Skip to main content

Well-Begun, Half Done in Des Moines

By Baker Helton

A beautiful day in Iowa gave way to thunderstorms late in the day, but not before the entire FPO field and 28 competitors in the MPO field completed their opening rounds at the DGPT – TruBank Des Moines Challenge presented by Discraft. MPO players – including seven cards that didn’t begin first round play – will resume play at 7:00 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Tattar’s Play Does the Talking

Early on a picturesque day, three-under-par efforts set the tone. Kat Mertsch, followed by Cynthia Ricciotti, both found birdie opportunities on the undulating hills of Pickard Park. And, both indicated there were chances to score even better.

“Maybe I’m going to play a little more conservative tomorrow… just clean up the two bogey strokes I had,” said Ricciotti.


Cynthia Ricciotti, navigating the terrain at Pickard Park.

Meanwhile, Kristin Tattar opened her round with three birdies in a row and never relented. With 10 birdies offsetting a single bogey, Tattar bested the early clubhouse leaders by 6 strokes, and will take that lead into round two.

Although still playing through an injured elbow, Tattar showed adaptability, retaining distance and control in her overall game. For the round, Tattar recorded zero out-of-bounds strokes, and was one of only two players in the field to birdie both challenging par 5 holes.

Eveliina Salonen – the other player to birdie each of the par 5s – matched Ricciotti and Mertsch’s earlier 3-under efforts, and will complete the lead card in round two.

Orum Finishes Well, Many Others Don’t Start

Matthew Orum was one of just 28 MPO players to finish his first round on Friday. While other players marked their lies and will return to them just after sunrise on Saturday, a bogey-free, 11-under-par loop that included a stretch of eight birdies in a row ensured a stress-free Friday evening for Orum.


Matthew “Matty-O” Orum capitalized on the advantage of an early tee time on day one.

“I hope it holds up,” said Orum, after play was suspended for the other players.

Competition rules emphasize the completion of earlier rounds of play before moving on to any consideration of shortening a tournament, so the first round will be completed by all other players on Saturday morning. Weather permitting, the second round will also be played on Saturday, and play will continue until darkness. Disc Golf Pro Tour leadership will monitor the many variables including pace-of-play at Pickard Park and the weather, as they work toward the goal of completing all three rounds over the weekend.

In the meantime, the field will attempt to chase down Orum (-11) and Kevin Keifer, who, at 10-under, also completed round one.

Players that didn’t begin round one on Friday include both feature cards on the Disc Golf Network, which will resume the live broadcast at 8:00 a.m. CT on Saturday morning, one hour after play resumes with a “shotgun” start at 7:00 a.m. CT.