Simon goes back-to-back; Valerie dominates.
June 7, 2022 by Justin Westfall in Analysis with comments
The 2022 Portland Open was a terrific event showcasing scenic views, two spectacular courses, and very impressive golf across both divisions. Players also had to navigate a steady dose of rain all weekend, which in typical Northwestern fashion varied in intensity and came and went at a moment’s notice. Valerie Mandujano took home a wire-to-wire win, shooting hot rounds to open and close the tournament. Simon Lizotte took the lead from Isaac Robinson on the back 9 in the second round, and while Garrett Gurthie claimed a share of the lead multiple times on Sunday, Lizotte never relented and won outright on the final hole of competition.
Prior to Sunday, Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, and Eagle McMahon were the only MPO players with back-to-back wins on the Disc Golf Pro Tour since its inception in 2016. With wins at the OTB Open and now the Portland Open, Lizotte joins a short list of elite disc golfers and is the only MPO player besides Ricky Wysocki to earn multiple wins this season. Simon led the field in holes parked, was 3rd in strokes gained tee to green, and only carded four bogeys during the entire tournament. A major part of Lizotte’s success was limiting his OB strokes to just six total on the weekend; three of his four bogeys were the result of an OB stroke. The German has clearly returned to the elite echelon of the sport and should be considered a contender to win every event.
Double-G played excellent complimentary golf, shredding the fairways and hitting putts at a rate well above his average. Gurthie made 89% of C1X putts, 11% higher than his season average. Even more impressive is that he converted on 37% of putts from C2, which is a whopping 25% above his season average. Garrett led the field in fairway hits, C2 in regulation, and birdie percentage. The 1052 event rating was his highest since the 2021 Las Vegas Challenge, and earned Gurthie his fourth runner-up finish on the DGPT and first since the 2019 season.
Shooting the second highest rated round of his career to start the tournament, Robinson was able to play strong through all four rounds and earn his first DGPT podium finish. Isaac tied for the best scramble percentage of the event converting on 8-of-12 and even carding a birdie on two of those holes. Now with top-5 finishes at both DGPT events he has played this season and an 8th place finish at last year’s USDGC, Isaac Robinson is a very exciting name to have joining the tour in a more full-time capacity.
Gannon now has top 10 finishes at 9-of-11 events this year including eight in a row; he has finished in the top 5 at six of those events. Buhr led the field in C1X putting, missing just 1 putt in 43 tries. He continues to play well all around, finishing 7th in both strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained putting at this tournament. Gannon was also the best player at the new Glendoveer layout, shooting the course record at 9-under par on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Estonian found C1 in regulation an incredible 50% of the time at the Portland Open and led the field in strokes gained tee to green. Although Albert finished just 56th in strokes gained putting, he made 85% of C1X putts, 14% above his season average. Most detrimental to Tamm’s performance was the 13 OB strokes he accumulated, the most of any player in the top 5.
Coming off a season with two Elite Series wins, Hammes has struggled quite a bit as of late. After a 7th place finish in Las Vegas to start the season, Adam missed cash in Waco and at the Champions Cup. Earning his best ES finish since the 2021 Music City Open, Hammes was 3rd in OB rate and 5th in strokes gained putting.
This was somewhat of a bounceback performance for McBeth, who has struggled since losing a playoff to Calvin Heimburg at the Jonesboro Open. McBeth tied for the best scramble rate, was 5th in strokes gained tee to green, and had decent putting percentages despite finishing just 31st in strokes gained on the green. After six birdies in a row during the final round, Paul threw OB three times on hole 14 and took a quadruple bogey. If you take away that mistake, he would have finished in 3rd place: instead, he erased much of the positive movement he’d made during the round and ended up in a tie for 5th.
The young up-and-comer had his best finish on the DGPT in Portland and his only top 10 since the 2021 Ledgestone Insurance Open. Aside from these two events, Cole has never finished higher than 26th at a DGPT tournament. He averaged the 2nd highest event rating of his career behind the Ledgestone performance, was 6th in strokes gained tee to green, led C2 in regulation at 72%, and had the 3rd highest birdie rate in the tournament. Redalen has often struggled with taking far too many bogey strokes, but his ability to score is undeniable. Once he learns how to limit those mistakes, he has the talent to be a consistent top 20 finisher.
