Disc Golf Goes Global
Live disc golf has leveled up. For back-to-back weekend’s, Disc Golf Network has simultaneously aired excellent-quality, live coverage with full commentary, of multiple events taking place thousands of miles away from each other. Last weekend, the Des Moines Challenge took place in Iowa, while the Krokhol Open took place in Norway. On both sides of the globe, Team Innova showed up strong. Gregg Barsby, Calvin Heimburg, and Jen Allen finished in 3rd place at the Des Moines Challenge. Bradley Williams won the Krokhol Open, his first ever event played outside of the States.
The 2023 Des Moines Challenge
The Des Moines Challenge was played in Indianola, Iowa at the beloved Pickard Park, originally designed by Juliana Korver. This year’s event had the largest payouts of any Elite tournament so far this season, at $12,250 for 1st in both MPO and FPO.
Due to weather conditions, the women had to stop play mid-round on Saturday. They finished their second round early Sunday and played a third immediately after. The MPO tournament was cut short to only two rounds. Though it is always a shame to cancel a day of competition, player and spectator safety are the first priority.
Back-to-Back, Elite Top 10s for Jen Allen
Jen Allen earned her third podium finish of the season at last weekend’s Des Moines Challenge, landing in a tie for 3rd place. Jen was on a heater before the rain delay, taking 7 Birdies through the first 11 holes of the second round. Though her pace slowed on Sunday, she was able to finish out her tournament well enough to stay on the podium.
Jen earned her strokes on the field with her drives. She was 2nd in the field in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, and C1 Hits and C2 Hits in Regulation. She jumped up 3 positions in the DGPT Point Standings and now sits less than 10 points out of a qualifying position for the Tour Championship.
Mertsch Making Moves
Kat Mertsch has been having one of the most consistent seasons in FPO. Her 6th place finish at the Des Moines Challenge was Kat’s ninth top 10 of the year at PDGA Majors or DGPT events. She moved one spot up the DGPT Point Standings, into 6th place. So far in 2023, Kat has secured a Silver win at the Cascade Challenge, an Elite win at the Jonesboro Open, and a 3rd place finish at the 2023 PDGA Champions Cup.
One of the big highlights for the weekend was Kat’s throw-in from the drop zone on Hole 5 in the third round. Check it out at the number one spot of the DGN’s top 5 shots from the weekend.
Barsby is Back
Gregg Barsby showed major resilience in the final round of the Des Moines Challenge, holding onto his 3rd place position after taking a triple bogey on the first hole. After that initial mistake, Barsby went on to take eight birdies to bring himself back into the mix. On 18, the second hardest hole on the course, Barsby closed out with an unlikely Birdie to land in a tie for 3rd. For the weekend, Gregg was 2nd in Parked percentage, 3rd in Birdie rate, 3rd in Circle 1 Hits in Regulation, and 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. He also drilled impressive, long-range putts in both rounds of competition. Watch Barsby nearly ace Hole 7 in the second round in the Disc Golf Network’s Top 5 MPO Shots from the tournament.
This year, the World Championship is returning to Smuggler’s Notch for the first time since Barsby won his Major title there in 2018; if Gregg can snag a few more top finishes on Tour leading up to Smuggs, we like his chances at another great Worlds result.
Calvin Heimburg continued his reign on top of the leaderboard last weekend in Des Moines. Calvin tied for 3rd place, making for his ninth DGPT podium of the season, by far the most of any MPO player. He was 3rd in the field in Birdie percentage and C1 Hits in Regulation.
Calvin remains well in the lead of the DGPT Point Standings. He is the number one player in the world in the UDisc rankings, PDGA rankings, and the Statmando rankings. In an era with a deeper field than ever, Calvin is having one of the most dominant seasons in recent memory.
Bradley Williams Wins His First Tournament Abroad, the Krokhol Open
In addition to the DGPT tournament in Des Moines, an important Euro Tour event was taking place in Krokhol, Norway. Team Innova’s Bradley Williams won the 2023 Krokhol Open, beating Paul McBeth as well as a host of other talented European and American players. This was Bradley’s first event outside the United States.
Bradley’s drives were pinpoint last weekend, taking stress off on the putting green by parking an impressive 19% of the holes. Bradley led the field in Parked percentage, C1 Hits in Regulation, C2 Hits in Regulation, Strokes Gained Tee to Green, and Birdie Percentage. This was his first big win of the season. We’re happy to see Bradley get his trip to Europe started off on the right foot. We hope he keeps crushing it on the course and enjoys exploring some new places in his time off.
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The 2023 Preserve Champion and Distance Invitational
Next weekend’s Preserve Championship will be the last Elite event in the US before the Pro Tour heads to Europe for the PCS Open. For the first time, the Preserve Distance Invitational will be held along with the main tournament, showcasing some of the longest throwers in the world, including David Wiggins Jr. and Garret Gurthie. Catch the tournament coverage live on Disc Golf Network. Find tournament recaps, helpful tips, team news, and more at Innovadiscs.com.