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Running up that Hill – 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open Round 1 Recap

By Nick Quargnenti
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2023 DGPT – Discraft Great Lakes Open Rd 1 Recap

Friday, August 18, 2023 – 09:25

Kevin Jones, Eagle Wynne McMahon and Ohn Scoggins top the leaderboard after round 1 of the 2023 DGPT – Discraft Great Lakes Open

The FPO and MPO fields took to the newly redesigned Toboggan course in the opening round of the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open. The first round of this playoff event proved challenging as both fields dealt with tough weather conditions while trying to stay in bounds and stay focused through weather delays.

Scoggins Playing Smart

“Just throw the disc and try to keep it in bounds. If it’s not, it’s okay, it’s a tough course,” Ohn Scoggins said after taking the lead in the opening round of the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open.

Swirling winds made for a tough day as the FPO players fought to stay in bounds out on the Toboggan course, which features some new pin positions and tighter OB lines. While some holes like the newly redesigned hole 18 saw more birdies on day one than in all three rounds of last year’s tournament, multiple holes saw no birdies in the opening round. Every player in the field took at least one bogey and one OB stroke as they navigated the constant elevation changes of the Toboggan course.

Scoggins only went OB once and made all of her putts inside the circle to finish at seven strokes under par. While Scoggins is not known for having massive distance off the tee, she consistently plays smart to get herself to the top of the leaderboard. Scoggins has finished in 2nd place at the last two Elite Series events (the Discraft Ledgestone Open and the LWS Open at Idlewild), proving her ability to climb up the leaderboard on drastically different courses.

The new tighter OB lines on many holes can play to Scoggins’ advantage because they align with how she approaches the course. By picking apart each hole, choosing her landing zones, and then executing her gameplan during the tournament, Scoggins is able to score without needing huge distance off tee.

“It makes you play smarter,” Scoggins said of the course redesign, “You don’t even need to throw far, you just want to be in bounds.”

While the rest of the leaderboard is tightly packed, Scoggins is three strokes clear of Lykke Lorentzen and Kat Mertsch who are currently tied for 2nd at four-under. According to StatMando: this is Scoggins’ first post-round outright lead at an Elite Series event. Scoggins has multiple shared Elite post-round leads as well as outright Silver leads.

Even with multiple podium finishes and a Silver Series win on the DGPT as well as two Major wins in the FP40 division this year alone, Scoggins is still looking for her first Elite Series win. Now with another opportunity for an Elite Series victory, Scoggins looks ahead to the next three rounds.

“Here’s the thing, this is disc golf. Sometimes you play good, sometimes you play bad. I feel like as long as you keep it in bounds, I think four or five down should be no problem,” Scoggins said after round 1, “If I play hot, I can do 10 down.

Jonesing for a Wynne

The MPO field had a tumultuous start in the opening round of the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open with multiple weather delays causing late tee times and forcing players off the course during their round. On top of that, the newly redesigned Toboggan course proved challenging as the whole field averaged over par for the day.

At the end of the first day, the MPO division is once again locked up in an absolute logjam with all but two players in the field finishing in ties. Eagle McMahon and Kevin Jones shared the hot round at eight-under while the next ten players, including defending 2022 DGLO champion Calvin Heimburg, are tied for 3rd place at five-under.

“It was such an interesting day, partially due to the weather but also because this is a brand-new course,” Kevin Jones said after round 1, “We’ve played this one many years coming but this layout is totally different and I was excited to see what happened.”

Jones played clean in round 1, finishing as one of only two players to avoid taking a bogey and one of four players to avoid going out of bounds. Paired with a perfect putting performance within the circle and a 100% scramble rate, Jones didn’t give any strokes back to the course.

“I was happy to shoot bogey-free, it was kind of on my mind a little bit. I feel like it’s been a while since I shot bogey-free.”

Jones has had four top ten finishes at Elite Series events so far this season, including a 2nd place finish in the beginning of the season at the Las Vegas Challenge. A win this weekend would give Jones his first Elite Series victory since the 2020 Green Mountain Championship.

McMahon showed impressive control on the tee, balancing power with accuracy to lead the field with 7.97 strokes gained tee to green. Although he had a slow start as he missed the first two holes, McMahon jumpstarted his round with a 66ft throw-in to take a birdie on hole 5.

“I really like throwing up and down hills, I think that’s one of the most fun things to do in disc golf. It just brings a whole new element and challenge especially at a course like Toboggan,” McMahon said after tying Jones’ hot round.

So far, McMahon has won DGLO each time he’s competed, having won the tournament in 2020 and 2021. A win this weekend would get McMahon his first Elite Series victory since his 2021 DGLO title. After suffering a shoulder injury in late 2021, McMahon has been steadily returning to the DGPT, taking a Silver Series win at the 2023 Beaver State Fling and a top five finish at both Majors so far this year.

“The weather’s out of my control and I just have to focus on what is in my control,” McMahon said of persevering through the difficult conditions, “I made way more good shots than bad shots and that’s what I can be proud of.”

The weather is looking to clear up as the action continues in round 2 of the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open.

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