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AbsoluteXtracts presents The 2019 San Francisco Open driven by Innova: FPO Preview – The West Is Coming

By Baker Helton
If you told me that Sarah Hokom beat Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen by 8 throws on a 9000’ plus track coupled with some of the most intense elevation changes on the tour my first response would be “I wanna watch that!” Well good news, if you missed it last year thanks to the powers of the internet you can go watch it right now on the Disc Golf Pro Tour and The Disc Golf Guy’s youtube pages. Don’t worry the article will still be here for you to read when you get back. If then you told me that was the first time the event was held and I’d get to see it again I’d start working on a time machine to get there faster. The 2019 San Francisco Open presented by Innova Champion Discs is right around the corner and perfectly framed by the contentious 2019 season to be yet another battle. But really go watch last year’s it’s so good!

The stone-cold focus of a champion embodied by none other than the 2018 Champ, Sarah Hokom.
Now that you’ve seen it for your own eyes, or for those of you who don’t have the time to watch or re-watch a whole tournament right now let’s break it down in a nice neat TLDR recap:

Round 1: Hokom leaped out to an early lead making Circle 1 In Regulation half the time and hitting 78% of her Circle 1X Putts added up to a 3 under hot round. Pierce and Allen weren’t far off though, netting themselves 6% less Circle 1 looks at birdies and capitalizing on even less. Solid start for Hokom but certainly no run away lead – not with these two chasing.
Round 2: Hokom flipped the unrelenting domination switch and played the only entirely clean round of the week with her first under par hole of the day being a 347’ Ace on hole 3. Now that’s how you peel – two hot rounds in a row and Hokom’s lead increased to 6.
Round 3: It was everyone else’s chance to say something about it. While Catrina was the loudest with her hot round for the final day at 5 under par, Hokom’s 3 under was more than good enough to fend her off and take home the win.

Gosh it’s always nice to watch a beautiful skip ace like that stick. ​The top three rated players in the world may have taken the podium again, but don’t count out the rest of the field. While Sarah was playing her own game of crush the competition, Pierce and Allen were distracting each other and Weese strolled right up behind them and finished only one off of being a part of the tie for second. At the end of the event, she actually led the field in Fairways and Circle 1 in Regulation and took second on Scramble, but it’s pretty hard to win when you’re making less than 60% of your C1X putts. Weese’s putting stats haven’t moved much this season compared to last season but if she can just make a couple more a day and avoid the OB we have a good chance of seeing a four-way battle or more for first this year.

Hardly anyone was throwing better than Weese last year, but a good bit of the field was definitely out putting her.
What more can I really say about Pierce’s and Allen’s chances this weekend? They’re both building a lot of momentum right now and they’re coming off a heated battle at this year’s Glass Blown Open. Not only do they need to keep their eyes on Sarah, each other and Weese, but they also need to watch out for the growing pack of players hungry for the spotlight – Rebecca Cox, Madison Walker, Paige Bjerkaas, to name a few.

There’s no reason Paige Pierce can’t win this event this year except herself.
​And lastly, but certainly, not the least we have last year’s champion Sarah Hokom. I caught up with her a week or two ago to talk about the event in her first Mind of a Champion spotlight interview . She definitely doesn’t hold back her thoughts on the game right now and also provides some awesome advice that I know I’m already building into my game. Sarah definitely played a well-rounded game in 2018 because she only won two of the eight primary stats we track – Birdies and Circle 2 In Regulation – yet she not only won but won by more than double the number of throws under par that anyone else scored. That is honestly pretty hard to do! But as the old adage I just made up recently goes, sometimes the only thing you have to do to win is birdie. In Sarah’s case, 37% of the time seemed like the right amount.

Catrina Allen is an all but guaranteed competitor the way she’s been playing this year so far.
You do not want to miss the action this weekend as things kick off Friday at 11 AM EST on Until then get out there and make the most of the weather, it’s finally tournament season pretty much everywhere!

This article written by Staff Writer & Editor Zach Podhorzer . All photo credit to Alyssa Van Lanen .