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Putting, Scrambling Propel Allen to Top of Leaderboard in Delaware


Catrina Allen taps in on 18 to finish 5-under par at Iron Hill. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen

What a recovery.

After a final-round disappointment at last week’s PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships found Catrina Allen taking home third place, she bounced back with a 5-under par 64 at Iron Hill Friday morning to take an early lead at the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge.

The Minnesota native struggled on the putting green last weekend in Peoria, slumping to a 48% circle 1x rate during Worlds. But instead of dwelling on the past, she employed a short memory: Tapping into the road warrior mentality that has driven her career, she got right back on the road and logged a perfect performance inside 10 meters on Friday.

“I’ve found that the best way to attack things that are going wrong…is to try something different and go back and try that out on the course,” Allen said.

Though she got bit by a few trees and is only in eighth in the field in fairway hits, her 75% scramble rate leads the pack. Allen said Iron Hill reminds her of another long wooded track, the International Disc Golf Center’s W.R. Jackson course, in that luck can be involved, but that it’s still fair.

“It kind of rewards you if you take what you get and make good decisions,” Allen said. Her round was rated at 994.

Just on her heels at 3-down for the day is Estonian pro Kristin Tattar, who is staying stateside until October. Her 980-rated performance at Iron Hill featured a field best 61% circle 2 in regulation clip.

Although Tattar said she wasn’t fresh after Worlds, she had made an adjustment to her putting style that helped her connect on 92% of her attempts inside the arc.

“[Putting] was my weakest part of my game at Worlds so I switched back to my old putting style and now it’s working better for me," said Tattar. "So I’ve just been practicing that.”  

Tattar strung together three straight birdies on a late hot stretch, but rain came into the area shortly after.

"It wasn't that heavy," Tattar said. "Right when we started to play hole 16 and 17 was when it hit the hardest, but it was fine. I didn't mind a little shower. We get snow and rain and everything 

Though she said she was fine with the conditions, they are hard to ignore when looking at her double-bogey 7 on the daunting 17th, an 860-foot par 5 that played nearly a stroke and a half over par Friday.

"My first two shots were good but my third had a very bad kick into the rough, so I didn't have an upshot there," said Tattar. "Then, I also messed up, and my upshot to get a bogey was outside the circle and I missed the putt...and that was it." 

After a second place showing at Delaware last year, Tattar knows the name of the game at Iron Hill.

“I stick to my game plan," said Tattar. "You never know what will happen in the woods. You just have to be prepared for a scramble and that’s what I try to do.”

Michigan pro Alisha Schafer is playing in her first career PDGA National Tour event, and she’ll do it on the lead card Saturday as she jumped into third place with an even par showing in Delaware. Her putter was hot down the stretch, as she canned three circle 2 connections for a tournament leading 43% in that category.

"I had a couple of double bogeys on the front nine but I managed to shave those off, " said Schafer. "I made three outside the circle putts. I was just kind of feeling it, and I tried not to let the double bogeys get to me. My game plan was to stay in the fairway and make my putts."   

Pennsylvania-area pro Michelle Frazer rounds out the moving day lead card after tossing a 2-over par Friday, and there’s a three-way tie for fifth place: Elaine King, Jessica Weese, and defending Delaware champ Sarah Hokom al started the tournament at 3-over.

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