What makes a moment truly historic? The setting of a stage, the precedence of the moment, a valiant hero, the clashing of titans? We think all of these are essential, and are exactly what makes Eagle's victory at European Open one of the greatest moments in disc golf history.
A Grand Stage
European Open's venue, The Beast, forces greatness in all scenarios to reign supreme. Booming drives, touchy approaches, tight technicalities, angle control, and OB management are just some necessities to succeed. Jussi Meresmaa's course design provides players and spectators one of the greatest competitive stages in disc golf.
Combining the challenge of The Beast with crowds of over 5500 people makes for a truly electric environment. The question is, who will be charged up and who will be shocked by the current?
Offering competitors a large purse, international fame, and prestigious title - European Open has been the premier disc golf event in Europe since its founding in 2006. EO boasts Champions such as David Feldberg, Ken Climo, Valerie Jenkins, and Paige Pierce. Putting your name amongst these greats is an honor rivaled only by the likes of USDGC and World Championships.
Since 2019, two years passed without a European Open. During which, the popularity of disc golf and desire for premier disc golf events has grown exponentially. With the return of this tournament comes an ecstatic environment from the international crowd, and disc golf fans around the globe.
A Hero Rises
Eagle McMahon's meteoric rise to fame is a story familiar to most any disc golf fan. The Crush Boy has been tearing up tour stops, making highlight reels, and inspiring others for years now. When his injury struck, causing him to take a break from tour, all of us were left with so many questions. When will he return? Will he be able to compete at the same level? This is where Eagle's heroic mentality took control.
Rather than getting lost in the questions and doubts, Eagle focused on what he could control. With the assistance of friends, family, health professionals, trainers, and more - he rehabbed until he could compete again. He even came out of rehab with a few surprises. In the place of a signature forehand, he was now sporting a 1000+ rated left hand!
Eagle's return to the highest level of competition was celebrated across the world. Yet the question remained - would our hero return to competitive greatness and how quickly?
A Clash of Titans
It is impossible to think of European Open without thinking of the name Paul McBeth. Five-time reigning European Open Champion, and arguably the greatest MPO player of all time - Paul's legacy at this event is a force in itself. The intensity battling one of the sport's most dominant competitors can not be overstated.
It was clear to everyone after 2 rounds that this was a two man battle for the title of Champion, as Paul and Eagle quickly separated themselves from the rest of the competitive field. Neither let off the gas down to the very end, pushing each other to attack The Beast and inch every advantage possible. Down to the last putt the competition was alive and well, resulting in the largest two man separation from the rest of the field in the history of disc golf Majors. Regardless of the victor, this McBattle of a lifetime is one they both can be proud of.
The Sweetest Victory
Final round. Eagle stands 20 feet away from 18's basket. He has a one stroke advantage over the legend, Paul McBeth. A crowd of thousands in his view, all holding their breath waiting for his next movement. Just one last putt to cement a historic victory. He breathes deep, finding solace in his routine. He pitches back, and fires. It's a make!
Words truly can not express the emotions we felt during Eagle's celebration. Seeing him raise his hands in victory, throw his hat into the crowd, hug his loved one, and raise his trophy as the new European Open Champion. These are the epitome of historic moments, and ones disc golf fans around the world will never forget.
Our Final Thoughts
Eagle, we are so proud of you. To see you thrive through adversity, to rise to the occasion, to let your greatness shine in these historic opportunities fills us with joy and wonder. We are honored to have you as our European Open Champion!
Thank you to everyone who has supported Eagle for the last year, and throughout his entire career. We, including Eagle, appreciate every one of you!
P.S. Keep an eye out for a special something, to be announced very soon!