At the end of the second round at the annual Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft, it’s business as usual for the world’s No. 1-ranked women’s disc golfer Catrina Allen.
Allen ended the second day of the four-day event at McNaughton Park in Pekin at 11-under par, leading all disc golfers in the Women’s Open division going into Saturday.
“I played good,” Allen said on her perormance Friday afternoon. “I feel like every hole is looking right at you. You should almost have a look at the birdie but even when I got in trouble, I felt like I scrambled well and got up and down. Every opportunity I had, I made the putt. I felt like it was a very solid round.”
She was second (-5) to Des Reading (-6) going into Friday’s round, but took a commanding lead by the end of the day.
“I just feel comfortable on the courses,” Allen said. “We just came from Worlds (Disc Golf Tour), so we didn’t have a lot of time to practice. It was nice to know the courses.”
Allen’s experience showed, making multiple holes look easy.
“I feel like any course can be tough or easy depending on how you’re playing that day, but this one has a lot of trouble,” Allen said. “The fairways are fair but if you get off the fairway it’s tough.”
She led the pack by five strokes by the end of the day.
Reading, Valarie Jenkins and Sarah Hokom all battled against Allen in Friday’s foursome. Jenkins, the No. 3 women’s professional disc golfer in the world, ended the day at two-under par.
“I kind of flip-flopped around,” Allen said. “I got all the hard birdies Thursday but missed all the short ones, and got all the short ones today and missed some of the longer ones, but it turned out to be about the same.”
The Madison, Tennessee native is seeking her fourth consecutive victory at the annual tournament and 16th first place finish this year.
Her interest in disc golf was inspired from playing traditional golf and her husband Paul’s passion for the disc version.
She caddied for some friends at a tournament before 2010 and saw some of the best women’s disc golfers in the world and decided, “If they can do it, so can I.”
Allen won the Women’s United States Disc Golf championship as an amateur, which propelled her up to a professional tournament, where she eventually met her husband.
The hard work has paid off. Allen has made a career out of the sport, accumulating $103,341 in her six professional seasons.
Being at the top of the ranks hasn’t made Allen complacent.
“I just have to set new goals,” Allen said. “I want to qualify for the Men’s United States Disc Golf championship, so that’s my focus (long term).”
As for her current tournament, Allen is confident in her abilities going into the weekend.
“I think if I just keep doing what I’m doing, like I said, I’ve played these courses a lot so that’s an advantage and I feel comfortable on them,” Allen said. “If I can just stick with the mental game as well as the putting, I think I’ll be OK.”
Saturday, Allen will play at Westwood Park in Morton and she’ll return back to Pekin on Sunday to play at Sunset Hills Disc Golf Course.