Widboom Captures Emotional First DGPT Win, McMahon Goes Back-To-Back At The DGPT – Idlewild Open
Mask on, gallon jug in-hand, not looking at all like the classic picture of an elite tier champ, Ellen Widboom stepped up to her disc on the 54th hole of the 2020 Idlewild Open on Sunday afternoon for a routine approach shot that would seal the biggest win of her career. She laid out for the shot, not taking anything for granted.1
“This year, I don’t know – I can’t tell you exactly what happened,” she recently told PDGA Radio’s Sara Sinclair and Steve Hill. “I had a bit of a mental reset and reevaluated what I’m doing. I’m a bit older than some of the FPO field out there. I think that in a couple more years I’m not sure if I’ll be full-time touring anymore, so I wanted to make the most out of it while my mind and body was still functioning at the top.”
And make the most of it, she has. While the tour was shut down during the spring and early summer, she spent the downtime at her parent’s property in Florida, practicing, training P90x, reading sports psychology, and transforming her diet. This intentional approach quickly translated into a series of stunning successes, including a 2nd place finish at the DGLO and culminating with Sunday’s win.
Catrina Allen had opportunities to put herself in contention late, but continued to struggle with the putter, missing six times from C1x. In the end it came down to a battle of the forehands, with Widboom and the far more decorated Sarah Hokom showcasing their scrambling abilities as each tried to avoid the sting of Idlewood’s punishing back nine. Pulling to within one of the lead with two of the most unpredictable holes in disc golf remaining, Hokom did everything she could to ratchet up the pressure. Widboom, however, looked unflappable.
“I just wanted to shoot better today than I shot yesterday, and get revenge on a few holes,” she told Disc Golf Network’s Terry Miller. “And I did – I was just like, ‘Cool, I’m playing good disc golf. Let’s see what happens. And this happens!'”
On the Men’s side, the rest of the MPO field may have been relieved to hear that Eagle McMahon plans to skip next weekend’s Ledgestone Insurance Open after he won his second-straight DGPT elite series event.
Any doubts that may have crept in after a shaky round on Saturday that saw him fall from leading the tournament to dropping off the lead card completely were quickly erased Sunday as he went 9-down through nine holes, including a 233’ throw-in for eagle on hole two.
“It hits the top of the cage and bounces in. And right then, I was like, ‘Okay, there’s something special in the air!’,” an exhilarated McMahon recalled. “Time stood still, and after that I found a really good rhythm. It feels unreal to be in this position again. I think that’s what’s hitting the hardest – I’ve tried to get a back-to-back win for a long time, and the fact that it’s actually happened, and here of all courses, I’m honestly speechless.”
Ricky Wysocki and Chris Dickerson both made impressive charges on Sunday, each going bogey free on their way to hot rounds of 14-under before ultimately coming up just short of McMahon’s pace. Paul McBeth, who led the event heading into the final round, struggled down the stretch and ultimately fell out of the top 3 for the second straight DGPT event.
If there are any weaknesses in McMahon’s game at the moment, they are difficult to spot. Well-known as one of the longest throwers in the game from both the forehand and backhand wings, he has also been deadly with the putter – hitting an outstanding 94% from C1x this weekend, and 29% from C2. But maybe more impressive than anything else over the past two events has been McMahon’s composure.
“I’m just playing my own game,” he told Miller.” “I was taking deep breaths on every shot I threw, and I can honestly say that just puts me in the moment. It’s helped me get to where I’m at now.”
1A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Widboom knew her approach shot could win her the tournament. We have since learned that she was not aware of the scores, and did not know that the tournament was on the line with that shot.
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