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2014 Am Worlds Wrap-Up

The final day of the 2014 Amateur & Junior World Championships is done and we officially have 16 new world champions. The Twin Cities were great hosts, both of which are home to amazing disc golf courses, clubs, and volunteers. The historic city of St. Paul was home to the finals today as hundreds of competitors and fans alike crowded the beautiful Como Park. Como Park served as a fantastic venue for the finals as it was set up in a way that allowed for competitive play while also maximizing the amount of space for spectators to come out and watch all the action.

By the time the morning semifinal rounds had started Como Park was already starting to fill up with vendors preparing for the long day ahead. Feather banners, flags, tents, and trailers lined the parking lot allowing for the hundreds of non-disc golfers that were in the park today to witness all of the great products that have helped develop disc golf into the sport it is today.

Due to the number of players in some of the divisions, semifinals were bypassed. This meant that of the 13 divisions that were to take part in the finals at Como Park, five of them were to start early in the morning. Those divisions were 13 & Under Girls, 13 & Under Boys, 16 & Under Girls, 19 & Under Girls, and Advanced Grandmasters Women.

Of those five divisions, the most exciting were the 16 & Under Girls and the 13 & Under Boys. These divisions both had four players in the finals and also had a nice gallery of friends, family, and fans following them around through the nine hole layout that made up the finals course. In the end, Valerie Mandujano #62879 and Henry Dissell #56251 would start the finals in the lead and end as world champions, with a margin of 12 and 5 respectively.

The 2014 Amateur & Junior World Championships that were crowned after the morning finals are all listed below. Congratulations to them all for taking home the gold after five mentally and physically testing days of disc golf on some of the most difficult courses in the Midwest.

Division Champion Final Score Margin of Victory
13 & Under Girls Lacey Brugler #41758 430 40
13 & Under Boys Henry Dissell #56251 347 5
16 & Under Girls Valerie Mandujano #62879 429 12
19 & Under Girls Sai Anada #58303 446 43
Advanced Grandmasters Women Lisa Gallagher #40381 458 10

The other eight divisions that were to take part in the finals in the afternoon also had to play a full round at 8:00am, as if they weren’t all exhausted enough already. Of all the divisions that were concurrently competing in the morning, the Advanced division provided the most entertainment without a doubt. And that’s coming from someone who wasn’t even there to watch any of the action.

As the hole-by-hole scores slowly started creeping on, it was clear that predicting which players would end up in the finals at Como Park would be a nearly impossible feat. The lead card was quickly disassembled at Kaposia Park. By the time the front nine was scored, most of the players on the lead card had fallen to the second or even the third card.

As the scores for the final few holes were added to, the Advanced round kept getting closer and closer. When it was all said and done, something that’s never happened in Am or Pro Worlds history had happened. There was a 4-way tie for 1st place going into the finals! After seven full rounds, Jake LaPutka #52776, Andrew Nava #52403, Robert Smith #55007, and crowd favorite Jordan Castro #49431 all finished the semifinals with an overall score of 46 under par.

In the Advanced Women’s division, the week-long race for the title slowly transformed from a really close battle for first place to more of a fight for second. Vanessa Van Dyken #62325 took control of the tournament by the end of day three and although she had a target on her back for the remainder of the rounds, no one was able to catch her. She would putt in on the last hole of the finals to win the tournament by six throws overall ahead of second place finisher Sara Lamberson #41012. It’s a truly incredible accomplishment considering the first tournament she ever competed in was just eight months ago, in November of 2013!

Of the 46 competitors that took on the Como Park layout, the hot round was shot by none other than the 2014 Am Worlds World Champion of the Boys 16 & Under division, 15 year old Thunder Schultz #56016. Thunder finished the round with eight birdies and one par, including six straight birdies to finish!

There are more stories to be told, but we’ll simply let the results speak for themselves. We want to thank the dozens and dozens of people that made the 2014 Am Worlds possible, and more importantly, that made it a success. This includes but is not limited to the tournament staff, the volunteers, the sponsors, Como Park, the spectators, the vendors, the competitors, etc. Congratulations once again to all that competed in this week long disc golf adventure. To all of the new (and repeat) PDGA Amateur & Junior World Champions, we hope to see you at the 2014 Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Portland or the 2015 Pro Worlds in Pittsburgh!

Division Champion Final Score Margin of Victory
Advanced Jake LaPutka #52776 402 2
Advanced Women Vanessa Van Dyken #62325 447 6
Advanced Masters Kenneth Tyburski #45935 390 19
Advanced Masters Women Ann Lundberg #49621 487 11
Advanced Grandmasters Mike Anderson #21704 411 6
Advanced Senior Grandmasters Mark Hauser #13459 414 19
Junior 19 & Under Boys Nick Papineau #59783 400 2
Junior 16 & Under Boys Thunder Schultz #56016 403 2

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