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Soggy Saturday

As day two began at the 2013 United States Womens Disc Golf Championships, the autumn showers that are typical in the Northwest finally began, and umbrellas littered the courses in Portland, OR.  The pools switched courses for today, as the Professional divisions played two rounds across the rolling hills and under the towering firs of Pier Park, and the Lady Amateurs went off in tee times, and were challenged by the length of the track at Blue Lake Regional Park for their only round of the day.  The rain proved to be difficult for most, and the scores reflect the unfavorable playing conditions.

In the Amateur divisions, today would be the one and only round on the course at Blue Lake.  This would be their chance to attack the protected pins and hit the middle of the OB-infested fairways that make this course so challenging.  Only one problem…it was raining off and on all day, making it difficult to grip the discs and command them to fly where they were supposed to.  Fortunately for Nichola Landry in the Advanced Masters division and Cindy McMahan in the Grandmasters division, their leads after the first two rounds at Pier Park had become somewhat insurmountable.  Both ladies remain in the lead by 8 and 11 throws, respectively.  The Intermediate division is where all the drama is taking place. Sai Ananda started the day with a three stroke lead, but that would quickly dissipate, as recently crowned Am World Champ Michelle Nava turned up the heat by throwing the best round of the day in her division to capture a four throw lead going into the final round.  Hannah Varner and Robin Sampson will round out the lead card.  In the Advanced field, Jackolyn Halstead continues her torrid pace with a modest 71, or four strokes above par.  She ran into trouble on the last few holes of the round, carding a double bogey on the difficult seventeenth, only to be followed up by back-to-back bogeys to finish the round.  Had she continued at the pace she was going, surely no one would be able to catch her.  She sits hastily at -1, while Tanya Spence (+4), Sarah Henderson (+4) and Rebecca Tobias (+5) are poised to make their move during the final round of the event at Pier Park.   

The pros finally had their chance to tackle the beautiful course at Pier  Park today, but unfortunately, the rain held steady all day, and some players had quite a problem with the wet conditions.  Again, we see two runaways in the Grandmasters and Masters divisions.  Birthday girl Sandy Gast must have made one heck of a wish while blowing out her candles, because she now holds a seven stroke lead over Friend and fellow competitor Kathy Hardyman.  Kathy was able to pick up two strokes today, but it looks like Sandy’s lead is going to be too big to get past.  Des Reading is nursing a bum wheel, hence the decision to play Masters this year.  It doesn’t seem to be slowing her down, however, as she is destroying the rest of the field at -15.  Even with the injury, she would still be sitting comfortably in second place in the Open division.  Catrina Allen held a narrow lead going into the second round this morning, but by lunchtime, she would let it slip and shared a lead with Val Jenkins and Sarah Hokom.  Sarah played like a woman possessed in the afternoon, despite the rain, and carded an incredible 48, a round that would be unofficially rated at 1012.  She now holds a five throw lead over Allen, as Val and South Carolinian Sarah Cunningham round out the lead card.  Still, with one round to play at Blue Lake, five strokes is not that large of a cushion.

For a complete listing of scores, click here.  A photo gallery of the courses and players can be seen on the PDGATour Flickr page.  We will be bringing you updates and coverage of all the action again on Sunday, so be sure to check back in tomorrow as the tournament comes to a close and we crown our newest United States Women Disc Golf Champions.