2023 PCS Open Preview: The Tour Heads to Europe

A Nordic adventure.

Øverås Disc Golf, 2022 PCS Sula Open. Photo: DGPT

Get your battle axes and shields ready: the Disc Golf Pro Tour has landed at the Gates of Valhalla!

The PCS Open in Øverås, Norway, has been elevated from a silver event to the Eliteserien for 2023, and both the MPO and FPO divisions will see a huge increase in the field of competition. Last year featured an FPO field of just 11 players, with 939-rated Rachel Turton as the highest-rated player there. This year the field has doubled to 22 players, 10 of whom are rated 952 or higher. While the MPO field has shrunk from 124 down to 104, there are now 27 players rated 1020 or better, compared to just 9 last year.

The PCS Open and Sula Open were to merge in 2021 and host the Disc Golf Pro Tour’s first European event, but the ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions forced a postponement until last summer. Norway’s Anniken Steen won by two strokes over Rachel Turton in what was essentially a two-horse race. Gregg Barsby was able to overcome a deficit on hole 18 and force a one-hole playoff to defeat Jakub Semerád and earn his only career silverware win. While last year featured a four-round tournament on two courses, this year the event has been shortened to three rounds at Øverås Diskgolfpark, after the PCS and Sula parties have again split up. The layout features austere forest imagery, water bearer, beautiful scenery and unique course assets like a tractor supporting the 18th basket.

Previous winners

PDGA level Open Open women
2022 DGPT Silver Greg Barsby Anniken Steen
2021 B Blue Örn Ásgeirsson Anniken Steen
2020 B Knut Valen Håland Anniken Steen
2019 C Eagle McMahon Katarina Staalesen
2018 C Dominik Stampfer Good luck Lorentzen
2017 C Avery Jenkins
2016 C Ståle Hakstad

Four things we want to see

  1. Paul McBeth has competed in Europe for six consecutive weeks and is coming off back-to-back wins. While most of the pros coming to Norway this week will be dealing with jet lag, McBeth has a bit of a leg up in that department. Despite 25 European events on his resume over the past 12 years, Paul has never played in the PCS Open. In fact, he only played in Norway for the first time last month, finishing second at the Krokhol Open afterwards Bradley Williams. Williams could be another name to watch this week, although he is currently returning to training after suffering whiplash in a car accident last week. Many European players like Niklas Antilla has also competed on the EuroTour for the past month and may have a bit of an advantage over the traveling Americans. Surprisingly, however, both Niklas and his friend Finn Lauri Lehtinen have never played an event in Norway.
  2. Paige Pierce has played 18 PDGA tournaments in Europe since 2011 and has won 6 in a row dating back to 2018. This would have been Paige’s first time competing in Norway, but she is a late scratch from the tournament, reportedly due to an ankle injury, that was incurred during a practice round.
  3. After re-injuring his throwing shoulder in Portland, Eagle McMahon was able to return to Preserve and came in with a 4th place finish after a slow start. McMahon has won four of his last six events in Europe, including two Majors, and won the 2019 PCS Open by 21 strokes. His celebrity status among younger Finnish fans was certainly notable at last year’s European Open, and time will tell if the Norwegian disc golf community also has Eagle mania. A quality performance is the best way to attract a crowd and for an incredibly talented young player in the final year of his contract, the next two weeks could prove to be quite lucrative for McMahon.
  4. At this time last year, Kristin Tattar was sidelined with an injury and unable to compete in the 2022 PCS and European Opens. This week will be the Estonian’s first time competing in Europe with a field of top-level tournament pros since coming to prominence in 2021. Kristin scored a career-high 994 players this week, just 2 points shy of Paige Pierce’s FPO record of 996 .When on tour in the United States, Tattar is arguably one of the most popular players in both divisions. It’s hard to imagine fans in Norway being even more pro-Tatar than she’s used to, but competing much closer to home could give the world’s #1 rated FPO player a boost she hasn’t yet experienced in the Eliteserien .

Course changes

Øverås Disc Golf Park was originally designed in 2014 by Espen Mokkelgjerd, who has designed 42 Disc Golf Parks in Norway. The course is best known for the Gates of Valhalla, a triple mandatory par 3 flanked by two giant swords that requires players to tee off from an elevated deck that overlooks a beautiful view of the fjord behind the curve. In 2022, UDisc ranked Øverås as the 4th best disc golf course in the world.

Several changes have been made to the course for this year, including some tighter OB lines on holes 1 and 2. Hole 6 (Gate of Valhalla) used to have a drop zone short of the gates for any player who missed the mandatory triple. Now the hole will have two drop zones, just inside each side of the gate.

Hole 10 is a brand new wooded par 3, and hole 12 is a combination of the previous holes 11 and 12. This safari hole will play as a Par 4 in the MPO division and a Par 5 in the FPO division. Hole 11 (formerly hole 10) used to be an oval green surrounded by the OB, but the area off the green will now play as a hazard instead of the OB.

Hole 15’s tee pad has been moved about 100 feet closer (32 meters) after zero MPO players carded a birdie last year and over 76% of the field shot over par. In the FPO division, only one player carded a par last year, let alone a birdie. Hole 16 also has a new FPO tee pad that is about 60 feet closer (19 meters), and hole 17’s FPO basket has been moved about 25 feet closer (8 meters).

2023 MPO: 8,764 feet (2,671 meters) Par 62
2022 MPO: 8,480 feet (2,585 meters) Par 61

2023 FPO: 8,230 feet (2,508 meters) Par 65
2022 FPO: 8,185 feet (2,495 meters) Par 63

Extended forecast

While July is typically the warmest month in Norway, it is also the rainiest month. Expect the rain to fall steadily throughout the tournament.

Thursday: Showers with up to the 60s. Chance of rain 100%. Wind 5-10 mph.
Friday: Showers with highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 80%. Wind 5-10 mph.
Saturday: Showers late with highs in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 70%. Wind 5-10 mph.

  1. Justin Westfall

    Justin Westfall

    Justin Westfall is a contributor at Ultiworld Disc Golf who enjoys living in Southern California where he can play disc golf year round. Outside of the course, he works in the film industry and is proud to be a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan. You can find Justin on Twitter and Instagram @PDGAStats.

BRAND: DGPT Elite Series FPO, DGPT Elite Series MPO, 2023 PCS Open, PCS Open

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