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Raining Birdies 2023 European Open Round 1 MPO Recap

By Nick Quargnenti
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2023 European Open — Round 1 MPO Recap

Friday, July 21, 2023 – 05:57

Kyle Klein at the 2023 European Open. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

 

As we’ve seen through the whole 2023 season, the opening round finished with a logjam at the top of the MPO leaderboard at the 2023 European Open.

 

Kyle Klein currently has the solo lead at 10 strokes under par while four players are tied for second at 9-under. Defending champion Eagle McMahon and last year’s runner-up Paul McBeth are only two strokes back of the lead yet find themselves tied for sixth place. Every missed putt and OB stroke out on the Beast can feel devastating as finishing just four strokes back of the lead puts you in a four-way tie for 17th place.

The weather had been relatively calm earlier in the day but the rain picked up while many of the later MPO cards were still on the front nine. The difficulty of the course, the pressure of a Major, and the rainy conditions added up to a difficult round for the MPO field. By the end of the day, only James Conrad and Juho Parviainen had avoided taking a bogey.

“I wasn’t really prepared for any rain,” Klein said when asked about the wet conditions, “I had a gameplan of how to keep all my discs dry, keep my hand dry and go as fast as I could but still be in control.”

Klein shortened his routine on the tee pad to keep his disc and his hand from getting too wet, but retained his focus to execute his drives and finish the round with a 28% parked percentage. Even when Klein wasn’t parked by the basket, his putting came in clutch as he never missed a putt inside the circle. As the rain poured, Klein went on a birdie streak from Holes 4 through 10. His only bogey came on Hole 15, which played as the second hardest hole on the day.

Klein was the only player to score double digits and according to StatMando, this is Klein’s first 10-under or better round on tour since the Jonesboro Open in April. Klein took his first Elite Series win earlier this year, winning the 2023 Waco Annual Charity Open from the chase card. If Klein stays on top, he could win his first Major title after coming close with a 2nd place finish at the 2021 United States Disc Golf Championship.

Will the scores stay tight or will we see the leaders separate from the pack like last year? There are still three more rounds to find out in the 2023 European Open.

Live coverage of Round 2 begins at 2:30 p.m. EEST / 7:30 a.m. EDT on the Disc Golf Network.

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