From Masters Major Titles to FPO Podiums
At the 2023 Portland Open, Innova Star Team members, Juliana Korver and Ohn Scoggins, showed that disc golf is as much about experience as it is about power. They tied each other for 3rd place in FPO at last weekend’s DGPT Elite+ Event, just one week after each earning age-protected Major titles at the Tim Selinske US Masters.
With a smart game plan, strong mentality, and emphasis on precision, Juliana and Ohn outplayed the vast majority of the players in a younger, farther-throwing field. Let them be an inspiration to athletes of all ages; if you take care of your body and put in the work, you can have a successful disc golf career spanning multiple decades.
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Return of the GOAT – Juliana Korver Back on the Podium
Five-time FPO World Champion and long-time Innova Star Team member, Juliana Korver, had her best finish so far this season at last weekend’s Portland Open, tying for 3rd place in FPO.
The energy from the crowd of over 2,000 spectators at Glendoveer Disc Golf Course was palpably behind Juliana. The Disc Golf Network subscribers viewing from home were cheering her on. The fan-favorite storyline of the weekend was seeing this legend of our sport prove to herself, her competitors, and her fans that she can still go up against the best.
Juliana picked the right weekend to bring her A-game; this was the first Elite+ event in history. That means the tournament was worth 150% the points as a standard Elite Event and had the biggest pro purse we’ve seen all year. Coming off a dominant, 23-stroke victory in the FP50+ division of the 2023 Tim Selinske Masters, Juliana showed up to Portland carrying momentum.
She laced the lines of Glendoveer as well as anyone in the FPO, using her Star Tern and Tour Series Halo Tern on almost every hole. JK led the field in C1 Hits in Regulation, was 2nd in C2 Hits in Regulation and Fairway Hits, and was 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green.
In addition to a stellar performance off the tee, Juliana was able to find a solid flow on the putting green. Though she admits she was nervous, Juliana had a smile on her face almost the entire weekend. She was able to find a rhythm and find the bottom of the basket despite those anxieties. A lesson for all disc golfers – Even five-time World Champions experience nerves; they don’t go away. Learn how to embrace them, play through them, and even be fueled by them.
Despite the nerves, I truly enjoyed playing in front of the crowd and I had zero concerns about my finish.
Juliana is currently in the Top 25 of the 2023 PDGA US Tour Rankings. She has been one of the most accurate throwers in the FPO the entire season, tied for 2nd for the year in Fairway Hit percentage. Her podium finish last weekend earned her a tour card for 2024, a position at the 2023 Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship, and most importantly to Juliana, moved her well up the DGPT Point Standings for the current season.
This finish has rejuvenated my hope to be able to make it into the Tour Championships at the end of the year. A week ago I didn’t think it was possible for me to finish high enough in the points to earn such a spot. It still won’t be easy, but at least now I believe it is doable.
Juliana Korver is one of GOATs in our sport, with 10 Major titles, over 240 PDGA wins, and a 64% win rate at PDGA events throughout her career. She is the only woman to ever cash at a Major in the MPO division, taking 50th at the 2001 USDGC, where she tied future MPO World Champ, Nate Doss.
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Her accolades could fill ten successful careers. Yet in 2021, over two decades after her reign at the top of the FPO field, Juliana decided to return to disc golf. Though she did not come back with making money as a main motivation, seven out of eight of Juliana’s biggest career payouts have been since she returned to the sport. Last weekend’s podium at Portland earned JK the biggest single tournament payout of her career at over $3,000. That is a testament to the payout growth in disc golf over the past two decades and also shows just how well Juliana has been playing since her return.
Juliana Korver may well be the greatest flying disc athlete of all time, any gender and across all disc sports. She is a five-time PDGA World Champion, four-time WFDF Overall World Champion, three-time DDC World Champion, and two-time Freestyle World Champion. She has been inducted into the Disc Golf Hall of Fame, holds multiple flying disc world records, and has remained a top competitor in multiple disc disciplines through multiple decades. She is one of the most knowledgeable, well-spoken commentators we have and plans to take on a more consistent commentary role going forward. Thank you Juliana for everything you have done to grow disc golf to where it is today. Your legacy to the sport is bigger than words can capture. And, of course, congratulations on the big successes the past two weekends!
