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WACO – Final Round Recap

By Baker Helton
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It was an exciting day in Texas as the Waco Annual Charity Open presented by Prodigy champions were crowned. Nikko Locastro won the men’s division in a close battle, while Kona Panis won in convincing fashion in the women’s division.

Nikko Locastro looked as if he would run away with the victory after a hot start to his round. Locastro birdied the first seven holes to build his lead to a healthy six strokes. It looked like the back nine would be a victory lap for Locastro, but it turned out to be anything but.

Cale Leiviska emerged with the best opportunity to chase Nikko down. As Locastro cooled down, Leiviska chipped away at the lead little by little. Leiviska picked up two strokes on Locastro, who was on a streak of pars, by birding holes eight and nine. After Locastro bogeyed hole 12, the lead was down to just three.

By hole 13, the battle was on. On the 555-foot par four, both competitors put their approach shots inside circle one. Nikko missed his putt cutting the lead to two after a Cale tap-in.

With the momentum squarely on his side, Cale put his drive on hole 14 to 38 feet. Nikko was closer, inside circle one. With the pressure on, Leiviska canned his putt, putting the pressure on Locastro. Nikko missed his circle one putt to cut the lead to just one.

Locastro was able to compose himself, and the two competitors matched each other shot for shot on holes 15 and 16.

On the peninsula, 610-foot hole 17, it appeared as if Cale would finally close the gap. Locastro’s approach found him 77 feet away while Leiviska had a long circle one look.

 

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Nikko’s throw-in put him back in the driver’s seat and put the pressure back on Leiviska. Staying cool in the moment, Leiviska nailed his putt to go into the final hole down by one stroke.

Needing to be aggressive, Leiviska went over the water on the 18th. His shot was safe but was 100 feet from the basket. Nikko stuck with his game plan and played a safe shot to the left of the water. After Nikko put his approach shot within five feet, Cale’s only chance was with a throw-in. He was unable to convert, making Nikko Locastro the Waco Annual Charity Open champion.

 

In the women’s division, Kona Panis left no doubt in a convincing victory. Entering the day with a ten-stroke advantage, Panis stretched her lead to as large as 15 during the round. The final margin was 12, but Kona was never in danger of losing her lead, finishing the tournament at 16-under.

Kona dominated every facet of the game throughout the weekend, leading the field in strokes gained from both tee->green, 16.99, and from putting, 9.26. The victory marked her first in Disc Golf Pro Tour Elite Series tournaments.

Ohn Scoggins finished the tournament in second place after moving up ten spots on the day. She shot the hot round at 8-under, 59, and finished the tournament at 4-under. Sarah Hokom finished in third place at 3-under.

The tour moves 45 minutes down the road to The Open at Belton. The Silver Series event takes place March 19-21. Scores and stats will be available via UDisc Live, and the final round can be seen live on the Disc Golf Network.