2024 Music City Open Preview: Time to Shred

The bird is back -- hopefully.

The 2023 FPO trophy for the Music City Open. Photo: DGPT

Fresh off the Jonesboro Open, the Disc Golf Pro Tour now heads 280 miles east to Nashville, Tennessee, for the Music City Open. The event is hosted at Mill Ridge Park and first joined the Elite Series back in 2021; it was the last event ever held on the former PDGA National Tour.

In 2022, the MCO was a part of the DGPT Silver Series but regained its Elite status for 2023. The tournament also awarded the best trophy of the 2023 season: a custom Gibson electric guitar. With Gibson signed on once again as a sponsor, let’s hope this year’s winners get a chance to compete for the same prize.

Last year, Chris Dickerson entered the final day with a two-stroke lead over Anthony Barela. While Barela was able to match his effort from the previous round, Dickerson was struggling to card birdies. With eight birdies in a row to finish and matching the hot round of the day, Simon Lizotte was able to beat Barela by one stroke from the chase card to earn his first win of the 2023 season. In FPO, Holyn Handley held a one stroke lead over Jennifer Allen, Macie Velediaz and Kristin Tattar. Handley struggled early on and Tattar was slowly able to pull away from the rest of the lead card, resulting in a five-stroke victory.

Past Winners

YearTierOpenOpen Women
2023DGPTSimon LizotteKristin Tattar
2022DGPT SilverChris DickersonMissy Gannon
2021NTMason FordHailey King
2020AAlden HarrisHolly Finley
2019AChris DickersonCatrina Allen
2018AChris DickersonMadison Walker
2017A/BChris DickersonSara Lamberson
2016BTodd BagwellKelly Tucker
2015BSimon LizottePaige Pierce
2014BWill SchusterickKelly Jenkins
2013AMatt OrumPaige Pierce
2012BCam ColglazierKetley Rarick
2011BWill SchusterickCatrina Allen
2010BKen ClimoAmanda Duncan

Four Things We’ll Be Watching

1. The long-awaited return of Eagle McMahon has at last arrived — hopefully. It has been over 900 days since McMahon injured his shoulder while filming a video for Jomez prior to the 2021 DGPT Championship. Eagle initially opted not to have surgery, which caused him to miss most of the 2022 season and abandon his sidearm entirely. Despite this, he still managed to win the European Open while posting the highest event rating of all-time at a Major and dethroning Paul McBeth, who had won the event five consecutive times coming into the tournament. Eagle, still not at 100%, played 15 Elite or Major events in 2023 and finished inside the top four at more than half of them. Despite the success, which included implementing a modified sidearm throw to reduce the stress on his shoulder, McMahon opted to have surgery at the end of the season and has been rehabbing since. It’s been nearly three years since his last DGPT Elite Series win, yet he remains tied with Calvin Heimburg for the 3rd most wins all-time. Here’s hoping that the shoulder issues are not only behind Eagle, but he can return to his prior form.

Unfortunately, Eagle posted on Instagram that he has been dealing with some back issues this week and seems like it will be a game-time decision about whether or not he competes in this weekend’s event.

2. It certainly seems like the year of Anthony Barela after he managed to pick up yet another win in Jonesboro. Barela is the first back-to-back MPO winner on the DGPT since Simon Lizotte in 2022, and the first since Eagle McMahon in 2021 to win three of the first five. Close on his heels these past two events were Calvin Heimburg and Ezra Aderhold. Heimburg finished 3rd here last year, and Aderhold came in 11th after a difficult final round, though he was on the lead card for rounds 2 and 3. Keep your eye on Gannon Buhr as well who also finished 3rd here last season and should be looking to rebound after a somewhat disappointing performance in Jonesboro.

3. After a string of five unique winners to start the season, it suddenly feels like Kristin Tattar vs. everyone else in the FPO division again. Kristin got out to a dominant start in Jonesboro and never looked back, winning the event by nine strokes. Tattar now returns to an event that she won by five strokes last year and kicked off a run of three consecutive wins. If Kristin is able to win the MCO, she will be sitting in the exact same position that Anthony Barela is now, winning three of her first five DGPT events and the clear Player of the Year favorite.

4. Last year’s champion Simon Lizotte posted earlier this week that he intends to play the MCO despite dealing with some back problems throughout Jonesboro.  He is not registered to play in the Champions Cup next week — he’s planned since the start of the season to miss the first MPO Major — and does not have another event on his schedule until the Portland Open at the end of May. One player who’s had great success here in the past is 4-time champion Chris Dickerson. A Tennessee-native, Dickerson has played 100 MPO events in the state with an average finish of 1.87. Chris announced on his Instagram earlier this week that he has been diagnosed with moderate to severe osteoarthritis in his hip as well as avascular necrosis. He goes on to say that this shouldn’t have any impact on his disc golf career and that he has a lot left to give to this sport. While Dickerson is a 2-time Major winner, 2-time tour champion, and 2-time Silver winner on the DGPT, he only has one standard Elite win back in 2021. Picking up a win this weekend at a familiar venue would certainly be a big lift for someone who has gotten some unfortunate news to start the year.

Course Changes

Mill Ridge is a temporary course that features rolling hills, long open holes, solo trees, and some thicker wooded areas as well. Some of the rough areas on the course have dense thorns, further incentivizing players to keep their disc in the fairway. There is also a pond that will come into play on holes 9 and 10.

This course has seen several changes to the layout throughout the years: 2024 is no exception. The layout has been completely reworked for 2024 with four completely new holes, two that have been significantly modified, and two more that have been combined into one. As a result, both layouts are quite a bit longer compared to last year. Only nine holes from last year’s layout remain mostly unchanged, but the ordering has been entirely reworked.

2024 MPO: 11,059 Foot Par 67
2023 MPO: 9,977 Foot Par 65

2024 FPO: 9,577 Foot Par 67
2023 FPO: 8,733 Foot Par 66

Extended Forecast

Conditions should be primed for low scores with moderate temperatures and low winds in the forecast throughout the weekend.

Friday: Overcast with highs in the upper 60s. Winds 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with highs in the mid 60s. Winds 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday: Cloudy with highs near 60. Winds 5 to 10 mph.

  1. Justin Westfall
    Justin Westfall

    Justin Westfall is a contributor at Ultiworld Disc Golf who enjoys living in Southern California, where he can play disc golf year-round. Off the course, he works in the film industry and prides himself on being a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan. You can find Justin on Twitter and Instagram @PDGAStats.


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