The final rounds at Discraft’s 2017 Memorial Championship started off with an unexpected change to the women’s lead card, thus shifting the final battle from three players to four. Madison Walker had to withdraw from the last day due to illness, and Jessica Weese was bumped up to the 9:56 am tee time. The morning was cool with very little breeze, and a handful of strokes separated all four women from each other fairly evenly.
Despite the best efforts of Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokum, and Weese, Paige Pierce had a solid game plan that she executed flawlessly to take home the win. Knowing her own skill set was key to her success: “[On] certain holes I felt confident on my putts even at the water, it just really depended on the shot at hand. If I walked up to a putt and didn’t feel confident I layed up before I could think about it, and if I did I went with it.”
Mental Games Seemed To Improve All Around
After speaking with several of the top finishing women after Saturday’s round, it was clear that the pros are really hitting their stride and feeling confident now that the 2017 tour is kicking into high gear. With a solid final round at -3, Val Jenkins moved into third place to finish the week strong. “It felt really great today, I’m happy to finish the tournament on a good note like this. It all came together today,” Jenkins said.
Through hole nine, Pierce had only carded one bogey, and it was clear to many that she was going to do whatever it took to maintain her lead. While this left some others visibly frustrated, Hokum kept a smile on her face and made jokes throughout the round. “Your mental game has so much to do with it; my goal was to stay positive the whole weekend and I did that. I ended up 2nd but I really did meet all of the goals I was trying to meet,” Sarah said when asked about her demeanor today.
Drama In The Men’s Final Round
The men’s lead card teed off at 2:00 pm with warm weather and close scores. Topping the leaderboard was Ricky Wysocki, Simon Lizotte, Nate Sexton, and four-time Memorial champion Paul McBeth. With all four players knowing this course like the backs of their hands, it was anyone’s game. Paul began his charge when he gained one stroke on Wysocki and Sexton, and two strokes on Lizotte after hole one. From there, the momentum continued.
None of the men on the top card had major missteps – all told, only four bogeys were carded amongst the group. Pars and birdies were traded back and forth between all of them, but consistency for Paul made the difference: “Out on these courses you can get on streaks, I was able to keep it under control.”
Knowing that Wysocki can push Paul to go harder, McBeth was happy with how he strategized his final round, saying “I was never trailing which made it a lot easier, never got behind. I always had a cushion on Ricky because he could explode at any time.”
Wins Were Well Earned
Coming down to the wire, McBeth was able to secure first place with a one-stroke lead over Simon, and Paige held her ground to finish 13 strokes ahead of second place. We love the show that all of the players put on for us this week! The three courses used for The Memorial Championship offer great variety and truly test player’s skills and resolve.
Good luck to everyone continuing the tour and competing in Texas in the next few weeks!
Written by Courtney Elder