Thrills and Spills: Round 1 of the Championships

Disc golf enthusiasts and fans of the sport around the world have been eagerly awaiting the start of the 2023 United States Disc Golf Championship (USDGC) and Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship (TPWDGC). As two of the most prestigious events in the disc golf calendar, these tournaments promise thrilling action and fierce competition among the world’s top disc golfers. Let’s take a closer look at the highlights and surprises from the first round of these tournaments, which are shaping up to be unforgettable.


The USDGC, hosted at the famous Winthrop Arena Course in Rock Hill, South Carolina, has a long history of challenging players with its unique layout. This year is no different, as the course has been updated to provide an even more rigorous test of skill. The first round did not disappoint, as players fought emotionally challenging holes, making for exciting rounds of disc golf.

Joel Freeman – Photo By: Chad LeFevre
  1. Joel Freeman, currently in the lead, shot an impressive 10 under round, filled with pars and birdies. It wasn’t until hole 18, a universally challenging hole, that he received his first bogey of the tournament. What’s most impressive about his round was an eagle on Throw Pink’s hole 10. The hole, which is 549’, includes a tight fairway, with an area to land around the basket that is 33’’ from the basket in almost any direction. Instead of taking a roundabout route, Freeman landed within C1, and landed the putt. One of only 16 players to eagle the hole.
  2. Tied for 2nd is Sullivan Tipton, Robert Burridge, and Kyle Klein, shooting a -9 round. Holding the trio back were bogeys on key holes around the course. Klein double bogeyed on Hole 2, but was able to make up for it with an eagle on 10. Tipton, unable to score an eagle, birdied on 11 holes, with only 2 bogeys. Burridge bogeyed on hole 12 and birdied 10 holes. 

If all are able to keep their mental game strong, the championship could go to anyone. Going into day 2, the scores will come down to strategy and mental game. Each hole demands special treatment, and you can’t approach the same. The players must know when to attack and when to play safe in order to take the lead.


The Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship is a relatively newer event but has quickly gained prominence in the sport. The first round showcased some impressive talent in the women’s division.

  1. Eveliina Salonen shot an amazing round with -11 under. The start of the round wasn’t great with a bogey, but Salonen didn’t let that deter her. She swung around and got a birdie on hole 2. She shot a solid round with an impressive eagle on hole 9, which has a tight fairway, and circle 1 putt. With a solid 75% C1 average, Salonen is one to watch this year. 
  2. Henna Blomroos came in a close second, shooting a -10 round. If Blomroos keeps up the game, she could easily take the lead with a higher C1 average (79%) and an equal fairway hit as Salonen. 
  3. Coming in 3rd is Kristen Tattar, 2023 world champion and winner of all majors this season. What hurt Kristen were bogeys on hole 4 and 15. 
Henna Blomroos – Photo By: Chad LeFevre

The leaderboard in the women’s division is tightly packed and we can expect the competition to go anyone’s way. At this point, with this close of a score, the championship can go anyone’s way. As the 2023 USDGC and TPWDGC progress, fans can anticipate even more drama, remarkable shots, and unexpected turns of events. Make sure to tune in to the broadcast on DGN, or watch live with passes from DGU.