The Memorial Championship presented by Discraft has always held a special place in the heart of disc golfers. It’s a time to de-thaw from a long off-season and head to the
oasis of warm Arizona to play one of the most iconic disc golf events in history. Whether it’s the beautiful scenery with the iconic Fountain Hill’s fountain setting the stage, the memories of epic battles of years past or amazing feats such as Paul McBeth’s 1132 rated round in 2013, the Memorial is truly one of disc golf’s signature events. The 2017 event looks to be no different with a new chapter starting with it being an event on the 2017 Disc Golf Pro Tour. Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride.
Will the Eagle land?The Memorial Championship presented by Discraft has always brought competitive battles in the Open division. Paul McBeth always seems to find his way to the top of the leader board in Arizona and you can never count Ricky Wysocki out in any event, even if he has struggled at the Memorial in years past. Also, do not sleep on the 2015 champion, Jeremy Koling. Koling ended his 2016 season on the ultimate high after securing his first Major title at the United States Disc Golf Championship. The other side of the story in Koling’s USDGC victory, was the collapse of Eagle McMahon who looked like he was on pace to capture his first breakout victory until disaster struck on the famous “888” hole. McMahon seemed hungry going into the 2017 season and it looked, once again, like he was going to get his first signature victory when he was leading the Aussie Open going into the last hole. After going out of bounds on 18 and a Wysocki park job, Eagle was again left trying to make sense of what happened and trying to find a way to finish a big tournament. The question with Eagle is not if but when and there would be no better place for him to capture a big victory than at the first Pro Tour stop of the season. The hardworking McMahon has already practiced the Memorial courses and seems prepared to finally pick up that big win that he was unable to secure in 2016. Eagle gained valuable experience on the 2016 tour and is now poised to break out in 2017. McMahon finished in the top 10 in parked percentage, circle 1 in regulation percentage, and birdie percentage on the 2016 Pro Tour. Eagle will use his big arm to put himself in position to score at the Memorial. If he can avoid big numbers and improve on his 76th ranked, 57% scramble rate, look for the young superstar to secure the signature victory he seeks.
Paige TimeThe FPO division has been dominated by two women over the past few years, Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce. 2016 saw Allen gain the upper hand on Pierce and the resurgence of the veteran and 2016 World Champion, Val Jenkins, left Pierce trying to recover from a season that was not up to her normal standards. After a sponsorship switch, Paige looks to be soaring and is on pace to keep her hot streak rolling into the Memorial Championship. The 2015 champion looks to take advantage of the fresh start that the Memorial brings and build on her already early successes in 2017. Pierce captured PDGA Major and NT titles winning the Aussie Open and Gentlemen’s Club Challenge to start her 2017 season. Last year, Pierce finished fourth in DGPT tour points and placed second in the 2016 Tour Championship. Pierce saw herself in the top three in all major Pro Tour stat categories except for scramble percentage, and circle two putts in which she found herself ranked sixth. With Pierce’s uncanny ability to find herself near the basket, look for those two stats to not play a huge factor for the Memorial. With Paige finding a new sponsorship home with Dynamic Discs in 2017, she seems to have a burning desire to win and the Memorial looks like it could be yet another step along the way in a major season for the three-time World Champion.
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