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Logjam at the Top

By Baker Helton

Eagle McMahon summed it up best after his hot start to the 2022 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships.

“You can’t win it on the first day, but you can definitely shoot yourself out of it.”

McMahon certainly didn’t do that as the 40th running of PDGA Worlds kicked off at the Supreme 18 at Jones Park.

Neither did a huge contingent of players.

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A staggering 34 players are within four strokes of the lead, which is shared by McMahon, Garrett Gurthie, Anthony Barela, Aaron Gossage and Väinö Mäkelä.

“It actually felt slow at one point. It wasn’t until the end where I started feeling a little bit comfortable and realized that I need to start stringing some birdies together so that I don’t put myself out of it,” McMahon said.

McMahon birdied the final five holes, the only player in the field to do so. Gossage had a similar stretch of five birdies on the front nine. Mäkelä birdied six-straight. Barela was one of two players in the field to go bogey-free.

Right on their heels are Paul McBeth, who had an interesting day on the putting green, Corey Ellis, who was hindered by a late double bogey, and Zackeriath Johnson, who set the early pace with his 9-under just as the feature groups were teeing off.

Six players are two strokes back at 8-under, including 2018 World Champion Gregg Barsby and Chris Dickerson, who was on pace for the hot round before a double bogey on 18.

The list goes on and on of players who didn’t shoot themselves out of it on the first day.

Four more to go in Emporia and it’s anyone’s game.

Action shifts to the Emporia Country Club for round two. Live coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. CT on the Disc Golf Network.