Tournament Discussion: Redemptive wins for Heimburg, Tattar
Winning for a long time.
April 26, 2022 by Christopher Wiklund in Analysis, Opinion commentary
Calvin Heimburg and Kristin Tattar both left the schneid this weekend with their first wins of the 2022 season at Jonesboro. Both players had heartbreakingly missed winning the Champions Cup last week and were still trying to break through with an Elite Series victory. Heimburg was on the podium, but not in the middle, in all but two events this season. Tattar had been on the left or right side of the podium at every event this season.
Tattar sailed to his victory. Missy Gannon, who finished second for her first podium of the year, lost 10 strokes to Tattar in the end. Tatar dominated. She was first in all but two of the six major statistical categories this weekend: she was fourth in parked at 11% and 10th in C1X at 70%, but she led the pack everywhere else. Tattar only took two bogeys on the weekend and never went out of bounds. It was Tattar’s first time playing the Disc Side of Heaven: it’s no surprise that she did well for her power game off the tee.
So far this season, Tattar has won $18,845 in prize money. In 2019, when Paige Pierce finished on the podium at 16 in what we would now call the Elite Series or Silver Series events, she took home a total of $33,630. We’re less than a third into the season, and Tattar is on track to easily eclipse that total. She probably won’t surpass Missy Gannon’s FPO record of $67,529 from last season (unless she finishes top of the DGPT Championship), but Tattar’s earnings illustrate the significant growth in the FPO purse over the past season. of recent years.
Kat Mertsch and Ella Hansen will likely be happy to meet Tattar’s current earners this season, but they’ve both enjoyed their time at Jonesboro, each landing on the podium at an Elite Series event for the first time this season. (and, for Mertsch, the first time in his career). Mertsch is off to a terrific start to 2022 and argues she should be considered one of the top 10 FPO tour players. Until this year, Mertsch had never finished better than eighth at a DGPT event. This season, she has three top 5 finishes to her credit.
Calvin Heimburg’s second career win at Jonesboro was decidedly more stressful than Tattar’s. Heimburg had to outlast Kevin Jones and defeat Paul McBeth in the playoffs to claim victory. Like Tattar, however, Heimburg was ahead of the pack from the start and quite good on the green. Heimburg took one more bogey than Tattar, but managed to erase those mistakes, bouncing back with a birdie each time.
It was Heimburg’s second career playoff win at an Elite Series event. His 2019 Hall of Fame Classic win over Adam Hammes also required bonus golf. If you want to feel old, go back and watch the event on Jomez. Hammes and Heimburg look positively young.
Going down the back nine in the final round, Heimburg, Jones and McBeth all had legitimate shots for the win. In fact, from the 18th, it was up to anyone to win. Heimburg’s remarkable drive that set up a straightforward result should be in contention for shot of the year.
Although we hate to dwell on the negative, Kevin Jones began to develop a tendency to make costly mistakes at crucial moments during tournaments. This weekend it was his tee shots, but his rollaways on the 16th hole at Worlds and the painful 15th hole at the 2021 Portland Open come to mind as times when Jones seemed bitten by a snake in large places.
If there hadn’t been a playoff between Heimburg and McBeth, Simon Lizotteto climb in the rankings and Alden Harris‘s game would have been maneuvering for position as the most exciting thing to happen this weekend. Lizotte took most of 2021 to tend to an injury, and 2020 was, well, 2020. So it’s been a while since we’ve seen Lizotte on the road regularly, and it’s easy to forget that he is more than cool vlogs and wild lines. People forget or don’t really know about his 2019 season when he was one of the best players on the tour. In 2019, Lizotte was second in lap points and only finished outside the top ten in five of her 26 events. He’s signed up for most of the upcoming season, which is great news.
One of Lizotte’s historical (and not entirely erroneous) criticisms is that in tournament play he can sometimes be more interested in putting on a show than playing to win, and he has even made statements to this effect. On the one hand, this approach has certainly helped make Lizotte one of the most popular players of his generation, but apart from a few events, it has rarely brought him victory. With a young child at home, an elbow that does not necessarily support the effort of putting on a show every time, and a few years of maturation, one has to wonder if Lizotte’s approach to the game has changed and if it will will result in a return to its 2019 form.
During Jomez’s coverage of the second round at Jonesboro, Jeremy Koling pointed out that Alden Harris is a player he and many other pros know well, but isn’t as well known to fans because he doesn’t coverage as often. . For Harris at least, that’s changing. He’s finished in the top 10 at three of the last four events, and The Upshot’s Josh Mansfield even picked him to win at one of the Silver Series events. Koling’s point about the growing depth of the pitch, which means there are a lot of talented players that we’ve never seen, is well understood, and it makes me wonder if the ‘win or nobody’s model’ ‘care’ as disc golf seems to be is a bit broken.