King Becomes Two-Time DDO Champion
Innova Star Team member, Hailey King, emerged victorious at last weekend’s Dynamic Discs Open, beating Holyn Handley in a one hole playoff. Calvin Heimburg took another podium finish, widening his lead in the Pro Tour Points Standings and cementing his position as the number one player in the world. And Jennifer Allen, Holly Finley, Kat Mertsch, and Joel Freeman all placed in the Top 10, contributing to an excellent weekend for Innova.
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A Balanced Tour Schedule Leads Hailey King to Victory
After over a month away from the Disc Golf Pro Tour, Hailey King returned last weekend in top form, winning the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open in a one hole playoff against Holyn Handley.
Hailey and Holyn went into the final day tied and traded strokes back and forth through the entire last round (and beyond). The pivotal moment to shift momentum in Hailey’s favor was her parked drive on the island of Hole 16. Holyn threw OB on the same hole, resulting in a two stroke swing and giving Hailey the lead.
But Holyn wasn’t going down so easily; on Hole 18, she clutched up, throwing her drive into the bullseye for eagle and forcing a playoff. After winning the coin toss, Hailey made the confident decision to throw first. The two competitors were back on 16, where Hailey had just gained two strokes; if she could stick the island again, that would put huge pressure on Holyn. Hailey stepped up, hung a hyzer over the water, and landed about 15 feet from the basket to become two-time DDO Champion. Big shout out to Holyn Handley, who despite two bad spit outs, kept a solid head on her shoulders in the final holes to force the playoff.
Hailey King shot back-to-back, 8-under-par rounds on the final two days, the hottest rounds of the weekend. She led the field in C1x Putting, Strokes Gained Putting, and Birdie percentage for the tournament. She was also 5th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, showing how well-rounded a player Hailey is.
Hailey King has struck an ideal balance of training, resting, and competing this season, allowing her huge successes on tour while maintaining a sustainable pace of life. After taking a few tournaments off to recover both mentally and physically, Hailey proved the benefits of time away. Her Elite win last weekend shows that prioritizing time for recovery and preventing burnout will not only make tour life more enjoyable, but will also give you a competitive edge at tournaments.
I’m forcing myself to take breaks. I’m planning to be here for a long time so I’m doing what’s best for me.
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FPO Players in Top 10
Jennifer Allen (8th)
Jennifer Allen threw the disc as well as any player in the FPO last weekend. She led the field in Parked percentage and C1 Hits in Regulation and ranked 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. Jen secured an 8th place finish at the DDO, her fourth top ten the year out of just six DGPT starts. That includes a tie for 2nd place at the Elite Event, the Music City Open, as well as a Silver win at the Beaver State Fling. Jen has had two decades at the top of the FPO field and continues to play as well, if not better than, ever.
Holly Finley (T10)
Holly Finley is on a hot streak, taking back-to-back top 10 finishes at DGPT events. At last weekend’s DDO, Holly led the field in Strokes Gained C2, sinking an impressive 36% of her Circle 2 putts. Her remarkable seven-hole birdie run in the first round was one of the highlight stretches of FPO play for the tournament.
Kat Mertsch (T10)
Kat Mertsch is enjoying a breakout season as one of the top competitors in the FPO. The Dynamic Discs Open marked her eighth top 10 finish of the year at PDGA Majors or DGPT events. She currently sits in 7th place in the DGPT Point Standings. 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.
Heimburg Widens Margin in DGPT Points Standings
Calvin Heimburg has been in the conversation for the win of almost every Disc Golf Pro Tour event this season. At last weekend’s DDO, he secured his 8th podium finish of the season, taking 2nd place. Calvin led the field in Parked percentage and C2 Hits in Regulation, was 2nd in OB rate, and 3rd in Birdie percentage. An unfortunate tree kick on Hole 14 for Calvin, and an incredible eagle by Parker Welck on the same hole, swung the tides in Welck’s direction down the stretch. Congratulations Parker on your first DGPT win.
Calvin Heimburg is the number one player in the world in the UDisc rankings, PDGA rankings, and the Statmando rankings. He has grown his lead in the DGPT Point Standings to over 200 points ahead of 2nd place. That means if the 2nd place player, Gannon Buhr, won two Elite Events that Calvin didn’t play, Calvin would still have the points lead for the year.
Joel Freeman Back on Tour
Joel Freeman, after over a month away from Pro Tour events, returned with a solid performance at the Dynamic Discs Open. He secured his 3rd Elite Event top 10 finish of the season, tying for 9th and climbing two spots up the DGPT Point Standings.
Upcoming DGPT Events
Last weekend’s DDO started a busy stretch of tournaments for the Pro Tour. The Des Moines Challenge will take place next weekend from June 23-25 and the Preserve Championship will follow from June 30-July 2. Watch Team Innova at every Elite and Silver Event live on the Disc Golf Network. Visit Innovadiscs.com for tournament recaps, tips, and the latest Innova news.