Mertsch and Scoggins Share 2nd at 2023 DGPT Championship

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2023 Season Comes to Close

Team Innova had ten athletes qualify for the 2023 Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, held last weekend at Nevin Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Of those ten, Ohn Scoggins, Kat Mertsch, Hailey King, and Jennifer Allen made the finals in FPO. Ohn and Kat tied for 2nd place after a high-pressure last round with many lead changes. Calvin Heimburg made the finals in MPO and shot the hot round on the last day to take 3rd. 

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Biggest Payout Ever

The Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship has become the most important, non-Major tournament on tour. With a season-long qualifying process, securing a spot in the Tour Championship proves consistency throughout the year. With only 20 spots in FPO and 32 in MPO, athletes compete against the best of the best in their division. The first prize payout sets a new disc golf record each year. This year, the winners, Missy Gannon and Ricky Wysocki, each received $40,000. 

Photo by DGPT

Course Record and Huge Payday for Scoggins

Ohn Scoggins was the best in the field during the semi-finals of the Tour Championship. She set the course record at -5 in the second round of the semis to earn the top spot on lead card for the finals. If scores did not reset before the finals, she would have won the tournament handily. 

In the finals, Ohn came out on fire, shooting another -5. She went into the last day of competition with a two stroke lead on the field. In the last round, she struggled with nerves, something we very rarely see from her. Down the stretch, a few late bogeys took her out of contention for the win, but she was able to hold on to 2nd place.

Photo by DGPT

Ohn led the field in Strokes Gained Putting and C2 Putting. She was 2nd in C1x Putting and C1 Hits in Regulation, 3rd in Fairway Hits, and 3rd in Scramble Rate. She won $18,000 for the T2 finish. 

Ohn is still recovering from an elbow injury. To avoid making it worse, she was opting for forehand throws on holes most players throw backhand. The fact that she had such impressive stats and such a high finish without her full arsenal of shots is remarkable. 

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Mertsch Closes Out Her Best Season Yet

Kat Mertsch came into the Tour Championship the FPO 6 seed, but busted her way to a tie for 2nd place. She shot -3 in the first round of the finals, the second best score of the day. In the last round, Kat held the solo lead by hole 8, but a difficult back nine kept her from victory. 

Photo by DGPT

Kat led the field in Scramble rate, was 2nd in C1 Hits in Regulation, 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, and 3rd in C1x Putting. On a densely-wooded course like Nevin, strong scrambling is just as important as driving and putting.

Kat Mertsch has moved higher up the DGPT end-of-year point standings every season she has competed. This year, she had the 6th best season of all players in the FPO. She had her first Silver win, first Elite win, first Major podium, and now first Tour Championship podium. She says she wants to be the best player in the world. If you look at her trajectory over the past few years, she is on track.

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King of the Tee

Hailey King finished in a tie for 4th place at the 2023 DGPT Championship. She was unbelievable off the tee, leading the field in nearly every throwing statistic. Hailey was 1st in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Fairways Hits, Parked percentage, C1 Hits in Regulation, and Birdie percentage. 

Jen Allen Makes the Finals

Jennifer Allen came into the Semi-finals the 14 seed. After two rounds of solid, smart golf, Jen climbed seven spots up the leaderboard to earn her place in the finals. She was one of only two FPO players to qualify who didn’t come into the event with a stroke advantage. 

Photo by DGPT

Vinny’s 12th Elite and Major Podium of 2023 

Calvin Heimburg went into the Tour Championship the #1 seed, after one of the most consistent seasons in disc golf history. He cruised through the semi-finals, maintaining his top spot on the lead card. 

After the first round of the Finals, Calvin looked out of it. His -2 opening round had him eight strokes off the lead. But we’ve said it in just about every article this season, you can never count out Vinny. He shot the hot final round at -9 to fight his way to 3rd place, earning $14,000. What a year for Calvin Heimburg.  

Team Innova Qualified Athletes

Just to qualify for the Tour Championship is an accomplishment unto itself. Every qualified athlete takes home at least $2,500 and can take pride knowing they played one of the best seasons in their division. Congratulations to Holly Finley, Jessica Weese, Juliana Korver, Joel Freeman, and Bradley Williams. With such deep fields of talented athletes, it is no small feat to make the cut. Special congrats to JK whose main goal for the season was to qualify for this event. 20 years after her last Worlds win and she is still one of the best in the FPO. 

Photo by DGPT

Ready for the Off-Season

This off-season, Innova has a great lineup of stories, videos, and other content planned to keep the discs flying while the pros take a break. Each week, check for articles to help you find new plastic, refine your game, and keep you informed about what’s new in the sport. Visit our Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram accounts to fill your off-season with tips, highlights, and all the latest news from Innova.