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Estonia's Tattar earns first USWDGC title for Europe

Kristin Tattar waves to the gallery after completing her United States Women's Disc Golf Championship victory. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen

In the 21 years since its inaugural running in 1999, the United States has claimed the title for each United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship. The number of non-Americans to win PDGA Majors is few and far between in general in the 41 years since the PDGA was founded, especially in the Open Women’s division. That all changed today, as Estonia’s Kristin Tattar bested Paige Pierce to earn the USWDGC title for herself and for her all of her fans at home.

Tattar, having just five years of PDGA events under her belt, was mostly unknown to the American disc golf fanbase until 2018 when she made her first trek across the pond. After an eighth-place finish at the 2018 Pro Worlds followed by a second-place finish at the 2018 Delaware Disc Golf Challenge a week later, Tattar continued to make a name for herself by taking home fourth at the 2018 USWDGC.

That was the last we’d see of Tattar in the states until she returned in 2019, when she continued to prove that she was a top contender no matter where she was competing. Once again she finished in the top 10 at Pro Worlds, and once again she finished in second at the Delaware Disc Golf Challenge, not to mention back-to-back second-place finishes at two of the Disc Golf Pro Tour’s premier events, the MVP Open at Maple Hill and the Green Mountain Championships at Smugglers’ Notch.

With even more experience and confidence and an endlessly growing fanbase, Tattar played all three rounds at the USWDGC to near perfection, despite dealing with much hotter temperatures than she is used to.

After both Tattar and Pierce pulled away from the rest of the field after round two, where Tattar tied it up with Pierce with the hot round at Hawk Hollow of 7-under par, the duo battled it out at Loriella Park with the title on the line. It was a back-and-forth nailbiter through the front nine, with Tattar regaining the lead with a birdie on hole 8. Both Tattar and Pierce made several mistakes on the back nine off the tee, but Tattar’s putting and her ability to put herself into a great position even while scrambling gave her the edge.

When it was all said and done, Tattar tapped in for a birdie on 18 to shoot the hot round of 6-under par 57, also shot by Rebecca Cox and Hannah Leatherman, to become the 2019 USWDGC champion.

“It feels great,” Tattar said. “It’s so overwhelming, to be honest. I’ve been waiting for a big win for a long time and now I finally have it and it feels great. Every time I’m in a big tournament I tend to not play great, especially Major tournaments. I have won a lot of A-Tiers but never a Major tournament. It feels good to finally put together three decent rounds.”

The talent that’s coming from overseas in recent years is truly inspiring, and Tattar wants to help push even more European men and women travel abroad to compete.

“I hope I inspire more Europeans to come over here and not be scared of the Americans,“ Tattar said with a laugh. “They’re just human beings and they play the same as we do. I hope everybody will come out here and try their best. Henna [Blomroos] and Eveliina [Salonen], they’re definitely some of the world’s best players. I compete with them all the time and I see how good they are, and I wish they could come over here a lot more because they’d be competing for the titles all the time, I’m sure.”

“I just wanna thank all the Estonian fans. They’re just great," Tattar continued. "They’re messaging me all the time and there are so many of them. They all helped to fund this trip as well, so, thank you, everybody.”

Pierce’s second-place finish showcased a level of sportsmanship that should be admired in any sport. She thoroughly enjoyed the intense competition with Tattar and was genuinely elated for her victory. The only thing she was disappointed in was herself, but she spoke far less about that and far more about how great of a competitor Tattar was. Even her speech during the awards ceremony was largely a congratulation to Tattar.

While the Open Women’s division lead card was teeing off, the Masters Women 40+ division was finishing up their last few holes. Elaine King was duking it out with a European as well, Switzerland’s Natalie Holloköi, who made a push during the second round to come within one stroke of King heading into the final round.

The battle was similar to that of Tattar and Pierce, as King and Holloköi went toe-to-toe through most of the course, with King still holding just a one-stroke lead heading into hole 13. To say King isn’t new to the pressure of high-stakes competition would be the biggest understatement in disc golf history: Not only does she have the most career wins -- 276, including 15 Majors after her victory today -- she is now the first Masters Women 40+ competitor to sweep all three of the PDGA Majors in a single year (Pro Masters Worlds, Tim Selinske US Masters, USWDGC).

The love was flowing as King, Holloköi, Barrett White (fifth most career wins of all time), and Kelly Boyce took to the tee on the last hole.

Congratulations to all of the 2019 USWDGC champions and to all of the women that came out for what turned out to be the single largest women's disc golf event in PDGA history. And congratulations to the Spotsy Disc Golf staff for putting on an incredible event.

The 2020 USWDGC will take place in Placer Valley, California.

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