Salonen has a four stroke lead despite going 0/9 from outside 10 feet.
March 13, 2022 by Anthony Mikos in News, Recap with comments
If you had any idea how to play the opening day at Waco, then on Saturday you had to go back to your bag and change your gameplan. Day two brought sunny skies, warmer temperatures, and little to no wind, an about face from Friday’s conditions. Although the temperature changed, Eveliina Salonen, the leader at 4-under par, stayed consistent, but the gap is closing.
Salonen’s four stroke advantage to start the day was slashed in half. After an error-free front nine, she started to pile up the birdies — and the bogeys — in the back. She carded two double bogeys and a triple bogey in the final eight holes, including a four putt from inside the circle. Putting continues to plague the Finnish star: she shot 25% from C1X, though that does mark an improvement after she didn’t make a single C1X putt in round one. The worst hole of her round came on hole 17 after finding OB water twice. After an upshot that hung too far left and went in the drink, Salonen’s par putt hit the cage and rolled into the water again. Credit to Salonen: she stayed positive despite the setback and carded a bounceback birdie on 18.
After a decent round one performance, Ohn Scoggins put together an strong second round performance sparked by a couple of big putts. Scoggins cashed in on two Circle 2 looks from 50 feet to grab birdies and keep the pressure on Salonen. Scoggins relied a lot on her power forehand, which was able to keep her out of a lot of OB scares. Being able to create shots that put her in bogey-free positions will be her bread and butter to try to take this tournament down.
Tied with Scoggins in second place is Valerie Mandujano, who has flashed her all-around game to get into the hunt for the win. Strong putting in round two (80% C1X, 29% C2) helped deliver a three-under par performance, good for a tie for the hot round. Can the Texan make a push for her first Elite Series victory in her first tournament of the 2022 season?
Kristin Tattar rounds out the lead card for Championship Sunday. She surged back from some poor play late in round one and is just three shots back, tied with Macie Velediaz at one-under par.
Where is Paige Pierce?
Paige Pierce entered the day in solo second place at a score of even par. Pierce’s round started hot but was disrupted by two uncharacteristic double bogeys. After coming within a single stroke of Salonen on hole 17, she was too aggressive and tried to bite off the entire lake on hole 18 where she went swimming. The bogey dropped her back to 1-under on the round, three strokes back. She’ll have to play from the chase card in today’s final round.
Shot of the Day
Saturday’s shot of the day almost turned into our first ace of the tournament! Eveliina Salonen shows off her forehand finesse on hole 8, which plays as a 213-foot par 3 tunnel shot. Her low forehand skips off the ground and flashes right in front of the pin, glancing off the basket. Her precision off the tees has given her a massive advantage from tee-to-green, where she has gained nearly nine strokes on second-best.
Thanks to its technical lines and wooded terrain, Brazos East is nicknamed the Beast for a reason. But compared to the first round, the FPO division started to dial in. After opening the tournament +7.4 over par, the ladies cleaned up their throws and averaged only +2.15 over on the weekend. This improvement could play for a photo finish on the final day with the field still wide open.
Round Two Highlights
After never finishing lower than fourth at WACO, Sarah Hokom is going to need the round of her life to keep that streak alive. Hokom was the preview choice for a Grip6 Pick6 selection, but she hasn’t player her best disc golf. With back-to-back three-over rounds, Hokom sits in 17th place. Her technical forehand is typically able to give her an advantage on more wooded lines, but this weekend the distance is playing a factor. She hasn’t given herself enough birdie chances to stay close to the leaders.
“I had mixed feelings about that because I was almost happy about my round but there were still a couple of holes that were not as good…I feel like my drives are the best part of my game here and I like those narrow gaps in the woods.” – Eveliina Salonen on her round 2 performance
The wildest stat of the day comes from our top two competitors: Eveliina Salonen has lost the same amount of strokes putting to field (-7.57) as Ohn Scoggins has gained (+7.57). As the two headline the lead card for the final round, will Eveliina’s tee-to-green performance outweigh Ohn’s lights-out putting? It should be a great battle.