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Jonesboro Open FPO Preview: Another Classic Battle?

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In just a couple of days, the top players will be storming the Disc Side of Heaven in Arkansas for the Jonesboro Open Presented by Prodiscus. Last year’s Jonesboro Open was the
first, and following in Steve Dodge’s (DGPT Director) vision to grow the pro-side of the sport bigger than ever bringing in this Tournament is a fantastic step forward. The layout here was designed for the biggest arms and the most precise shots. On the FPO side that challenged gave us a battle I am also excited to see unfold – Paige Pierce and Sarah Hokom. What I love about watching this two competitors vie for the top spot is that they are just such different players. They serve as a great reminder that we have to play to our own strengths when we step on the tee box. There is no “right” way to play. Since both players will be in attendance this week let’s take a look at how things played out last year.
Paige Pierce Tournament Stats
After all four rounds came to a close Pierce was the victor in Jonesboro. Though it is worth noting that this wasn’t another one of Pierce’s wire-to-wire victories. In fact, after starting the week with the overall hot round of 60 (4 under par) Pierce seemingly fell off a bit. By the start of the final round, she was actually trailing Sarah Hokom by two. Pierce doesn’t tend to crack under pressure though. She didn’t throw her best round of the week, she missed that mark by 1, throwing a 61 (3 under par) complete with three bogeys and six birdies. For comparison, her hot round of the week was a completely clean card, not a single hole carded above par. On a long course like this, pars are important when there aren’t as many scoring opportunities. When you compare her percentages to Sarah Hokom (Stats below) it becomes clear that Pierce really eked this one out.
Sarah Hokom Tournament Stats
In stark contrast to Pierce’s power, Hokom put her precision to work. And thank goodness we have Hokom or else writing these articles wouldn’t be too much fun! When Hokom’s sidearm is on she is hard to keep up with, add to that a working putter, and you have the makings of a possible victory. At the start of the last day, you couldn’t quite say the tournament was hers to lose, though – a two throw lead over Paige Pierce won’t make anyone feel safe. Whereas Pierce started hot and struggled a bit more with the moving days, Hokom fired off two rounds more than ten points over her 954 rating with a 62 and a 61. Even after a slow round three at 65 Hokom still held the lead she’d taken at the end of day two. In round for Hokom even birdied the same exact four holes she birdied during her hot round of the week (Holes 4, 13, 16, and 17). But two OB penalties, two two-putts and four missed scrambles led to three bogeys and one double bogey, netting her a second round in a row at 65 (1 over par). Miss those bogeys and she wins the tournament. Shoot, can two outside the circle putts and she could have forced the playoff.
That wraps our FPO preview for this week. Stay tuned for more tournament coverage on our website DGPT.com . The third stop of the 2018 Pro Tour kicks off Friday, April 6 th with live coverage of the MPO feature card with edited coverage of the FPO feature card starting at 4 PM EST. Live coverage will continue, as always every day at 4PM EST so set your reminders now and don’t miss any of the action!