Eveliina Salonen with Comeback Victory at 2024 Chess.com Invitational

2024 DGPT Season Begins

The long wait is finally over! The Disc Golf Pro Tour is back and Team Innova is already off to the races. Eveliina Salonen took down the 2024 Chess.com Invitational in a thrilling final round with multiple lead changes. She set a course record and overcame a two-stroke deficit, ultimately winning by a comfortable margin of 5. This victory marks the start of a bright year to come for Eveliina and for Team Innova overall. 

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Salonen Starts Season with a Bang 

After nearly 4 years without a win in the States, Eveliina Salonen came out last weekend determined to change that script. She shot the 2nd hottest round on opening day at -5 and the hot final round at -8 to earn the win at the 2024 Chess.com Invitational. She averaged 1012 rated for the tournament, 42 points above her player rating. Eveliina clearly had a productive off season and looks in top form. 

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Eveliina went on a heater in the final round, setting the course record at 8 under par. That round came in at a scorching 1031. She found C1 in regulation on half the holes and had an 81% Fairway Hit rate. 

Eveliina is consistently one of the top throwers in the field, hitting 75% of Fairways for the event. That said, it was her putting that brought her this win. After struggling on the green in the first round, Eveliina found an unwavering confidence in her stroke. In the final round, she did not miss a putt from inside the circle except her layup for the win. An early-season victory like this builds confidence, hopefully keeping the putter hot through the next events. Welcome back to the winners’ circle, Eveliina! 

It just felt like I was in a practice round and I wasn’t scared at all at any moment.
-Eveliina Salonen

Innova FPO in Top 10

Eveliina’s good friend and touring partner, Henna Blomroos, played a great tournament as well. She earned 5th place. Two tough holes at the end of the final round kept Henna off the podium, but she proved that she will be a top contender at events this year. 

Ohn Scoggins finished in a tie for 7th place. She looked as sharp on the putting green as ever, making 87% of her C1x putts for the event. Ohn is still recovering from an injury at the end of last year. If she is already taking top 10s, even with a lingering elbow problem, she will be a force to be reckoned with once back at 100%. 

Kat Mertsch secured a top 10 finish as well. She hit an 88-foot putt on the second hole of the first round that was one of the most memorable highlights from the entire tournament. 

Innova MPO Top Performers

In the MPO, Bradley Williams had a stellar final round, launching 33 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 17th. He shot a 1054-rated, -7, making 100% of his C1x putts and executing 7 out of 7 scramble shots. 

Rising star Calvin Lonnquist had the best DGPT finish of his young career, tying for 34th. We shared a video of an amazing ace by Cal just two weeks back which was the first time many people in the disc golf community heard his name – Remember it. He’s here to stay. 

Star Team members Garrett Gurthie and Calvin Heimburg both tied for 34th as well.

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Deeper Fields and Larger Payouts 

The stage is set for the most competitive season of disc golf yet, with more top players competing each weekend for larger payouts. Big name sponsors from outside disc golf, such as Chess.com, put more eyes on our tournaments. The combination of the DGPT and European Pro Tour means more European athletes competing in the States and more Americans heading overseas. Taking home the early victory, given how deep the fields have become and how hungry the players are for a win, is more impressive this year than ever before. Eveliina’s victory is an encouraging start for Team Innova and should be a catalyst for more team success this season.

The post Eveliina Salonen with Comeback Victory at 2024 Chess.com Invitational appeared first on Innova Disc Golf.

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