The Top 10 Storylines of the 2023 OTB Open
, 2023-05-17 13:06:46,
From the desk of Owl P. Jackson, Esq.
May 17, 2023 by Owl P. Jackson, Esq. in Opinion, Recap with comments
Wow! What a bizarre tournament…we’ve got first time winners and winners who have won more than anyone else. And yet, the tournament itself felt far less important than everything going on around it. So, let’s get to it. In my opinion, these are the top 10 storylines of the 2023 OTB Open.
1. Natalie Ryan returns to DGPT play
“Walking through the forest…”
Natalie Ryan had been absent from tour so far this year, due to the PDGA’s policy on transgender athletes and the DGPT’s adoption of said policy. On Friday, she returned to play. At what felt like the eleventh hour, a California court granted her a temporary restraining order, allowing her to compete. By day’s end, Natalie was in fifth place and only one stroke out of a tie for the lead. She noted on Instagram, “I will not be threatened, I will not be intimidated, I will not be erased. It is a breath of fresh air to be competing where I belong.”
2. Natalie Ryan is removed from DGPT play
“Laughing back and forth at what the other’n has to say…”
Well, that didn’t last long. As quickly as Natalie returned, she was once again barred from competition. The DGPT won on appeal and was able to once again enforce the PDGA’s policy. Natalie was forced to DNF but did not lose her willingness to fight for the right to play. In a now removed Instagram post, she said, “If you thought I was fighting hard before, just wait. They are going to burn with me.” Naturally, this whole situation has produced strong and polarized feelings. As you might expect, the story has been picked up by various non-disc golf media outlets. Look for this story to pick up speed as we approach the Preserve in June.
3. Paige Pierce is back on top
“Reminiscing this and that and having such a good time…”
A lot of the narrative surrounding Paige Pierce this year has centered on her competitive drive (or lack thereof). Well, the 5x world champ is clearing the air. “I absolutely want to win,” she said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t sign up for these events.” This weekend was vintage Paige Pierce, even though she was returning from injury. Good distance, great putting, and largely avoiding the O.B…when Paige can put that together for three straight rounds, she is going to win. “But…
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