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And So It Begins...

The 2014 PDGA Amateur and Junior Disc Golf World Championships kicked off on Saturday with the Junior Divisional Doubles and Amateur Mixed Doubles events. Beautiful weather graced the Twin Cities area, allowing for a day of uninterrupted play. With the temperatures promised to rise throughout the week, the scores were a reflection of the pending heat. The Juniors were on the course at Kenwood Trails located in St. Paul, while the mixed teams faced the difficult track at The Valley, a course that has been altered several times throughout its 25 year existence.


The Valley has been used for years, going all the way back to the 2001 World Championships, and it's a staple at the Minnesota Majestic. The layout being used for this year’s Amatuer World Championships is a fair yet challenging course that will tempt and tease competitors over rolling hills with vicious wind gusts. The PDGA Worlds Amateur Mixed Doubles competition played two different doubles formats. The first round was a modified version of best shot doubles where a single competitor's teeshot could not be used on more than two consecutive holes. The second round was a version of alternate shot where the teammates take turns as the player that must tee off, regardless of who hit the putt on the hole prior. One teammate teed off on all the even numbered holes while the other teed off on the odd numbered holes. They alternated shots from there as usual.

After the first round in the modified best shot format at The Valley, it was clear that the teams came to play their hearts out. Two teams finished round one tied for the lead, both carding 51s. Vanessa Van Dyken #62325 and Albert Zamora #60657 of California made up one of the teams with Andrew Nava #52403 and Michelle Nava #53798 of Oregon making up the other. The hot round in the afternoon was shot by a new set of competitors, Kirk Trevena #45433 and Hali Torres #56845 of Tulsa, OK. Alternate shot can be a tricky, but Kirk and Hali, through great team chemistry found a way to scratch and claw their way up to the top of the pack. They posted a 55 for round two, four shots ahead of the next best round in the field, giving them a miraculous come-from-behind victory.

Kirk Trevena #45433 and Hali Torres #56845 (Mixed Doubles Winners) - Photo by Sara Nicholson

The PDGA Worlds Junior Divisional Doubles would play the same formats as the mixed Doubles competitors for both of their rounds, and the competition was no less fierce. The 19 & Under division saw Ian Burchett #60435 and Gavin Rathburn #60436 of Oswego, IL light up the course in the morning, heading to the break tied for the lead after shooting a 50 on the Kenwood Trails disc golf course. They managed to hang on for the win by just a single stroke over Nate Corder #44800 and Nick Duran #28359.

The 16 & Under division had only two teams. You'd think with only two teams that two full rounds of play would be enough to determine a winner but these two teams would settle for nothing less than a tie after 36 holes. They were forced into a playoff where both teams would par the first hole, moving them to the dreaded island hole two of Kenwood Trails. After the drive of Jake Hebenheimer #43762 slid onto the island safely, he and his partner Connor Hanrahan #58857 would easily drop in a putt for par to take home the title. Congrats to Logan Ritter #44974 and DJ Baldwin #39066 for putting up a great fight!

Left to Right: Jake Hebenheimer #43762 & Connor Hanrahan #58857 (MJ2 Winners), 
Ian Burchett #60435 & Gavin Rathbun #60436 (MJ1 Winners)
Photo by Chuck Kennedy

See a listing of the results from both doubles events.

Field Events

Sunday brought one of the most looked forward to aspects of Am Worlds, the Field Events. Am Worlds competitors have the option of putting their specific skillsets to the test in three different events: putting, long drive, and the ever popular EDGE Skillshot competition. Field Events took place at Sibley High School in Inver Grove Heights, the perfect facility for an event of this magnitude. Field Events are generally more of a celebration than a competition. It helps get the players in a good mood and gets them excited for the days of strenuous competition to come. Disc golf legend Brian Cummings #1739 (AKA Captain Flashback) blasted music all day for the crowds, prizes were given out, and smiles were seen in every direction.

A strong wind was prominent from the south end of the football field, making for a stiff right-to-left crosswind during the Long Drive Competition while tricky greens and fairways were used for both the Putting Competition and the EDGE Skillshot Challenges. With so many divisions competing, and 100+ competitors in each event, it’s no surprise that the Field Events took over seven hours from start to finish.

There are far too many results to list here so be sure to see the complete field events results. We do however want to take a moment to congratulate 7 year old Emily Bambury #58133 for setting a new official World Flying Disc Federation distance record in her age group after throwing a 135 foot roller! Congrats Emily! You are one amazing 7 year disc golfing young lady!

There will be a Putting Competition finals for the Advanced Men and Advanced Women divisions at the Flymart on Tuesday July 22 at the Clarion Hotel. All other divisions are final for their respective field event competitions. See the 2014 Am Worlds Fields Events Results to see how everyone did.

Stay tuned as the 2014 Amatuer & Junior Disc Golf World Championships main event begins on Tuesday July 22nd at 8:00am CDT. Preparations are already in the works to crown 16 different Amatuer World Champions! Follow the action all week via @PDGA on Twitter, the PDGA Facebook page, for hole-by-hole live scores, and of course the results page for tee times and round scores.


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