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2019 DGPT Championship Preview: Is Hokom set to repeat?

By Baker Helton
Last year in a stellar performance at the MVP Open at Maple Hill, Hokom made a last-minute push to take first in Tour Points before traveling south to Florida and winning it all at the Tour Championship. This year, in a similar fashion, Hokom hit her stride late in the season, carding her first Pro Tour victory of the year at the Green Mountain Championship. While this was not enough to push her into winning the Tour Standings, it could be a good indication of what we can expect from Hokom in Charlotte next week.

Hokom has been a supporter of the Tour since Day one. In 2016 she won the Tour Standings by a margin of 35 points and finished second at the Tour Championship. In 2017, she finished second in Tour Standings and 4th at the Tour Championship. Then last year, she was able to unite the crowns finishing first in both Tour Standings and at the Tour Championship. Hokom is not a stranger to the Tour Championship and is in a unique position to be able to possibly be the first player to be a repeat Tour Champion.*

What do the stats say?
If you have been following Hokom’s performances this season, one will quickly note that it has taken her quite some time to get comfortable with her new discs. This season, while Hokom finished 3rd in Tour Standings, the only statistics which she was third or better in was scramble percentage and OB rate. What is more interesting is when you narrow down her stats to look at GMC and MVP her two most recent Pro Tour events, those same stats are practically the only ones where she was first (at MVP she was also first in fairway hits).

Sarah finished second at MVP and first at GMC thanks to her precision and scrambling in the woods. For Sarah, GMC was won on Brewster Ridge but was not lost at Fox Run Meadows, thanks to her ability to keep her drives in bounds. All of this to say, her game is set up well for a strong performance at Hornet’s Nest. If she avoids the OB on the Hornet’s course and stays on top of the scramble percentage, she has an excellent shot at being the back-to-back Tour Champion.

So what about this course?
Sarah was the only player in the FPO division of the Tour Championship other than Catrina Allen to play at Hornet’s Nest during 2012 Worlds. What happened? Hokom received her World Title there. Now, Worlds was not won by Hokom at Hornets, but the good karma associated with a World Title cannot go understated.

Looking at Hokom’s stats on the wooded courses shows that she is set up for success at Hornet’s Nest. Her precision sidearm allows her to get out of trouble with ease. It also gives her the ability to carve up a wooded course with unparalleled accuracy.

It should be an absolute delight to watch Sarah Hokom take a shot at defending her 2018 Tour Championship title. The course is looking phenomenal thanks to the design efforts of John Houck and the diligent work of Mark Huether and the Charlotte Disc Golf Club. If you have not already, make plans to watch the Tour Championship October 18-20th. It will be one tournament you will not want to miss!

*Chris Dickerson is also in the same position this year, though because the FPO play in the morning should Hokom win, she technically would be the first due to timeframe. Also, Dickerson has to play through the qualified round yet again while Sarah has a bye to semifinals.