Players gained invites to the 2017 USDGC through 18 qualifiers. Three of those included the DGWT events: The Aussie Open, Konopiště Open, and the European Open. Here’s a quick recap of each of the DGWT stops:
Stop #1: Aussie Open. Mundaring, Australia. Mundaring DiscGolfPark.
The Disc Golf Tour returned for 2017 and players making the trek down under were met with blistering temperatures. Eagle McMahon took the early lead and held it for the first three rounds of the event. However, Ricky Wysocki stuck with him, trailing only by three strokes by the end of round 3. McMahon, seeking his first major win, clung to the lead during the final round until the very last hole. Leading by one, McMahon’s hole 18 tee shot went OB, while Wysocki, who played a monumental round, was safe and sound and took the win.
In the women’s field, Paige Pierce caught fire early and never let anyone else in her division come close. She ended up winning by 20 strokes and in the process claimed the 11th best score overall. With McMahon and Wysocki already USDGC qualified, Pierce became only the 4th woman to qualify for the USDGC by score.
Stop #2: Konopiště Open. Benešov, Czech Republic. Konopiště Castle Park. It was a classic McBeth-Wysocki battle at the castle with Wysocki drawing first blood by shooting the course record in Round 1. To which Paul McBeth then answered by tying that score in Round 2 and taking the lead by 1. Wysocki caught up with McBeth by Hole 2 in the final round and held on for the win.
In the women’s division, Finn hot shot Evelina Salonen looked to be in control with a four shot lead after two rounds. But Vanessa VanDyken, is undeterred and took Salonen to a playoff where Salonen went OB on the first hole while VanDyken securee par and the win.
Stop #3: European Open. Nokia, Finland. Nokia DiscGolfPark.
After leading for the first three rounds and playing some of his best disc golf ever, many were wondering if this would be veteran pro Gregg Barsby’s first major win. However, defending European Open Champ Paul McBeth kept it close and managed to tie it up by the last hole. Off Hole 18’s tee, Barsby stumbled OB, and his approach left him an 18 meter putt for par. To the crowd’s delight, Barsby nailed the putt, putting pressure on McBeth, who had landed his first two shots safely. McBeth’s birdie putt wasn’t a problem and he took his fourth European Open title.
In the women’s’ side of things, it was the Catrina Allen show. After battling with the field for the first two rounds, Allen sped past her competition including Valarie Jenkins and Finn standouts Evelina Salonen and Henna Blomroos. By the final round, Allen was in cruise control. Even a quintuple bogey on Hole 10, didn’t put her win in jeopardy.
More Drama to Come at the USDGC
The prior stops have already been full of excitement. There’s only one more stop, the USDGC, a place where incredible disc golf and final round drama seem to always happen.