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Opening Moves in Florida

Opening Moves in Florida

DGPT - Invitational — Round 1 Recap

Friday, February 23, 2024 - 21:46

The opening moves have been made in the 2024 Disc Golf Pro Tour season.

Debuting for the first time on the Elite Series, Olympus — formerly the long-standing Throw Down the Mountain track — welcomed the best of the best for the Disc Golf Pro Tour — Invitational presented by Discraft to kick off a brand-new season.

DGPT - Invitational — Full Scores & Stats via PDGA Live »

Standing high and above the landscape that you would expect in Florida, Olympus provided a little bit of everything in its first showing on the big stage — technicality, shot shaping, power, angle control and, for the later rounds, the somewhat unpredictable Florida weather.

And elevation changes.

In MPO, the four tied at the top all took different routes to get there.

Ricky Wysocki was the only player in the entire tournament to turn in a bogey-free start to the season, grabbing three birdies early and holding on late as the wind and rain picked up for the feature card’s finish.

Anthony Barela started stronger than anyone with connects of 43 and 35 feet en route to a three-for-three start. He continued he stellar day from C2 (75%) with a 50-foot connect on hole eight and added four more birdies on the back nine. A double on the 18th dropped him back into a tie for first.

Niklas Anttila wasn’t a big fan of par golf on Friday. Anttila had 10 birdies on the day — the most in the field (Thomas Gilbert, T7, finished with eight birdies an eagle) — and had a short memory, bouncing back from all four of his bogies with a birdie on the next hole.


South Carolina's Joseph Anderson. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Rounding out Saturday’s lead card is a six-digit PDGA number in South Carolina’s Joseph Anderson, who turned it on late in his early-morning round with five-straight birdies down the stretch. No other player accomplished that feat and no other player in the Top 25 has a PDGA number in the six digits.

Right are their heels are 14 players within three strokes, including Gavin Rathbun and Gannon Buhr one shot back at 5-under par. Mason Ford and Kyle Klein round out Saturday’s chase card at 4-under par.

It was just as wild of an opener in the FPO division as well.

The leaderboard was jumping throughout the morning and eventually settled with a just-as-jampacked race entering the weekend.

Natalie Ryan leads the charge at 6-under in solo first with six players within four strokes of the lead. Ryan birdied seven out of 10 over the middle stretch of the opening round and led the field in scramble rate at 80% — a key with the punishing rough at Olympus — and was second in C1 in regulation at 50%.

One stroke back sits Eveliina Salonen and Holyn Handley at 5-under par. Salonen was also clean over the middle stretch and bounced back from a bogey on 17 — the hardest hole on the day — with a birdie on 18, the fourth-hardest of the day scoring-wise. Handley matched her in similar fashion — a strong run early, a little trouble late (double on 17) before a birdie finish.

Handley and Salonen tied for the lead in the field in fairway hits (86%) and parked percentage (33%). Handley led handedly in C1 in Regulation (56%) and C2 in Regulation (72%). Salonen was second behind Ryan in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green at 10.08.

Ella Hansen finished the round with bang — the lone eagle on 18 via an 11-foot tap-in putt. Hansen is two strokes off the lead at 4-under.

Henna Blomroos (-3), Hailey King (-3), Missy Gannon (-2) and Ohn Scoggins (-1) round out the only players in the field under par.



Live coverage of Round 2 of the Invitational kicks off at 8:45 a.m. ET for FPO and 1:45 p.m. ET for MPO on the Disc Golf Network. Active PDGA members receive a deep discount on their DGN subscription.

Follow along the action via PDGA Live via or on the PDGA Live app.

Round 1 By-the-Numbers

  • 328 — Feet of total putts for Kat Mertch (21.9 average make)
  • 100 — Percent from C1 from Ohn Scoggins (duh)
  • 1022 — Unofficial rating for an Even par round in MPO
  • 370 — Feet of total putts for Grady Shue (20.6 average make)
  • 13 — Players in MPO going 100% from C1X. Ford, Gilbert and James Proctor went 13-for-13.
  • 209 — Round 2 lead card appearances (Majors/Elites) for Wysocki. Barela has 24, Anttila 8 and Anderson 0

Stats via PDGA Live

MPO — Top 10


FPO — Top 10


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