Paige Bjerkaas quickly lost her lead during Saturday's fourth round of Pro Worlds, but she regained control to head into Sunday's final with a five-shot advantage. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt. – Paige Bjerkaas’ day didn’t exactly go as planned.
As temperatures plummeted here at Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center for the Open Women’s lead card’s 9:30 a.m. tee time Saturday, the 21-year-old Kansan’s game matched the conditions. Simply put, it was cold.
Double bogey. Par. Triple bogey. A five-stroke lead, evaporated in a mere three holes at Fox Run Meadows.
Paige Bjerkaas was all smiles after firing off a career-best round Thursday afternoon during the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Jeffersonville, Vermont. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt. – Paige Bjerkaas has just walked off Fox Run Meadows after a 5-under par gem and is waiting for her close-up. As she stands on the stage just outside the Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center pro shop, onsite camera crews adjust their lenses as a boom mic hovers near her feet, waiting to capture the perfect soundbite. And they’re about to get it.
Paige Pierce lined up another double-digit victory this weekend in Santa Cruz. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and Paige Pierce is walking through the DeLaveaga Golf Course parking lot after a runaway win at the Santa Cruz Masters Cup. She’s come to the realization that she is still undefeated in 2018.
Paige Pierce takes a six-shot lead into today's Masters Cup final. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Clocking in at just under five hours, Saturday’s second round of the Masters Cup found the Open Women’s division logging a marathon disc golf session. Though the number of holes at DeLaveaga Park, 24, comes up just shy of the number of miles in a great endurance race, both require physical stamina and mental fortitude.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the top-rated player in the field used the opportunity to pull away from the pack as she closed in toward the finish line.
Valarie Jenkins lines up an approach during round one of the Santa Cruz Masters Cup. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Now in her fourteenth year playing the Masters Cup, it’s safe to say four-time PDGA World Champion Valarie Jenkins has learned a thing or two about how to tame DeLaveaga Park. So even if she isn’t the touring stalwart she once was, it should come as no surprise to see her atop the standings after day one at the iconic venue.
Paige Pierce took a six-shot lead into a frigid Sunday morning final at the Jonesboro Open, and it’s safe to say that, despite slightly higher temperatures than a snowy Saturday round, her scorecard heated up before she did.
The weather in Waco was not the only intriguing story from the weekend. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen / DGPT
There weren’t any buzzer beaters, though competitors did race Mother Nature’s shot clock on Saturday. Nor were there any UMBC Retrievers to be found, but some did have to retrieve wayward discs from the waters of the Brazos River. Heck, there wasn’t even an upset; even if there was, Nate Perkins over Jeremy Koling would have been more akin to No. 13 Marshall over No. 4 Wichita State than Friday night’s No. 16 over No. 1 shocker.
Sarah Hokom (left) and Paige Pierce are in first and second place, respectively, after two rounds of the Waco Annual Charity Open. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen / DGPT
If scores and stats aren’t enough to prove that Sarah Hokom put in a relentless performance Friday at the Waco Annual Charity Open, look no further than the words of Paige Pierce, who described Hokom’s play with a tone that mixed awe and exasperation.
Paige Pierce eyes her line during the final round of the Las Vegas Challenge. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
HENDERSON, Nev. – A birdie from Paige Pierce there. A return from Catrina Allen there.
The Open Women’s leaderboard ping-ponged during the final round of the Las Vegas Challenge, with Allen and Pierce exchanging volleys through the first two thirds of the 8,582-foot Innova course. Neither player would yield, as Pierce erased some early out-of-bounds strokes with crushing drives and long putts while Allen went station to station, collecting pars remaining steady.
Catrina Allen tees off during round three of the Las Vegas Challenge. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
HENDERSON, Nev – An inconsistent day of scoring here at the Adidas Terrex course led to a familiar scenario for the final round of the Las Vegas Challenge: Like so many times before, Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen are tied atop the leaderboard and headed for a Sunday showdown.
HENDERSON, Nev. – Though we’re mere miles from the famed Strip here at the Las Vegas Challenge, seven is rarely a lucky number on the course. In racking up that many out-of-bounds throws during her 938-rated opening round Thursday, Paige Pierce didn’t look like the high roller she normally is and instead found herself in an eight-shot hole.
It didn’t take long, though, for the natural order to be restored.
Washington native Sai Ananda surprised with her 2-under par 56. Photo: PDGA Media
HENDERSON, Nev. – What’s in a name?
For 21-year-old Sai Ananda, who started off the PDGA National Tour season with a 2-under par 56 opening round here at the Las Vegas Challenge, it’s everything.
“I think my parents did a pretty good job in naming me, the first name being a martial arts weapon and the second name being an East Indian word for bliss,” the Washington state native said. “I’ve kind of taken that into a disc golf philosophy in trying to be aggressive with my pleasant demeanor.”
MAE NAM, Thailand – Paige Pierce’s 2018 season started with a bang, as the Texas native shot a 1021-rated 10-under par 48 here Thursday during the opening round of the Samui Swine Classic V. Playing on the feature card with defending champion Philo Brathwaite, who also tossed a 48, Pierce’s well-rounded game was on display with crisp backhand and forehand drives; accurate midranges and putters on almost all the short, must-get birdie holes; and consistency inside the circle.
Paul McBeth #27523 sweeps every ranking metric in 2015 to retain his PDGA World #1 rank after sweeping the PDGA Majors: Pro Worlds, USDGC, Aussie Open, Scandinavian Open, and European Open. McBeth also finished with the best record for the PDGA National Tour events and retained the highest player rating, setting new records along the way. Ricky Wysocki #38008 moved up into 2nd place on the strength of his runner-up finish at the 2015 USDGC, forcing Will Schusterick #29064 and Nikko Locastro #11534 down to 3rd and 4th, respectively.
“The National Tour started with a playoff and ended with a playoff”, said Paul McBeth #27523 as we walked up to the tee pad of Hole 2 with the gallery just behind us. At that moment, the reality of the 2015 National Tour coming to an end finally hit me. Has it really been six months since The Memorial Championships where Mcbeth faced another North Carolinian in a playoff?