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Pierce Battles a King

Two rounds at the International Disc Golf Center is a long day, always. It doesn’t matter what course(s) or which layouts you choose. At the 2014 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship today, both the “Steady” Ed Memorial DGC and the Jim Warner Memorial DGC were played by the 11-division field. Both courses feature elevation changes, water hazards, doglegs, blind tee shots, and a seemingly infinite amount of trees lining the fairways and the greens. Exhausting…sure. Luckily, the beauty and complexity they provide to the competitors makes it easy for them to forget just how tired they might be.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the enduring day of disc golf the women would be undertaking. Sunny, but not hot. Breezy, but not windy. It was as close to ideal that a summer Saturday in Georgia can get. The consequence of good weather is typically better scores, and that’s what we saw today when compared to the results of the hot and humid round played yesterday afternoon. The A-Pool (Open, Grandmasters, Advanced) played their morning round on the Warner course from the long tees followed by the Steady Ed course, also from the long tees. The B-Pool (all other divisions) played just the opposite, with the only difference being that they played from the short tees.

Paige Pierce #29190 started the day as the overall leader in the Open division, up by a single stroke on second place. Nine hours later, that statement still holds true, but with a different player positioned to make a run at the lead tomorrow. That player is the one and only Elaine King #3090, 6X Pro Worlds champion (5X Open Women, 1X Masters Women). Two-time USWDGC champion Liz Carr #31068 played well enough during Round 2 to take over Pierce’s spot at the top of the leaderboard going into Round 3. However, a few mishaps on the Steady Ed course gave King the opportunity to move into second after round three and pull away from the group alongside of Paige.

The Steady Ed course also claimed Val Jenkins #17495 as a victim, moving her down from 4th place to a tie for 6th with 2013 USWDGC champion Sarah Hokom #34563. It was moving day as they say, and for every person that moves down, there is another that moves up. Not surprisingly, Catrina Allen #44184 was one of the women that moved up. In her case, way up.

Allen was at the bottom of third card at the start of the morning round and after two rounds of consistent disc golf she will be teeing off with the lead card, tied for 4th with Ohn Scoggins #48976. Carr, Allen, Scoggins, Jenkins, and Hokom have some serious work to do during the final round tomorrow if they want to catch Pierce and King, as the gap between second and third place is now five strokes.

Only one round remains to crown 11 different women here at the 2014 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship. The B-Pool will once again take on the Steady Ed course from the short tees, while the A-Pool battles it out on the longest and most difficult course on the property, the W.R. Jackson Memorial DGC. The W.R. Jackson is a par 69 monster designed by none other than John Houck #1688, with more par 4 holes than par 3. There’s almost no way to have a comfortable lead with the amount of potential danger that’s available. It’s certainly still anyone’s tournament to win, or lose.

The final round of the 2014 USWDGC will start at 8:58am EDT as the terrifying yet strangely comforting bellow of “TTTWWWWOOOOOO MMMIIINNNUUUTTTEEESSS” from PDGA Tour Manager, Andrew “Big Dog” Sweeton #21582, echoes around the property at unimaginable decibel levels. Live scores with tweets, pictures, and videos will be up and running on and footage from the round will be available later in the evening from McFlySoHigh Video.

As usual, high resolution images from today’s rounds are published and available for viewing, downloading, and sharing on the PDGA Flickr page. Thank you to Jonathan Pius #45062 for once again contributing some of his photos to the album.