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2018 DGPT Championship Preview: FPO Round One – The eight become four

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In 2017 the Disc Golf Pro Tour restructured the FPO division for the tournament to ensure a full competition field. For 2018, this means instead of planning for four days of competition at the Tour Championship, we only have three scheduled for the FPO division. On Thursday, eight women will compete for four spots in the semifinals round. These women have competed across the season and will be ready to take a shot at the Tour Championship.

The Format
For the FPO division, the top four scores from the eight women competing in the quarterfinals round will advance to semifinals. The semifinals round will comprise two cards one of which features the one and four seeds (Sarah Hokom and Catrina Allen) and the two and three seeds (Paige Pierce and Jessica Weese). Both semifinals rounds will be broadcast live on the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube channel. Make plans to watch Friday from noon to 6 PM ET. The best four scores from the semifinals round will advance to finals.

The Players
The players competing in the Thursday quarterfinals round who do not advance will each receive $500 for completing their round. This incentive, along with the chance of winning more cash has brought the following players to compete for a spot in the semifinals, and possibly even the finals.

5. Lisa Fajkus – Lisa came up short of a top-four finish by 30 tour points. Lisa’s only finish outside the top ten on tour this season was at Jonesboro. Lisa used her two drops in the middle of the season to take a break from touring, however, even with those breaks she would have had to turn two of her top-ten finishes into top-five finishes to have a chance at finishing in the top four in Tour Standings. Last year Lisa came out of the quarterfinals round as the leader, shooting an even on the course. In semifinals, Lisa was the “wild card” who finished with a -1, the fourth best score in the FPO field. In the finals round, she finished tied for second with Catrina Allen. Lisa has a proven track record at the Tour Championship and will be a tough opponent to beat.
T6. Rebecca Cox – This season, Rebecca sustained an injury late in the year which has significantly affected her finishing position at events in the second half of the season. Rebecca has taken a break since Worlds to try and rehab her injury to try and be competitive at the Tour Championship. Rebecca has shown she has what it takes to make a run at the Tour Championship this season, but her injury will place a question mark on how far she can go in the tournament.
T6. Paige Bjerkaas – The story of the season has centered on how Paige Bjerkaas started out touring for the summer, then decided to attend school online for the fall semester, and ultimately won the World Championship. In six events Paige was able to qualify for the Tour Championship. Paige will be a favorite to move through the Tour Championship and chase the top four for a shot at the Tour Championship title.
8. Madison Walker – Last year Madison Walker was injured going into the Tour Championship. Always the professional, Madison still attended the Championship and helped with media. While we are not sure how her assistance with media last year will translate to the course this year we know this Florida native is ready to take her shot at the Tour Championship. Madison only has one top-five finish on Tour this season so she will need to dig deep to advance through the rounds.
9. Ellen Widboom – Ellen saw what was happening on tour last season and wanted a chance to be playing in the Tour Championship this October. Ellen traveled to every event this season and finished in the top five at two stops. She has been a great addition to the Tour and will be exciting to watch take on the New Worlds Sports Complex on Thursday. She is excited to be playing in Florida and should have a great crowd following her for however long she is competing this weekend.
10. Kona Star Panis – At the beginning of the season Kona was trying to decide what tour life was going to look like for her. After a top ten finish at Memorial, she began to plan out how she could be on Tour full time. Outside of missing Waco and DGLO Kona competed at every stop on tour this season. It was the last two events where Kona’s run began to falter. Kona had a string of top ten finishes before Ledgestone and MVP. Kona has what it takes to advance through the tournament, be watching to see if she puts it together on Thursday.
11. Courtney Cannon – Last year, Courtney was one of two players who did not advance to the semifinals round at the Tour Championship. Courtney struggled to get anything going last year, so she will look to capitalize on her opportunity this year to advance beyond the first round.
12. Tina Oakley – In 2017, Tina had a slightly higher finish in her tour standings. After dealing with a shoulder injury this year, Tina was able to recover and put together enough finishes to eek into the Tour Championship when Holly Finley was unable to attend. Tina was able to advance to semifinals last year, though this year only four players will be moving on from the original eight.

You will not want to miss out on the Disc Golf action this weekend. We will have post-produced FPO coverage of the quarterfinals round released on Friday, and then Friday afternoon we will be broadcasting the FPO semifinals round live. Subscribe to the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube Channel and turn on notifications so you will not miss a minute of coverage!