Staying in the mix all week long was Joel Freeman, who averaged a 1059 rating on the Blue Lake course but only averaged 1015 after moving over to Glendoveer. Freeman was able to record his second top 10 finish in a row and now has 6-of-10 on the season. Most notable was Joel’s 44% C2 putting in Portland: to this point in the season, he’s only averaged 23% from that range.
Despite top 10 finishes at his last four majors, this was actually Sexton’s first top 10 finish on the Pro Tour since the 2019 Green Mountain Championship. While Nate finished 8th in strokes gained putting, the sidearm specialist lost some strokes by only converting on 2-of-9 scramble attempts. An unfortunate three-putt bogey on the final hole erased his course record at Glendoveer; instead he’ll share the course record with Gannon Buhr, Paul McBeth, and Calvin Heimburg.
Looking at Ezra’s stats for most of this season has been a bit frustrating: his ceiling is very high but mistakes continue to keep him from being a factor at most events. Aderhold finished 2nd in strokes gained tee to green after leading in that category for most of the tournament. It’s impressive that he can finish so high with only 68% fairway hits, ranking 82nd in the field. But that leads into Ezra’s biggest issue — he recorded 17 OB strokes on the weekend, 11 more than winner Simon Lizotte. In his second round, Aderhold made seven birdies, found C1 in regulation on half of the holes, but took 10 OB strokes and finished the day 2-over par with a 989 rated round. His putting stats were above their season averages, but still only good for 59th best, right around the field average. To finish just outside the top 10 despite the mistakes and now having back-to-back 11th place finishes is encouraging, but there’s a lot that still needs to be cleaned up in Ezra’s game.
No fireworks for Vinny this week who missed the top 10 for the second time this season and only the fifth time since the start of the 2020 season. Heimburg averaged a 1041 rating at Glendoveer and tied the course record on Saturday but struggled at Blue Lake, averaging just 1020 across the opening two rounds.
Much like Simon, Valerie proved that she belongs in the conversation with the best players in her division by not just winning but doing so in commanding fashion. Mandujano led the field in strokes gained putting, fairway hits, and C2 in regulation. She had the 2nd best OB rate and carded eight more birdies than her next closest competitors. Her 10 stroke win averaged a 992 event rating, the highest of her career. The only area she remotely struggled in was scrambling, converting on just 2-of-8: she averages closer to 50% on the season.
The reigning Masters World Champion only finished 5th in birdies, but Ohn Scoggins took home her first runner-up finish of the season and her first since the 2021 Waco Annual Charity Open. As you may expect from Ohn, she was terrific on the greens, finishing 2nd in strokes gained putting and 2nd in scramble percentage. Scoggins carded a triple bogey on hole one Saturday but proceeded to play the final 35 holes of the tournament bogey-free.
Cat put together a solid week, finishing 3rd in strokes gained tee to green and 4th in strokes gained putting. She also led the field in scramble rate, converting on 11-of-21 attempts! It’s usually good to lead in that category, but having to scramble on nearly 30% of the holes is far from ideal. Over four rounds, Allen carded seven more OB strokes than both Mandujano and Scoggins.
The 2021 Disc Golf Pro Tour champion earned her 3rd top 5 finish of the season by playing her patented brand of clean golf. She led the field with just 5 OB strokes on the week, finished 4th in fairways hits, and was 8th in strokes gained putting. While Gannon hasn’t been in contention for wins this season, she has played very consistently, finishing in the top 10 at 7-of-9 DGPT events.
Paige had a great showing off the tee in Portland but not so much on the putting greens. She led the field in strokes gained tee to green by a wide margin and led in holes parked. However, she finished 34th in strokes gained putting, losing nearly three strokes to the average competitor. Pierce had some travel hiccups and didn’t arrive in Portland until the day before the tournament, which limited her practice time on the courses. While she did have a fairly high OB rate, the big issue for Paige wasn’t knowing the courses, it was getting the disc into the baskets.
Rebecca made the lead card after round one and stayed there throughout the week, earning her best finish of the season and her first top 5 on tour since the 2021 Idlewild Open. Cox finished 3rd in scrambles and 6th in strokes gained tee to green. She also made 72% of C1X putts, an area in which she has traditionally struggled. To this point she has averaged just 55% C1X putting on the season.