2023 PDGA World Championships – Tournament Recap

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Fans Fill the Green Mountains 

The 2023 PDGA World Championships played out on two of the most-beloved courses in our sport, with a crowd of nearly 4,000 spectators, and the largest payout in World’s history. In the FPO, Kristin Tattar, held off 2nd place finisher, Missy Gannon, to continue a perfect sweep of Majors so far in 2023. Tattar became the first back-to-back FPO World Champion since Valarie Jenkins in 2009. 

In the MPO, Isaac Robinson took home the second Major title of his career just 133 days after winning his first Major at the 2023 Champions Cup. That is the shortest time between a player’s first and second MPO Major victories in PDGA history. 

Team Innova had top finishers in both divisions, with Henna Blomroos and Eveliina Salonen tying for 4th in FPO and Calvin Heimburg taking 5th in MPO. In addition to Top Ten finishes, our athletes had some huge highlight moments, from aces and throw-ins, to stellar rounds.  

 
 
 
 
 
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The Courses, the Crowd, and the Payout

The 2023 PDGA World Championships was held at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont. This property is home to two world-class courses, completely distinct from each other in play style. Brewster Ridge offers tight, but fair wooded holes with a premium on scrambling skills and gap hitting. Fox Run is a more open course that favors big arms and smart decision-making. The two different course types on the same beautiful property makes Smuggs’ an obvious choice for hosting Worlds. 

Nearly 4,000 spectators were in attendance, even though Jeffersonville is near no large cities. The crowd lining the fairway of Hole 18 during the final round captured just how much interest has developed in the professional side of our sport. 

The MPO winner, Isaac Robinson, took home $30,000, tied for the highest ever MPO payout at a stroke-play, PDGA event. The total purse of $275,000 was the largest in PDGA World’s history. 


Team Innova at the 2023 World Championships

Henna Blomroos

Henna Blomroos has never finished outside of the Top Five at a World Championships and has only finished outside the Top Ten at one Major in 12 starts. Last week, Henna finished in a tie for 4th place with teammate Eveliina Salonen. They were just a few strokes off the podium. 

Henna played increasingly well with each round to climb up the leaderboard. She was 2nd in the field in Fairway Hits, 2nd in C2 Hits in Regulation, and 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. 

Henna still has an outside chance of qualifying for the DGPT Tour Championships if she has a strong finish at the MVP Open. The only reason Henna and Eveliina aren’t shoo-ins to qualify is because they spent much of the year playing events in Europe that did not earn them Tour Points. Even with her partial schedule, Henna is still in the mix for a chance to play in one of the most prestigious events of the year. 

Eveliina Salonen

Eveliina Salonen is a player who thrives under the added pressure of Major championships. Like her teammate Henna, Eveliina has a perfect record of all Top 5 finishes at World Championships that she has played in.

Eveliina led the field in C1 Hits in Regulation, was 2nd in Parked percentage, and 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. Her -4 final round was her best of the weekend. In that final round, Eveliina had her best day of putting of the event, clutching up on the green when it counted most. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hailey King 

Hailey King got off to a tough start to her World Championships, finding herself 10 over par after the first three rounds. She didn’t let that put her in a bad headspace and came out shredding in the final two rounds. She shot a -2 in the fourth and an impressive -6 in the fifth to fight well up the leaderboard into 13th place.
Hailey is the reigning United States Women’s Disc Golf Champion. This year’s event will be held from September 21-24th in Burlington, North Carolina. Kristin Tattar will be hunting down her season grand slam (winning every Major of the year). Hailey King will be looking to defend her USWDGC title against a player who has been dominant all season. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Calvin Heimburg

Calvin Heimburg was in the mix to take down this year’s World title like he has been at nearly every event this season. He heated up as the tournament went on, moving up cards with each passing round. Vinny birdied 59% of the 90 holes played, 2nd most in the field. He was 5th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 5th in Strokes Gained C1. 

Calvin remains the number one ranked player in the world and the DGPT points leader by a wide margin. With two Major wins, Isaac Robinson is now clearly in contention with Calvin and Gannon Buhr for Player of the Year. Strong finishes at MVP Open and USDGC will be crucial for whichever player plans on taking home that sought after title. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Highlight Moments from the Team

In addition to our athletes with top finishes, Innova had some amazing highlights last week. Nate Sexton had an ace. Kat Mertsch had a stellar opening round. Jerm had an excellent second round. Nathan Queen, Bradley Williams, Joel Freeman, Jessica Weese, and Jen Allen all had massive throw-ins. Alex Benson played the role of hometown hero.

Though the Disc Golf Network helps you follow the main storylines on the lead cards, going to a Major event in person will allow you to witness amazing moments from your favorite players no matter where they sit on the leaderboard. The in-person experience cannot be matched by watching on a screen. Get your tickets for the 25th Anniversary USDGC for the best spectator experience in disc golf history. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Final Events of the Year

Four of the biggest events of the season are still upcoming: The MVP Open, the United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship, the United States Disc Golf Championship, and the Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship. MVP will be the last chance for players to earn points to qualify for the end of season Tour Championship. USDGC, USWDGC, and TPWDG are three of the most sought after titles in disc golf. Though we only have six weeks left until the off-season, many of the most prestigious events are still to come. Catch those tournaments live on the Disc Golf Network or better yet, buy Spectator Passes to watch in person. Visit Innovadiscs.com for tournament recaps, tips, and team news.