Vinny Back on Top – 2024 DDO Champion

Keep ‘Em Coming  

Team Innova is racking up the wins! At last weekend’s 2024 Dynamic Discs Open, Calvin Heimburg charged to victory with a stellar final round. That brings Innova to four wins in just nine events this year. In the FPO, Hailey King went to a playoff for the second year in a row. She took 2nd place at the event, her best finish of 2024 so far. 

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Heimborg Engage 

Vinny is back in the top spot! After 371 days without a win on Tour, Calvin Heimburg took down last weekend’s 2024 DDO in dominant fashion. This win ties Calvin as the 2nd winningest player of the past five years at Majors and Elite Series. 

Photo by DGPT

Vinny went into the final round of the 2024 DDO down one stroke to Ricky Wysocki, but the tables quickly turned. Calvin got off to a statement start, shooting an unprecedented seven down through the first seven holes. When Calvin made a mistake off the tee or on an approach, he made up for it with a clutch putt. His only missed opportunities came at the end of the round when Vinny had things mostly locked up. Ultimately Calvin came out three strokes ahead of Gannon Buhr who was playing from the chase card. 

The only way to beat such a strong field by such a wide margin is world-class play off both the tee and on the green. Calvin led the field in C1 and C2 Hits in Regulation. Once he hit the green, he tended to make his putt. Vinny was top ten in the field in Strokes Gained Putting. 

This is Calvin’s 5th year in a row winning at least one DGPT event. He has been at the top of the game for years, but his ceiling seems to keep pushing higher each season. His consistency over the past two years has been unrivaled. Between his last Pro Tour win roughly one year ago and his win last weekend, Vinny finished in the top five at 16 of 20 Pro Tours and Majors that he entered. 

This was Calvin’s first week back throwing forehands after an injury that limited his play up to this point in the season. With his full arsenal of shots available, Calvin beat the field handily. We are still early in the year with the most important events yet to happen. The reigning Player of the Year is just getting warmed up. Watch out!

The Pressure of a Playoff 

Hailey King went into a playoff for the DDO title for the second year in a row. This year she was edged out by Missy Gannon, but still secured her first Pro Tour podium of the season. 

Photo by DGPT

The final round in FPO was beyond dramatic. Three players started the round tied for the lead. Two others sat within two strokes. All five of those athletes were in contention for the win until the final few holes. 

On the island hole 16, Hailey King threw what looked like a near perfect drive, only to be rejected by the sloped green and sent into the water. Had Hailey’s disc stuck, she could have picked up two strokes and strolled to the win. Unphased, Hailey stepped up and birdied 17 to pick up a one stroke lead. On 18, after a great drive, Hailey’s approach shot found the water, opening the door for Missy Gannon to tie things back up. In the playoff, Hailey struggled on hole 17 allowing Missy to take home the title. 

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Hailey led the field in C1 Hits in Regulation for the weekend. She was giving herself opportunities for birdie on more holes than anyone else in the field. She also led in Scramble rate for the event. If Hailey made one or two more C1x putts or cleaned up a couple late mistakes, she would have taken down this win. With how strong her game looked and how fixable her mistakes were, Hailey’s first win of the season feels right around the corner. 

Innova Top Performances 

Kat Mertsch secured her fifth top ten so far this season, taking 7th place at the 2024 DDO. She was 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained C2. 

Emily Beach and Ohn Scoggins finished in a tie for 9th. This was Emily’s first top ten of the year so far. Ohn Scoggins remains in 3rd place of the DGPT Point Standings. 

In the MPO, Innova rising star Cal Lonnquist had the best Pro Tour finish of his career. He tied for 11th place.

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Innova Team member and Belize national, Randy Dueck, also had his best-ever Pro Tour finish at 19th. He led the field in C2 Putting, going 5 for 7.

Special shoutout to Jeremy “Big Jerm” Koling on his first Disc Golf Network live broadcast. The legend of Jomez commentary’s skills translate extremely well to live. Jerm was funny, insightful, and well-spoken. Congrats on a successful first run in a long career of live commentary to come. 

Pro Tour Heads to Europe

This weekend’s 2024 Copenhagen Open will be the first Disc Golf Pro Tour of the year held in Europe. Unlike in years’ past, the Tour is entering a stretch of alternating events between the States and Europe. Many players are committing to either a full European tour or the West coast swing in the states. All DGPT events will award the same points for end-of-year standings. Follow the DGPT live on the Disc Golf Network. Check for tournament recaps, tips, Innova news, and more. 

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