While many elements of this year’s Jonesboro Open were dramatically different than last year’s event, one thing remained the same: for the second year in a row, both Ricky Wysocki and Paige Pierce took home the first place title. Despite this event only making an appearance on the Disc Golf Pro Tour for the second year, it’s a bit uncanny to have the same winners once again. Or is it?
Both Wysocki and Pierce are certainly dominating forces in the professional field, and with Jonesboro becoming Wysocki’s 100th PDGA win and continuing Pierce’s 100% winning streak in 2018, are we really that surprised? Plenty of other interesting things happened at this three-day event, so let’s get to the recap!
The Return Of GG
Quite possibly one of the top highlights from the entire tournament weekend revolves around Garrett Gurthie who, after taking several years away from the disc golf scene, is coming back full force in 2018. This power player shot the hot round on day one of the event, carding an outstanding 14 down.
Despite this impressive performance, others weren’t going to let him run away with the lead that early on, and Ricky Wysocki, Eagle McMahon, and James Conrad all finished the day hot on Gurthie’s tail at -12.
It wasn’t only the men who dominated the Disc Side of Heaven course in Arkansas, as Paige Pierce once again blew our minds with her exceptional skill. Shooting an unofficial 1025-rated first round, she too joined the club at 12 down after Friday’s play.
photo by DGPT
Did Someone Say Winter?
Last year the weather in Jonesboro was beautiful, with April temperatures feeling like summer was almost upon us. This disc golf season Mother Nature felt a bit differently, and day two of competition greeted the FPO players with a snowstorm. As fresh powder accumulated on tee pads and fairways, the dip in scores was noticeable – and rightfully so. Determined to move up the leaderboards, Catrina Allen shot +2 for the day yet still found herself six strokes behind Pierce after 18 holes.
By the time the men’s lead card started their round, the snow was but a distant memory. While temperatures were still quite low, the sport’s most skilled players attacked the course with determination and had the scores to prove it. Despite Gurthie dropping quite a few spots after a 6 down on day two, many familiar names rose to the top of the leaderboards.
Wysocki and Colten Montgomery both shot the hot round of 10 down, with the likes of Eric Oakley, Seppo Paju, and AJ Risley close behind them. Surprisingly we did not see characteristic play from Paul McBeth, who was only able to card a 64 for the round.
Photo by DGPT
The Battle For Second…Again
There seems to be a growing trend this season, as final rounds clearly dictate who is taking home the win and the race on the course becomes a question of who will get second place. Although Ricky didn’t have an exceptional lead going into day three, his consistent play allowed him to keep up his momentum and stay on top of the pack. The tension was palpable as names bounced all around the scoreboard, leaving it to be anyone’s guess who would come in at the number two position.
On the ladies’ side of things, Paige did what Paige does and continued her impressive winning streak, beating out second place by a full 10 strokes. Shooting a solid enough round to catapult him back toward the top, Garrett Gurthie secured second place with Eric Oakley just behind him in third.
Photo by DGPT
Now, players are getting ready for one of the most exciting events of the year – The Glass Blown Open. Will McBeth defend his title across the challenging Kansas courses or will someone unexpected swoop in and take the lead? Let us know who your pick is in the comments below!