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Play It Again Sports Jonesboro Open Presented By Prodiscus: FPO Preview – Your Guess Is As Good As Mine!

By Baker Helton
We are only days from the Play It Again Sports Jonesboro Open Presented By Prodiscus now so it’s time to do our research. I caught up with Paige Pierce and Ricky Wysocki to hear about how they are getting ready for the event this year, so make sure not to miss those interviews. Last year in Arkansas, Paige Pierce pretty much ran away with the win – finishing the event ten ahead of the rest of the group. But the start of 2018 looked a lot different than the start of 2019. As of right now, it seems like there are a handful of players that could snag a win while last year at this time we were wondering if Paige could make a full sweep of the season. In 2018 the Jonesboro Open ended up being the last win on her perfect streak, but this year she might just make it a part of the announcement that she’s back in fine form. She just picked up an A-Tier win at the Nick Hyde which she will look to keep going at Disc Side of Heaven this weekend.

In 2018 there might not have been a tight battle for first but there was practically bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to second. Madison Walker, Jennifer Allen, Sarah Hokom, and Catrina Allen were all in contention for second but it was Madison’s charge from the chase card and Jennifer’s steady play that earned them a tie for second. Hokom struggled to string together any meaningful amount of birdies, but that earned her sole possession of fourth as Catrina Allen struggled on the green – resulting in her worst round of the event and fifth place. All of these pros are signed up but they won’t be up against only each other, there’s plenty of other players looking to make their mark on the Pro Tour this year. We are especially excited to see the increased size of the FPO field with a total of 30 players registered.

​Disc Side of Heaven, even for the top pros, is not an easy course. Watching from home the fairways may look wide but the lines are clever and demand persistent attention to the details. It’s certainly not a birdie-or-die kind of an event, well that is for most of the players. Paige Pierce on the other hand still holds the course record with her twelve under (54) during round one of 2018 (sadly not caught on tape). But the next day the weather came for her and she scored a 70, sixteen worse than her first round and four over par. Speaking of which, if you somehow missed this last year, let me remind you that during round two of the 2018 Jonesboro Open it snowed for the women’s rounds. Certainly not your typical weather for Arkansas in April. This year things are looking like they might be wet but they won’t be nearly as cold.
If you’re trying to make your fantasy picks for this week, good luck! Sure, we can look at the past couple times the pros have taken to this track but there are so many competitive names that we have no track record for here or who’s play has greatly improved over last season. For example, take Hannah Blumroos from Rauma, Finland. She’s currently 960 rated, making her the fourth highest rated FPO player in the world. This might be her first tour in the US but something tells me jetlag alone won’t keep her from chasing down a win at an event sponsored by her sponsor, Prodiscus. Or what about Paige Bjerkaas, she is the current reigning world champ and has already collected an NT win? She’s no slouch when it comes to distance and her Kansas experience makes her no stranger to windy open greens. All I’m trying to say is this, I have no idea who’s gonna walk away victorious this weekend, your guess is as good as mine. But I know I’ll be tuning in to watch it all unfold live, starting Friday at 10 AM EST. Make sure you don’t miss it either.
This article written by Staff Editor and Writer Zach Podhorzer . All photography credit to Alyssa Van Lanen.