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Checkmate

Checkmate

DGPT - Chess.com Invitational — Final Recap

Monday, February 26, 2024 - 10:41

Checkmate.

It was a thrilling end to the beginning of the Disc Golf Pro Tour season at the 2024 Chess.com Invitational presented by Discraft, and one years in the making for the two champions.

DGPT - Chess.com Invitational — Final Scores & Stats via PDGA Live »

Anthony Barela held on to grab his first Elite Series win in his career, one that started in the junior ranks in 2010 and one that has featured so many close calls.

Eveliina Salonen turned in a complete performance and a sizzling final round on Sunday to claim her third Elite Series title and first since 2020.

Breakthrough

Barela entered Sunday in Brooksville, Florida with a one-stroke lead over Ricky Wysocki and stuck to the gameplan. His lead grew to as many as five strokes and he never wavered coming down the stretch when the pressure was the highest. On the weekend, Barela was steady in every statistical category, highlighted by a stellar start to the season on the putting green.

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Anthony Barela. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Wysocki finished second, one stroke back, after yet another tear down the stretch on Sunday with birdies on five of the last six holes. Aaron Gossage jumped to a podium finish with the hottest round of the weekend — 8-under — on Sunday.

But this weekend belonged to Barela, who broke through the top the top in his 88th Major / Elite Series start.

Dominant

Salonen turned in a complete weekend — dominance off the tee and a big-time improvement on the green. It culminated with an absolute romp through the final round.

While leading in nearly every driving category, Salonen finished 8-of-9 in C1X for a course-record 8-under final round to jump three spots and clear the rest of the field by five strokes in the end. Salonen average a 1012 rating on the weekend, her best since a 997 average at her last DGPT win in 2020 in Waco.

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Eveliina Salonen. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Her 1031 final round (unofficial) is her third-highest rated round of her career. All three of her top ratings have come since October 2023.

Ella Hansen finished second with an 11-under total. Missy Gannon and Holyn Handley tied for third at 10-under on the weekend.

No one, however, could overcome a complete all-around performance from Salonen.

The Disc Golf Pro Tour resumes on March 7-10 at the Waco Annual Charity Open in Waco, Texas.

Highlights

 

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