, 2023-02-24 02:00:00,
Could 2023 be the year of Catrina Allen?
February 24, 2023 by Matt Thompson in Profile with comments
2022 was the year of Kristin Tattar. She was dominant on the course, with an average finish (1.58) that belies the fact that she was playing against the strongest FPO field ever. She even ranked as the most popular player in Ultiworld Disc Golf’s fan survey. If there was a disc golf competition to be won, there was no safer bet in 2022. For most of the season, particularly the first half, the story of the FPO season was Paige v. Kristin. This was bolstered by Pierce tying the all time major victory number of Valarie Jenkins-Doss with her victory at Champions Cup, and claiming the record outright at the European Open. Pierce won two majors to Tattar’s one, but failed to win in her final eight tournaments, finishing the season with an average finish of 5.32. Head to head, with the notable exception of the final hole of Champions Cup, Tattar looked like the more complete player in 2022, going 8-3-1 against Pierce, taking a total of 93 less strokes over the course of those events. With her trademark openness, Pierce herself admitted in the latter half of the season she was not playing like a top player.
Going into the 2023 season, the Pierce and Tattar rivalry will probably be once again a prominent storyline. But I have an alternative matchup to offer. There is another player who, the same as Pierce, won three events Tattar played in, and gave up 36 strokes in their overall head to head matchup, considerably fewer than Pierce. They went down to the wire at the Dynamic Discs Open, with Tattar taking it down by one stroke, and at Throw Pink Tattar fell by three strokes. Tattar’s other unspoken rival is Catrina Allen. Allen’s average finish for 2022 was 5.2 and she had a much shorter-lived rough patch during her tour than Pierce, putting together an altogether consistent effort for the season, and finished strong with the win at Throw Pink.
There are a number of reasons Allen flies under the radar, with the most obvious simply being longevity. She’s been playing at a high level for a long time and she’s one of the older players on tour, having picked up the game as an adult. She won her first World Championship in the famed Portland Worlds of 2014, and did not win her second World Championship until 2021, where…
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