The Year of the Shield is more than just some noise coming from Discmania CEO Jussi Meresmaa. Our entire team has bought into the plan. The Year of the Shield is no joke after what Team Discmania did at the Memorial Championship in Arizona. If you aren’t on board yet, there is plenty of time to join us on what has been a very exciting start to the 2018 season.
One week after Eagle McMahon took down the first PDGA National Tour event with his win at the Las Vegas Challenge, McMahon’s teammate, Simon Lizotte, took the top honors at the Memorial. Lizotte tore through the lead event for the 2018 Disc Golf Pro Tour with ease en route to his first win of the season.
McMahon was right on Lizotte’s heels the entire tournament before finishing three strokes behind in second place. This was the first time Lizotte and McMahon have finished together in the top two spots at a tournament.
Lizotte’s Path to Victory
Right from the outset of the first round, Lizotte was in contention. After being one stroke back after the first 18 holes, Lizotte kept himself out of trouble and had his putter working from nearly any distance. In fact, of the 72 holes in the tournament, Lizotte had 46 birdies, 23 pars, and only three bogies. Lizotte birdied 64% of the holes he faced.
Lizotte says his putting game was the most important factor, “I felt very confident inside the circle and also made a good amount of putts outside the circle. For my standards, I played really safe and took my chances when I got them.”
Round three was when Lizotte made his most damage. Thanks to a bogey-free -14 round, Lizotte positioned himself in a strong position for the victory with just 18 holes to play. Lizotte did have company though as he held a two-shot lead over McMahon heading into the final day of the tournament.
“Things were going my way and I could feel that,” Lizotte said after the tournament. “When you have a feeling like that, it is important to stay calm and focused. I feel like I did exactly that.”
After three birdies to start the round, Lizotte fell into a bogie-par-par string which allowed McMahon to tie things up with 12 holes remaining. The duo was still in a comfortable position as they had a four shot lead on the rest of the field.
From that point on, the duo matched each other nearly shot for shot. Thanks to a few key putts, Lizotte was able to approach the final hole of the tournament with a two shot advantage. After a safe drive and an approach to right below the basket, Lizotte tossed home his Discmania P1x to take home the win.
McMahon Follows Vegas with Second Place Finish
With momentum clearly on his side following the win in Las Vegas, McMahon gave Lizotte all he could handle throughout the tournament. McMahon started the tournament by hitting a birdie on the entire back-nine of the Fountain Hills course.
It nearly seemed like an old-fashioned boxing prize fight between the two. Tied at times and exchanging strong drive for strong drive, it was almost as if you were watching the same shot two times in a row.
McMahon also remained out of trouble with only four bogies the entire tournament. This, combined with 44 birdies, helped him to his second place finish.
Shue Turns Heads
Remember the guy we told you about earlier in the week? Team Discmania’s Grady Shue might have surprised many with his efforts in Arizona, but his strong finish was no shock to us.
Shue quietly put together four solid rounds to finish in a tie for sixth place. Shue showed he can hang with the big names in the sport. This won’t be the last time you hear from our upcoming star.
It was a strong showing by Team Discmania with four in the top 20!
1. Simon Lizotte (-43)
2. Eagle McMahon (-40)
T6: Grady Shue (-31)
T20: Colten Montgomery (-26)
T73: Bart Kowalewski