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2018 Utah Open FPO Preview: Is It Anyone’s or Allen’s Game?

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Alright my friends, we are only hours out from the beginning of the 2018 Utah Open presented by Prodigy Discs. For the fifth stop on the Pro Tour, we are climbing almost
a mile high to Mulligan’s Disc Golf Course in Ogden, UT. Before we dive in, let’s get one thing out of the way, Paige Pierce. She’s won three of the four events so far, and when she didn’t take home the win she did take second place at the San Francisco Open. With the current tour points leader in Europe, I’m sure there are a number of players hungry to take home a DGPT Victory. Even if Paige were in Utah, there would still be drama brewing as her perfect season didn’t only end in San Francisco, but she also missed another first-place finish at the Beaver State Fling.
After winning the San Francisco Open, Sarah Hokom would be a great pick for this weekend, but she isn’t expected to be in attendance, instead, she’ll be in British Columbia at the Summer Solstice at Wells Gray. If you’re making picks for this weekend in Utah, I recommend putting your money behind Catrina Allen. She played well above her rating three out of four rounds, even breaking into the 990s for rounds two and four. Catrina was on fire, closing a three-throw deficit to force a playoff with Paige.
Thanks to UDisclive.com we can compare how Allen has been playing this year on the Pro Tour to how she played at Beaver State Fling.
Catrina Allen – 2018 DGPT Season Stats

In the first four Pro Tour events, Allen’s been making her money from the tee. Those top four stats tell us about how well a player is driving (and sometimes approaching). In these categories, Catrina is ranked top six or better. When you look at the lower stats you’ll see why her season hasn’t quite picked up yet. 52% Scramble, 78% Circle 1 Putts, and 2% Circle 2 Putts mean Allen is missing a good number of opportunities that she creates from the tee and fairway.
Catrina Allen – 2018 Beaver State Fling Stats

If you look closely you’ll notice an interesting swing in Catrina’s game at the Beaver State Fling, our most recent data to go on for what kind of shape her game is in. It may look like Catrina did worse in the four driving stats, but some of that can be accounted for by the clean, idyllic grass fairways of Milo being lined with some devastating rough. The actual stat may be lower but her standing in the field actually improved overall. In those bottom four stats, the “yea you can chuck a disc but can you follow through” stats, Allen cranked up her game – a 9% increase in both Scramble and Circle 1 Putts plus a 21% increase in Circle 2 Putts. This is the Catrina of past seasons, one of the very best in the division off the tee, and more than consistent enough on the green to be in contention for the top spot.
Mulligan’s DGC doesn’t look much like Milo, but there is no doubt that Allen can dominate on a ball golf course style layout. She’s a tour veteran with a staggering cannon of an arm. Is this the start of a hot second half of the season or will we see a new name atop the podium in Utah this weekend? Make sure you tune in to catch our recaps every day starting on Friday of the fifth stop of the 2018 Disc Golf Pro Tour, the Utah Open presented by Prodigy Disc. Until then get those practice putters going, let’s face it, we could all stand a little practice on the green!