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Hansen Wins Bestie Battle, Heimburg Goes Back-to-Back

Hansen Wins Bestie Battle, Heimburg Goes Back-to-Back

2024 DGPT - OTB Open Final Round Recap

Monday, May 20, 2024 - 15:36

The only problem with battling your best friend for what would be – for either of you – the biggest win of your career, is that somebody has to lose.

On Sunday it was Holyn Handley that was on wrong end of this equation, coming up short of the title and watching her friend Ella Hansen receive her first Elite Series trophy.

Both Hansen and Handley, who won what is probably the most prestigious non-Elite or Major title last year when she took down the 2023 Throw Pink Women’s Championship, got off to an ideal start.

Standing on the tee of hole one, tied for the lead and seven shots ahead of the next competitor, Kat Mertsch, Hansen fired off a low-flying backhand hyzer that tracked right at the basket the whole way until hitting the koozie and settling about 10 feet from the pin.

Not to be outdone, Handley followed Hansen’s line all the way to the basket – not hitting the koozie, but settling even closer to the pin than Hansen’s.

From there, the two diverged.

Handley began having trouble with early releases – something that DGN commentator Sarah Hokom mentioned would likely be the result of nerves – taking bogey on holes 2 and 4, and falling 4 strokes behind Hansen who had continued her hot start.

Handley grabbed 3 strokes back to make it a one stoke match again after Hansen 3-putted for bogey on hole 7, but quickly gave those strokes back and more after going bogey-double bogey on holes 9-10.

This gave Hansen the kind of cushion down the stretch that helped settle the nerves and let her cruise to the finish line for her first Elite Series Win.

Heimburg Outduels Rathbun for Back-to-Back Wins

On the men’s side, Calvin Heimburg pulled of his second Elite Series win in two weeks, outdueling Gavin Rathbun, who had began the day with a one shot lead over Heimburg and trying to close out his first Elite Series win.

Rathbun did well to keep his nerves and test the (now) 11-time Elite Series champion.

Grabbing birdies on the first two holes on his way to a 4-under front 9, Rathbun extended his lead to two shots and kept his nose out in front until a turkey on holes 7-9 finally saw Heimburg grab the lead, which he would not cede for the remainder of the round.

It was not without struggles, however. Putting for birdie from C1 on hole 16, Heimburg had a chance to extend his lead to 3 shots with 2 to play, effectively closing the door on Rathbun.

Heimburg, showing nerves, short-armed the putt and hit the cage low.

A less experience player may have bee shaken, having missed an opportunity to put the tournament away. But Heimburg, on his very next opportunity, did just that.

Staring down a 40-foot death put on hole 17, with water just a few paces behind the basket, Heimburg sailed a no-doubter of putt into the heart of the chains. The drama was over, and Heimburg – winner of last week’s Dynamic Discs Open --  had won his second-consecutive DGPT Elite Series event.

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