back.  It turned out that over the next nine holes there would be a battle for first place, and a battle for fourth place.  Here is how the final 9 played out:

USWDGC Final 9 Scoring
Sarah Hokom matched Paige Pierce’s 29 for the hot round of the Final 9 but the gap was too large to overcome and she finished in third place.  Meanwhile, a heated battle between Val Jenkins and Elaine King was taking place to determine who would finish fourth.  Ownership of that position would change six times across the nine holes with Elaine King finally emerging as the victor for the fourth place honors.

Catrina Allen started out strong with two birdies, but when she stumbled on Hole 4 and Hole 8, Paige took full advantage and after five holes of play Paige had grabbed the lead.  When Paige blinked on Hole 11, they were then tied which really excited the crowd and ultimately pushed the two into a Sudden Victory playoff back onto Hole B, a 255 footer with lots of trees to negotiate in the fairway.  Catrina had deuced the hole on her first pass during the Final 9 and she was equal to the task again by parking her drive to win the hole and be crowned the 2012 National Champion.

As the drama on the course subsided, the drama of the awards ceremony and the huge payout commenced.  Chris Jaskolka and his Rocket City Chain Gang team had outdone the record payout they had posted for the USWDGC back in 2008.  With only 27 Pros paying into the event, the 2012 USWDGC paid out $17,350 ($14,620 Added Cash) to the Pro purse, a whopping 636% of the net entry fees.  Once the stellar player’s pack and other prizes were figured in, the Pro ladies had received back a total of 869% of their net entry fees.

Final 9 Participants with Payout

The Amateur ladies fared almost as well with an extra deep payout of over 50% with their prizes and amenities totaling to an outstanding 599% of their net entry fees.

With an event value of nearly $40K, TD Chris Jaskolka and his incredible team from the Rocket City Chain Gang and other volunteers have once again raised the bar for future USWDGCs, and should be very proud of the fine job they did putting on a tournament that excelled in every possible way.