Ultiworld Ultiworld DG

Bjerkaas Holds Early Lead At Delaware


(Ultiworld Disc Golf) #1

Originally published at: https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2018/09/15/bjerkaas-holds-early-lead-delaware/

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Paige Bjerkaas during round one of the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge. Photo: PDGA[/caption]

Showing no obvious signs of a post-Worlds letdown, Paige Bjerkaas carded a 3-under par 69 to take the lead at the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge. The penultimate stop of the PDGA National Tour, the difficult Iron Hill course forces players to navigate the wooded terrain on the way to the pin, and once inside the circle, there’s not always a clean look at the basket.

Bjerkaas struggled on the green at times ending the day with 79-percent Circle 1 putting, however, she excelled from distance, with 60-percent Circle 2 putting, including a 60-foot connection on hole 7. After a double bogey on the 520-foot par 4 hole 12, she carded a par on 13 and followed-up with birdies on 14 and 15, finishing her round bogey-free.

Sarah Hokom is just one stroke back from the lead, carding a 2-under par 70. She also faced some putting woes, with 71-percent from Circle 1, but tied Bjerkaas with 61-percent Circle 2 in regulation and collected five birdies.

Sarah Hokom Delaware round 1

Kristin Tattar carded an even-par 72 and sits in solo third place. Tattar putted 85-percent from Circle 1 and also connected on five birdies. Elaine King, Catrina Allen, and Holly Finley are all tied for fourth place, carding 2-over par 74.

Fairways and Scramble Rate

On a heavily-wooded course like Iron Hill, the fairway and scramble rates help tell the story of the round. Bjerkaas led all players in fairway hits at 86-percent. King had the best combination of the two stats, with 82-percent fairway hits and an 82-percent scramble rate. For comparison, the next best scramble rate behind King was Becky Sonnheim at 64-percent. Hokom and Tattar both hit the fairway 77-percent of the time, which certainly aided in them securing spots on the lead card.

National Tour Point Standings

Players are also battling for National Tour points with $2,500 on the line for the first place finisher at the conclusion of the tour. Currently, Paige Pierce is in first place with 395 points, but skipped this tour stop to play in the Canadian Championships. Pierce mentioned in an Instagram story that she went to Canada in hopes of grabbing one of the remaining United States Disc Golf Championship spots.

Catrina Allen and Lisa Fajkus are tied for second place with 351 points, but Fajkus is not playing this weekend. Hokom is close behind in fourth place with 349.5 points. Only the top four finishers of the first five events count for NT standings. However, several players will have opportunities to improve their standing this weekend before heading into the NT finale.