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Wire-to-Wire Wins – 2023 Preserve Championship Final Round Recap

By Nick Quargnenti
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2023 DGPT – Preserve Championship Final Recap

Monday, July 3, 2023 – 10:46

Ricky Wysocki at the Preserve on Sunday. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Both the FPO and MPO fields saw familiar faces holding down the lead during the final round of the 2023 DGPT — Preserve Championship Powered by Prodigy. Catrina Allen came out on top after battling back and forth with Kristin Tattar and Ricky Wysocki kept charging to maintain a comfortable cushion over the rest of the MPO field.

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Catrina Allen held off a final-round push from Kristin Tattar. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Allen Perseveres at the Preserve

“There was never a moment where I felt I could relax until Hole 18,” said Catrina Allen after tapping in one last putt to win the 2023 Preserve Championship.

Round 2 saw the start of a battle for the lead between Allen and Kristin Tattar that continued through the final round. Allen started Championship Sunday three strokes ahead of Tattar and would have to keep fighting through every hole to maintain her lead as Tattar made a push to catch up.

After starting strong with three birdies in the first six holes, Allen ran into trouble with an errant drive on Hole 7 followed by an airball putt from circle two. Tattar made her birdie putt, leaving Allen to clean up the par before giving any more strokes away. Allen’s par putt missed the basket entirely and her bogey putt bounced off the top band, leaving her with a tap-in for her first double bogey of the tournament. Allen’s momentary putting struggles resulted in a three-stroke swing that reduced her lead to just one stroke over Tattar.

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No panic from Allen on Championship Sunday in Minnesota. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

“I’m not getting in panic mode,” Allen said of her immediate reaction on the course, “We’re just going to adjust on the next tee instead of thinking about how I just lost three strokes. Like I said, just a great mindset.”

Even after Tattar took a birdie on Hole 8 to close the gap and tie for the lead, Allen never lost focus and never let Tattar take the outright lead. The pair matched strokes for the next two holes and Allen regained her lead when Tattar took three bogeys from Holes 11 through 14.

While Tattar made a few costly mistakes, Allen avoided giving up any more strokes, eventually building her lead up to four strokes by the final hole. Allen showed the same resilience as in Round 2, successfully scrambling on multiple holes to finish the weekend with a 75% scramble rate.

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Catrina Allen took down the Preserve Championship in her home state. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Finally with a moment to relax, Allen had one last lay-up for an easy bogey to win her second Elite Series Event of the season. According to StatMando, Allen is now 23-2 when entering the final round with at least a 3-stroke lead.

Up next, Allen and many other top FPO players are headed to Norway for the 2023 PCS Open and then Finland just one week later for the 2023 European Open.

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Ricky Wysocki lines up a shot at the Preserve Championship. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Wysocki Clutches Up

Ricky Wysocki also went wire-to-wire in the 2023 Preserve Championship, shooting three double-digit rounds in a row. After missing much of the season while working through an injury, this weekend saw a return to form for Wysocki with his first Elite Series win of the season and his second win on tour in 2023 including a Silver Series win at the Cascade Challenge.

When asked about adjusting his game to accommodate for the Lyme Disease flare-ups that kept him out for the beginning of the season, Wysocki said, “I was smooth with my form; I wasn’t trying to do anything crazy. I think that’s what kept me in control out here.”

Wysocki stayed in control through the final round, setting the pace for the rest of the field despite the pressure of a final round lead card. After a slow start with three pars in a row, Wysocki got his momentum going with a huge sky anyhzer approach over the woods on Hole 6 to give him a birdie putt through a gap in the trees. On the back 9, Wysocki picked up the pace as he took six more birdies, including two successful putts from circle 2.

 

“I got those momentum strokes where I needed to get them to keep Calvin and everyone behind me. I was really happy with the way I was able to control the tournament, I think that’s something I do really well when I have a lead,” Wysocki said after the final round, “I feel like that’s when I play my best.”

Throughout the final round, Wysocki never gave up the lead, finishing with one last eagle on Hole 18 to win his second title at the Preserve. Wysocki won by five strokes over second place, the largest margin of victory in the MPO field for any Elite Series event so far this season. Perhaps the biggest factor in Wysocki’s dominating performance was his 69% birdie rate throughout the tournament. According to UDisc, this is the best event birdie rate by any player this season. The last time any player had a better event birdie rate was 72% by Matt Orum at the 2021 Stafford Open.

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Ricky Wysocki Celebrates His Victory at the Preserve on Sunday. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

“I just feel like I play so well under the pressure with the big crowds that Minnesota had out here this week,” Wysocki said after signing his initials onto the Preserve Championship trophy for the second time.

Now with his first Elite Series win of the season and a confidence boost just weeks before the second Major of the year, Wysocki will join the MPO field as they head to Øverås, Norway for the 2023 PCS Open.

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