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Idlewild open FPO Round 3 recap – Paige surges ahead. Catrina ties it. Rinse and repeat.

By Baker Helton

Heather Young waits to putt on hole 9.
Today was arguably the single most exciting round of the season. Paige Pierce (Dynamic), Catrina Allen (Prodigy) tied up going into the final round. Madison Walker (Innova) one stroke behind. And Heather Young, the 16-year-old phenom. That was our cast, Idlewild was the stage. Paige’s putter has been working, Catrina’s driver. Madison Walker feels at home in the woods. Heather plays a reliable and conservative game, and it feels like we may be witnessing the future. But today, we got to experience a classic battle between two of our sport’s greats.​
Paige Pierce set the stage starting aggressive. On the par-four hole 1, she went for the pin on her second shot, parking it. On hole two she ran a Circle 2 putt on a fast green with water behind. Center chains. Paige birdied the first two holes and quickly had a two-stroke lead. On hole 3, her jump putt missed left, and her 12 foot tap out splashed right side. Three Putt. Catrina parks hole 4 for the easy birdie, and we are all tied up. And we were just getting started.

Over holes six through nine, Paige had four putts. Catrina had seven. And Paige was up by two again through nine. Not to worry though, on hole 12 Paige gets in trouble off the tee and ends with a double bogey. Catrina cards the par, and we are all tied up again. So through 12 holes, Paige has four birdies, two bogeys and a double while Catrina has two birdies and two bogeys. Very different ways to sit at even par.

On 13, Paige takes the lead.
On 14, Catrina ties it back up.
On 15, Paige takes the lead.
On 16, Catrina ties it back up.

If you did not watch this live, you need to go back and experience the drama. Today was an insane round between two incredible athletes, plus every once in a while, Madison Walker was within a couple of strokes. Idlewild has one of the most robust finishes in disc golf. This course tests all of your throws, the accuracy of your lines, and your mental fortitude. On hole 16, Paige carded a quad bogey on day one. Today, she played super safe, still threw OB, drained a huge Circle 2 putt, and still lost a stroke. On hole 17, Catrina set herself up for a straightforward par four. Paige continued her aggressive play and on her second shot, going for the green got an unfortunate kick OB. She was left with a 50 footer, with an OB creek just past the pin. Catrina was parked for the par. She could lay up and concede one stroke or go for it and risk losing two strokes.

Robert, Dixon, the hundreds of fans on-site and over 3,000 people watching online held their collective breath. Paige lined up her putt. The most crucial putt of the round, and she had hit some big ones to this point. Paige launches the disc. It is flat and true — chains ring. The crowd explodes. And we are tied going into the final hole of regulation.

Cat and Paige struggled on the fairway of the par-four hole 18. A very excited Dixon Jowers commentating on the live coverage said that every shot, for the last six holes, was a momentum swing. It could go either way — all day. Paige left herself with a 30 footer for the bogey. Catrina was under the basket for an easy bogey.

Robert, Dixon, the hundreds of fans on-site, and over 3,500 people watching online held their collective breath. Again, Paige’s putt was accurate. Cat dropped in her bogey as well. Madison cards the only par on the 18th and finishes in third, two shots back.

We go to hole 1. Both players put up amazing drives, well over 400 feet. Catrina lined up her approach and pulled it way left. She found herself just outside Circle 1 with a tough putt on the elevated basket. Paige throws her approach about 20 feet past. Not an easy putt, but with the putter working the way it was today, we expect she will drain it. So it comes to Catrina, 35 feet from the basket. Again, everyone watching holds their breath.

Catrina’s putt is low and right, but that is not the story. Her disc does a slow roll, for close to ten seconds, and finally settles down about 70 feet from the pin. Her approach/run draws metal, but the battle is over. Paige lays up and taps in for the victory and just like that we have a champion. One of the most epic battles in disc golf this season is ended with a deflating roll away.

It was a fantastic battle between the titans of the FPO. Thank you for sharing your skills and putting yourselves out there. Our heartfelt thanks to Catrina and Paige for another exciting chapter in the growth of women’s disc golf.