It’s been exactly six years since the two players both won the same DGPT event.
June 27, 2022 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with comments
MINNEAPOLIS — On June 26th, Bradley Williams and Paige Pierce won a Disc Golf Pro Tour event. The year: 2016. The event: the Vibram Open (now MVP Open) at Maple Hill, the first-ever DGPT event, run by the tour’s founder Steve Dodge. Williams beat out Michael Johansen in a playoff. Pierce defeated Catrina Allen by a stroke.
Exactly six years later, Williams won his second-ever DGPT event, defeating a furiously charging Ricky Wysocki by two strokes, and Pierce won her astonishing 32nd DGPT stop by five strokes over Missy Gannon.
“A little bit of destiny and fate,” said Williams. “I felt like I was being tugged forward through the rounds by something outside of myself. I really felt like I was being pulled through the course, and I was, like, shocked and surprised, and I was just riding it.”
Williams now has the record for the longest time between DGPT wins at 2191 days, though Cam Todd still holds the record for the longest time between Elite Series wins at 4332 days.1 Williams rode a strong opening two rounds, including the hot round on moving day, to a three-stroke lead heading into Sunday’s final round. After a pair of opening birdies, he dropped a stroke to his closest competitor, Simon Lizotte, after missing from Circle 2 on hole 3 and another on the 4th after shanking his tee shot and failing to scramble, setting up just his second bogey of the tournament.
But he found a stash of “magic juice,” as he called it, on his approach shot on hole 5, throwing it in from 250 feet for a crucial birdie that put him back on track.
Meanwhile, Ricky Wysocki was working on one of the day’s best rounds. As Williams was up-and-down throughout the round, Wysocki started piling up the birdies, carding 8 out of 9 between holes 7 and 15 to tie it up with Williams at the top of the leaderboard. A rare inside-the-circle miss from Wysocki on 17 and then a poor tee shot followed by a slip on his second shot on 18 that sent his disc sailing into the OB iced his hot streak, allowing Williams to control his own destiny.
Williams birdied the final two holes to win the tournament by a pair of strokes. He won $8,000 in first place prize money, the largest payout of his disc golf career.
“It feels like finding my way again,” he said.
Paige Pierce enjoyed a more comfortable victory — the 70th Elite Series win of her remarkable career. She entered the final round with a three-shot lead over Ella Hansen which ballooned to eight strokes by hole 6. Neither Hansen nor Gannon was able to apply pressure to Pierce down the stretch, even as Paige went 2-over in the back nine. In her return to the DGPT after a couple of months in Europe, Eveliina Salonen was in the mix for much of the weekend but fell out of contention after five-putting on hole 12 for a quadruple bogey.
“It just feels like our playground as disc golfers,” said a joyous Pierce after the round. “Just to be out in nature, watching the tall grass blow, and watching our discs. It’s hard to put into words.”
It was Pierce’s division-leading fourth win on tour this season. She took home $5,000 for the victory, tied for the 7th largest payout of her career. She will attempt to defend her title as US Women’s champion at the second FPO Major of the season next weekend in Madison, WI.