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Great Finish at the Great Lakes – 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open Final Round Recap

By Nick Quargnenti
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2023 DGPT – Discraft Great Lakes Open Final Recap

Monday, August 21, 2023 – 13:02

Photos by Kevin Huver / DGPT

The 2023 DGPT — Discraft Great Lakes Open saw two dramatic finishes as Ohn Scoggins fought to maintain her lead while Simon Lizotte and Eagle McMahon battled for the win on the slopes of the Toboggan course.

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Ohn in the Zone

After shooting the hot round three days in a row, Ohn Scoggins came into the final round of the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open with a six-stroke lead. Now with her first Elite Series win in sight, Scoggins took to the Toboggan course one last time to maintain her lead over a charging Ella Hansen.

“Six strokes is a pretty good lead but of course anything could happen,” Scoggins said of staying focused on putting together one more solid round, “I feel like whatever they birdie out there I can birdie too.”

As the lead card approached the final stretch, Hansen made a push with four birdies in a row from holes 12 through 15. Meanwhile, Scoggins was staring down an uphill circle 2 putt on hole 15. Not willing to give up any strokes, Scoggins cashed in the putt for a birdie to keep up with Hansen’s pace and maintain a four-stroke lead going into the last few holes.

Hansen and Scoggins matched scores over the next two holes, leaving Scoggins with an insurmountable lead going into hole 18. Scoggins’ approach shot went OB and left her with the simple choice to lay up for the bogey. Even with a two-stroke swing on the final hole and an eight-under hot round from Hansen, Scoggins was able to stay two strokes ahead as she tapped in one last putt for the win.

Coming into the event, Scoggins had 14 podium finishes at Elite Series events and Majors on tour including 2nd place finishes at the last two Elite Series events. After coming close so many times, Scoggins finally got her first Elite Series win.

“I have been trying this for so long,” Scoggins yelled to the crowd after she hoisted the trophy on hole 18, “Finally I got one, this means a lot to me.”

 

Scoggins’ meticulous gameplay kept her in the lead throughout the weekend, relying more on accurate approach shots rather than distance off the tee. She was fearless on the putting green, making 92% of her Circle 1 putts and leading the field with 10.96 strokes gained putting overall.  With the fewest amount of OB strokes and no double bogeys throughout the weekend (one of only two players to do so), Scoggins rarely gave up any of her hard-earned birdies.

Scoggins’ win at the 2023 DGLO makes her the 8th different player to win an Elite Series event or Major in the FPO field this year. According to StatMando, this sets the record for the most unique winners in any season.

Now with a huge momentum boost, Scoggins looks forward to the upcoming World Championships.

“I feel like I have a chance,” Scoggins said after already winning two Majors in the FP40 division earlier this year, “I want to take at least maybe top 5.”

In just ten days, Scoggins will take on the rest of the FPO field in the 2023 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Jeffersonville, Vermont.

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The Ultimate Simon Line

The final round of the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open saw some throw-ins and tight finishes at the top of the leaderboard for the MPO field, but ultimately the battle for 1st came down to Simon Lizotte and Eagle McMahon. McMahon shared the lead with Kevin Jones in the first two rounds and Lizotte’s 11-under hot round on day 3 landed both Lizotte and McMahon in a tie for 1st going into Championship Sunday.

McMahon had won DGLO each prior time he had played the event, but Lizotte had momentum from going bogey-free and jumping up the leaderboard in round 3. Lizotte got off to another hot start, making a birdie putt from circle 2 on hole 1 and proceeding to birdie the next three as well.

“It was kind of the dream start for me and I just cruised from there,” Lizotte said of repeating his four-through-four start from the day before, “In my mind it felt so hard to do but at the end of it, I feel like I kind of made it look easy.”

As the round continued, Lizotte had built a two-stroke lead going into hole 16. McMahon was up first but his drive hit a tree and didn’t cross into the island green, forcing him to proceed to a drop zone. Much to everyone’s surprise, Lizotte threw his drive high, crossing over the island but going out of bounds long as his disc hit the trees behind the basket.

 

“Eagle was only two back and I just told myself that if Eagle goes OB, then the smartest play is just to try and throw as hard as I can at the basket and try to go OB long because you get a drop basically from like 10 feet,” Lizotte said of his decision to intentionally throw his drive OB with only three holes left to play.

Lizotte’s plan worked out as he was left with a short par putt while McMahon’s attempt to save the par from the drop zone was unsuccessful. The shot was reminiscent of classic ‘Simon Lines’ as Lizotte is known for his creativity, often seeing solutions that others would never think of. However, instead of a risky shot through a gap no one else would ever attempt, Lizotte’s play on hole 16 seemed more like a chess move as he knew McMahon was his main competition going into the final stretch.

“I never thought of that gameplan before I stepped up to that hole but in the moment, it all came together and I think it was the right play,” Lizotte said as he reflected on the final round.

Lizotte took a conservative approach as he played the final two holes for par, knowing McMahon would need to pull off something miraculous to make up three strokes on two of the most difficult holes on the course. Lizotte’s measured approach paid off as he finished 10-under on the day without a single bogey on his scorecard. In fact, Lizotte went bogey-free through the last two rounds while still picking up birdies on 50% of the holes throughout the weekend.

 

“Golf is a game of smarts sometimes where you’ve just got to play the safe and smart shots, which I’m obviously not known for,” Lizotte said, referencing his reputation for showmanship, “I can do it, I have to be really disciplined to do it and when I’m in contention it’s much easier to do it.”

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With one last short putt for par, Lizotte got his second Elite Series win of the season. Lizotte has six Elite Series wins dating back to the 2022 OTB Open, which according to StatMando is two more wins than any other MPO player in this stretch.

In less than two weeks, Lizotte will have a chance for his first win at a Major as the MPO field takes on the 2023 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Jeffersonville, Vermont.

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