ESTACADA, Ore. — There was a point in time Sunday at the Beaver State Fling where it seemed like Eagle McMahon was going to enjoy a victory lap.
The 21-year-old entered play with a four-shot lead over Finnish pro Seppo Paju, and he quickly added the second of two early insurance strokes after a stunning, 50-foot uphill birdie connection on hole 2. At a tournament known for its final round drama, McMahon was now ahead by a half dozen strokes, and a wide grin stretched across his face as he shook his head in disbelief, not quite able to believe his good fortune.
It wouldn’t be long, though, before that smile turned to consternation, then stoicism, and — finally — relief.
The Beaver State Fling failed to deliver on its usual playoff promise, but Milo McIver State Park still served as the backdrop for a late-round rollercoaster ride. And when it ultimately came to its merciful end, McMahon lay sprawled on the soft grass on the East Course’s 18th green, recovering from the dizzying final holes that tested his will but rewarded him with a repeat championship at this PDGA National Tour staple.
McMahon’s 5-under par 56 Sunday brought his final tally at the Fling to a 35-under par 209, netting him his fourth victory of 2019 and a $5,000 payday. Paju finished with his career best at an NT, a 34-under par 210 in which he proved why he is one of European disc golf’s brightest lights. Ricky Wysocki finished his steady weekend climb in third place with a 29-under par showing, while James Conrad secured fourth place at 28-down. A.J. Risley, Jordan Castro, and Simon Lizotte shared top 5 honors with their 27-under par 217 totals.
After falling in a playoff the prior weekend at the Portland Open, McMahon was mystified that he almost endured a similar fate just down the road.
“I can’t believe what happened at the Portland Open happened, and I felt like it was gonna happen again, and for it to got the other way was just the biggest weight taken off my back ever,” McMahon said. “When I tapped my putt in after Seppo missed, I legitimately felt emotional. I still feel — i feel incredible, and it’s just a true honor.
“What’s that saying? ‘You’re not a true champion until you defend your title?’” McMahon continued. “That makes me so proud in order to say that.”
Check back later for more updates from the final round of the Beaver State Fling.
McMahon Repeats As Beaver State Fling Champion After Dizzying Final Showdown was originally published here
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