Eagle McMahon’s Idlewild win puts him in rare company
August 11, 2020 by Darren LeMay in Analysis with comments
Eagle McMahon was able to pull off a feat this weekend at the Idlewild Open that had only been done once before. In the past eight years since Paul McBeth won his first Pro World championship, McMahon’s back-to-back victories at the Great Lakes Open and Idlewild was the very first time any player had won consecutive events with both McBeth and Ricky Wysocki in the field.
The only previous occasion occurred prior to 2012 Pro Worlds, when Will Schusterick won back-to-back events in April 2012 at the Glass Blown Open and the SOKY Championships. That’s right, over 8 years since anyone was able to take down consecutive victories over both McBeth and Wysocki. And it should be noted that neither McBeth nor Wysocki had the reputations they later came to develop as the two best players in the sport, and arguably two of the very best of all time.
Since the start of 2017, about three and a half full seasons ago, McBeth and Wysocki have competed at 54 events together. Just five players have multiple wins over that span in those 54 events. McBeth and Wysocki have 21 and 13 wins, respectively. Meanwhile, McMahon has won seven of those events; the other two are Calvin Heimburg and Nate Sexton who both have won just two of those 54 events. No other player has been able to win multiple times with the world champions in the field over that time span. In fact, dating back over the last seven seasons, McMahon is the only player to win multiple times in any given season over both McBeth and Wysocki, and he is the only player ever to get four victories over them both in one season, which he did back in 2018.
For many years, disc golf fans have been unknowingly paraphrasing Joseph Cotten from a classic Orson Welles thriller by wondering, “Who is the Third Man?” Who can be the other player that is challenging McBeth and Wysocki’s dominance?
Like the movie, perhaps, The Third Man was right in front of our face all along. Looking back to January 2017, to the start of those 54 events at the Aussie Open, a then 18 year old McMahon led the field for the majority of the event, and just barely missed taking the win before falling to Wysocki on the final hole of the tournament. This was a welcome party for many fans, but still not enough to escalate him to the top tier of players. By the end of the following year, McMahon had tied McBeth at 1048 for the highest rating in the world, and earned the previous stated four victories that season over the two top players in the sport.
Still, somehow, he was generally ranked below both McBeth and Wysocki, and only viewed as one of the best of the next tier of players.
Today, there is still separation at the very top of the rankings from the rest of the field. Although we can confidently state that with the continued ratings growth, the success of going three years with only three finishes outside the top 10, and now back to back Disc Golf Pro Tour victories Eagle McMahon, has solidified himself as The Third Man of that elite class.
And a last note before ending, McMahon is still younger than McBeth was when he won that first world championship back in 2012. Sit on that.