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Paige Pierce Three-peats at Vibram Open

Photo Credit: Lauren Lakeberg of LEL Photography.

For the fourth day in a row, the Open Women’s division at the 2016 Vibram Open teed off at Maple Hill in near-perfect weather conditions. After spending two days in the lead, Sarah Hokom’s third round gave way to Catrina Allen #44184 and Paige Pierce #29190, who finally caught up to and eventually surpassed Hokom heading into the final round this morning.

As we’ve seen dozens of times over the last few years, it wasn’t long before the battle for the title became a two-horse race. Despite having started the round one off the lead, an unfortunate run of holes early on in the round took Sarah out of contention. By the end of the front nine, Paige and Catrina were tied  

Paige Pierce nails a birdie from a knee on Hole 8.

It was once again the “Paige and Cat Show” as we made our way around the back half of the course, all while another contest began to form in the race for 3rd place between Val and Sarah.

Taking the solo birdie on the long and very difficult Hole 12, Paige moved into the lead. She quickly teed off on Hole 13, a difficult downhill par 3 with a basket guarded by trees and parked it to inside of 10 feet. Catrina was visibly frustrated as she watched her drive turn a bit too much to the right, knowing she would be down by two with just five holes remaining.

Catrina quickly gained one back on the over-the-water par 3 Hole 14, parking her drive along with Val for a tap-in birdie. However, a bad tree kick on 15 left her well short of the green, buried in the woods off to the right.

Cat was forced to lay up for par, knowing full well that Paige had a look from outside the circle for a birdie, a potential two-stroke swing. Paige missed the putt and it took a bad roll, but she quickly made the comeback, meaning with just three holes to go she was holding a lead of two.

Still having the box, Paige’s drive on the treacherous 530’ downhill Hole 16 took a tree kick a little over halfway down the fairway. Cat teed off last and laced a slight anhyzer down the fairway, missing all the trees, leaving herself with a 45’ chance for a remarkable birdie to bring it within one.

Catrina Allen’s putter bounces off the cage on Hole 16, missing by just a few inches.

With Cat missing the putt still down two, it seemed like it was all over. But, a drive by Paige on 17 that was stopped short by trees on the right side forced her to lay up into the fairway and throw a third shot to the green for a tap-in par. This gave Cat a window, and along with Val and Sarah, she parked an approach for a birdie inside the circle.

Hole 18 is a long par 4 that plays up the fairway and then onto a small island green with rock walls helping to keep discs from leaving the green once they enter. Paige and Cat absolutely crushed their drives, knowing that they both would need to make the island with ease for birdie, each hoping that the other would miss.

Under pressure and the eyes of the gallery, Paige Pierce nails the approach to the island green of Hole 18.

With Paige throwing first and parking it, Catrina had no choice but to run it for eagle. Catrina’s sidearm flick was short, and Paige was able to step up in front of the crowd and tap in for her 3rd straight victory at Maple Hill, thus ending Catrina Allen’s PDGA National Tour win streak and earning the title of the first Disc Golf Pro Tour champion.

Paige Pierce taps in for her 3rd straight win at Maple Hill!

Congrats to Paige Pierce and to all of the women that made the cut for the finals. The Open Men’s division lead card tees off at 2pm EDT, with live streaming coverage coming in on the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube channel!


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