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Mom and Old Man - Running The Show Again

The 2014 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship kicked off today with a single round at the International Disc Golf Center (IDGC). Volunteer legends Mom and Old Man Wallis are running the event with help from the PDGA staff and things went off without a hitch. Mom and Old Man successfully ran the USWDGC for seven years…in a row. They probably don’t need our help, but we offer it anyway out of respect.

The 11 divisions of women were divided up and assigned to play two of three courses on the disc golf compound that makes up the IDGC. The Open Women, Grandmasters, and Advanced divisions (A-Pool) took on the “Steady” Ed Headrick Memorial course from the long tees while the remaining divisions (B-Pool) headed over to play the short tees on the Jim Warner Memorial course. Short or long tees aside, there is no “easy” layout on any of the three courses on the property.

Paige Pierce #29190, Liz Carr #31068, and Elaine King #3090 are all at the top of the leaderboard in the Open Women’s division after shooting 55, 56, and 57 on the par 62 long tee layout of the Steady Ed course, respectively. It’s a tricky course filled with dangerous tee shots and greens. In many cases, the holes that appear easier can end up being the most damaging, while the ones that seem more difficult on paper can do just the opposite.

Current leader Paige Pierce summed it up best when she said after a somewhat bumpy start, “I took 4s on all the 3s, and 3s on all the 4s.” Defending USWDGC champion Sarah Hokom #35463 will round out the lead card tomorrow after shooting a 60. The chase card and the cards that sit behind them are all within striking range especially considering there are still two full rounds to be played tomorrow and a grueling final round on Sunday to be played on the longest and most difficult course at the IDGC, the W.R. Jackson Memorial course.

Of all the women that competed today there is perhaps one player that fans of disc golf might as well get used to hearing now. That name is Alex Lambert #49750, and she’s the current leader in the 16 & Under 17 throws. Of the 44 women that played the Warner course today, her score of seven over par was only bested by two women: the leader of the Advanced Masters Women’s division Suzanne Graham #13372 and the leader of the Advanced Grandmasters Women’s division Lisa Gallagher #40381.

Speaking of Suzanne Graham #13372, she’s the only woman in the tournament that also competed in the very first USWDGC 15 years ago in 1999. She came out of alleged disc golf retirement to do so and we’re extremely excited to have her out here competing this weekend. Interesting side note; she’s also the sister of the current PDGA Executive Director, Brian Graham #5861.

The women all face a mentally and physically exhausting day of disc golf tomorrow, as it is the one and only day where they will play two different world-class courses. The A-Pool will play the Warner course (long tees) in the morning followed by a shot at redemption on the Steady Ed course (long tees) for the afternoon round. The B-Pool will take on the same courses in the opposite order from the short tees on both. It will be moving day as usual for the Saturday action at the second to last PDGA Major of the 2014 disc golf season.

We’ll have live scoring for the Open division all day tomorrow on with commentary, pictures, and videos coming in via @PDGALive on Twitter. McFlySoHigh Video will be out filming as well, with his video coverage available the following morning at the latest. There are more than a few opportunities for players from every division to move up, and the same goes for moving down. Tune in tomorrow and follow along as the best women disc golfers in the world take on a full day of some of the toughest courses in the world.

High-resolution pictures from the round this afternoon are available for viewing and sharing on the PDGA Flickr page. Thank you to Jonathan Pius #45062 for adding to the photo sets.