Eagle Soars to Second Major Win at European Open

McMahon shot the highest average round rating at a major in history

Eagle McMahon. Photo: DGPT

For 240 years, the bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States. Records indicate that in their entire history these birds have only been spotted in Europe two times.

American disc golf has its own Eagle — and he now has as many Major Championship wins across the Atlantic as bald eagles have even been seen there.

Sorry for the horrible metaphor….or simile…or…well, here’s one more: Eagle McMahon won the 2022 European Open with a broken wing. The backhand-only approach by McMahon has already been talked about ad nauseam since his 12-under opening round Thursday. I’m sure he will answer questions from every podcast in the sport about his forehand, or lack thereof, for the next two weeks. For good reason.

Eagle McMahon is arguably the most talented forehand player ever in disc golf, and he won a major championship while throwing zero forehands over the four-round event. To put it in perspective, at the 2019 European Open, Eagle threw 17 forehand shots in the final round alone. 11 of those 17 were off the tee, including the first six drives. The lead to a second place finish behind Paul McBeth. Fast forward to this year and not only does he not throw any forehand shots but instead sprinkles in four left-handed drives.

It is a common thought amongst fans, media, and even other players that McMahon is one the most physically talented disc golfers of all time. He has more high level shots in his game than perhaps anyone in the game, and now his left hand hyzer just adds ambidexterity to his list of elite skills and shots.

Birds of a Feather

Fellow Discmania teammate and Crush Boy Simon Lizotte (finished 16th at European Open) is having his best season in years. The two have only had a few short stints when both were at the top of their games simultaneously. They are as fun of a duo to have at the top of the sport as we have ever had.

The first step in them playing well together is, well, Eagle playing at all. Prior to his course record opening round, Eagle had not played a sanctioned round of disc golf in more than three months. When asked by Lizotte prior to the tournament, McMahon said that for the time being his plans were only to play the European Open and then the World Championships in late August, choosing to take plenty of time to rehab his injured shoulder. Maybe this win will have him reconsidering: his confidence is surely soaring.

A few extra stats about what Eagle accomplished in Finland:

  • Eagle became only the third American to have multiple Major victories in Europe (McBeth, Dave Feldberg)
  • The overall event rating for McMahon was 1074, the highest-ever for a Major.
  • The 17 stroke gap between first and third place was the most of any major in the last 15 years.
  • This was the longest gap ever between a tournament played and a Major win: 89 days between the final round in Jonesboro and the first round in Nokia. The only longer gap between event played and Major won was 1983 Worlds, when it was a much different sport. No other gap has ever even eclipsed 50 days.
  • Eagle only missed two putts inside the circle for the tournament and led the field in strokes gained putting.
  1. Darren LeMay
    Darren LeMay

    Darren LeMay is a contributor at Ultiworld Disc Golf, practicing disc golfer and volunteer soccer dad. When not working as a finance auditor he attends girls youth soccer practices and tournaments all over the Orlando area literally five or six days a week leaving just enough time to never play disc golf. He loves playing disc golf.



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