Ohn Sets Course-Record to Earn Sixth Podium of 2023
Ohn Scoggins has found the podium at over half of her DGPT starts so far this season. Last weekend, Ohn shot increasingly well in each round with an even par first round, -3 second round, -6 third round, and a scorching, 1013-rated, -10 final round. That final round set the Glendoveer course record for FPO and jumped Ohn five spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 3rd place.
Ohn led the field in Parked percentage, was 2nd in Birdie percentage, and was 2nd in C2 putting. Though the courses at Glendoveer are two of the longest on tour, she fought her way to the top of the leaderboard with exceptional putting and execution on holes with more manageable distances.
Ohn is now in 2nd place of the DGPT Points Standings. This was her sixth podium finish of the season at DGPT events and PDGA Majors. She remains the highest-rated player in the FPO that is yet to win an event on tour. If she keeps playing at the level she has been for the past two seasons, her weekend is bound to come soon.
Beach and Weese in Top 10
Emily Beach has been on a tear the past few weekends. Her 7th place finish at the Portland Open is Emily’s third top ten finish in the last four DGPT events. She had the lowest OB rate of any player in the FPO, taking just one OB stroke for the weekend. She may not be the best known player on tour yet, but if Emily stays on her current trajectory of improvement, she will be soon.
Jessica Weese finished the weekend in a tie for 10th place. This is her 7th top ten of the season at DGPT events and PDGA majors. She is now in 8th place of the Point Standings for 2023
Heimburg Maintains #1 World Ranking
Calvin Heimburg took 7th place at the 2023 Portland Open. He led the field in Parked percentage and was 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. He has finished in the top 10 of every DGPT event that he has attended so far this season.
Calvin shot a fantastic second round and final round, both at nine under par. In the second round, he threw in for birdie from 255 feet on hole 15, one of the highlight MPO shots of the tournament.
Calvin remains well in the lead of the DGPT Point Standings for MPO. He is the number one player in the world in the UDisc rankings and the Statmando rankings. Even when Calvin isn’t in contention for the win, he is only a few positions back. His consistency this season, whether in the woods or in the open and no matter what the conditions, has made him the player to beat at every event he competes in.
Nate Sexton’s Cash Streak Comes to an End
Nate Sexton’s historic cash streak started over 15 years ago at the Stumptown Disc Golf Spring Classic in Estacada, Oregon. He took 6th place and earned a whopping $18. Now, 264 events and over $200,000 of winnings later, the cash streak has come to an end right back where it started in Nate’s home state of Oregon.
What is most impressive about Sexton’s streak is the strength of his tour schedule during that time. Each year since 2008, he has competed in multiple Majors, National Tours, and DGPT events. It would be one thing to reach 264 consecutive cashes playing C-tiers and B-tiers; Nate Sexton managed that accomplishment playing most weekend’s against the strongest competitors in the sport. Nate’s dependability over the past 15 years has made him one of the disc golf’s all-time greats.
You see people giving up all the time and I never did that. I’m proud of that… To go in there against super hard wind, or a course that doesn’t suit me at all, or my arm hurts, or I’m just feeling kind of sad… there is any barrier that could stop an athlete from competing, but I was always able to grit it out enough to be able to stay in that top 40%.
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Upcoming DGPT Events
This weekend is the DGPT Silver Event, the Zoo Town Open, in Missoula, Montana. Calvin Heimburg will be hunting another win in MPO. Juliana Korver will be looking to ride her momentum to another top finish in FPO. The following weekend will be the DGPT Elite Event, the Dynamic Discs Open, in Emporia, Kansas. Catch Team Innova at every Pro Tour event this season live on the Disc Golf Network. Read our latest tournament recaps, tips, and team news at Innovadiscs.com.
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