, 2023-03-01 02:00:00,
Catrina Allen led wire-to-wire while Calvin Heimburg relied on aggressive play to push him past Kevin Jones and Ezra Aderhold
March 1, 2023 by Kingsley Flett in Recap with comments
“Things happen to you they happen. They don’t ask first. They don’t require your permission.”
― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
If the Las Vegas Challenge was a novel, it would have been written by Cormac McCarthy. When I think of the romance of a sporting season opener, I think of baseball, where it seems like whole volumes of prose have been written about spring and the smell of freshly cut grass.
There was none of that at the Wildhorse Golf Club in Henderson, about ten miles south of Las Vegas in Nevada, last week. The opening tournament of the Disc Golf Pro Tour was set in a stark landscape with cruel luck playing its hand, in 50-degree temperatures and with 35 mile per hour winds whipping in off the Mojave Desert.1 Players in layers, taking off gloves to throw, and faces pinched against the cold wind doesn’t quite match the exuberance we might expect of a tour opener. But the South Western swing of the disc golf pro tour is a perfect start in its own way.
A New Catrina Allen
As my Ultiworld colleague Matt Thompson foreshadowed, a few pundits might be sleeping on Catrina Allen’s potential as a rival to Kristin Tattar and Paige Pierce this year. It’s been 13 years since the first of Allen’s 180 career wins, so some might be banking on a decline in her performance. Her consistent presence on the tour might have bred some familiarity among disc golf followers who, understandably, with the yearly influx of new talent into the FPO field, tend to be focused on the next big thing.
It seems to me that in the past, Allen’s strengths have been off the tee and in the fairway and that these powers diminished the closer she got to the basket. Some inexplicable putting failures when the stakes were high, like the last hole of the penultimate round of the 2019 worlds, tend to stick in the memory and fuel this impression.
The 2023 Catrina Allen seems different though. She’s less restless. The Disc Golf Network coverage is following other pro sports in showing us the human side of the drama (putting cameras in the face of players in between shots in other words), but Allen is either more comfortable with this intrusion or has developed her ability to find a…
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