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The Race For The Semis

It seems impossible but somehow the third day of the 2014 Amateur & Junior World Championships is already over. What seems impossible isn’t that the third day is over. It’s that it’s only been three days! It’s been a nonstop madhouse of disc golf and disc golf related activities from dawn to well beyond dusk since Tuesday. It’s all going by way too fast yet at the same time it feels as though we’ve been here a month already. 

So…what happened today? Quite a bit actually. After the rounds ended yesterday the Advanced Men’s pool was reorganized in a way that untied all the best players from the A, B, C, and D pools. The top competitors were all placed into the A-pool and they would only play one round today; 18 holes at The Valley DGC. 

After starting the day in 4th place, Jake LaPutka #52776 is now sitting at the top of the MA1 division with a two stroke lead on Robert Smith #55007 and three on Justin Lammers #37852. LaPutka played amazing disc golf today, finishing the round at eight under par, unofficially rated at 1025. He’s now the only player in the entire Advanced Men’s division to card 1000+ rated rounds three times during the event. There’s plenty of potential for more 1000+ rated rounds ahead as well, as three more full rounds still remain before the finals.

LaPutka shot the hot round at The Valley DGC, but he wasn’t the only one to do so. Up and coming disc golf mastermind, Anthony Barela #44382, shot the same score. The biggest difference between the two of them is that Barela is only 14 years old. When he was asked why he chose to play in Advanced instead of one of the age-protected Junior divisions, he quickly responded by saying “…because I want to win the big one.” His play today propelled him from the ninth card all the way to the top of the third card, now tied for 8th place with Andrew Nava #52403, both now only nine throws away from the lead.

The Advanced Women’s leader Vanessa Van Dyken #62325 spent most of the day fending off the competition as Sara Lamberson #41012, Samara Schrimsher #34889, and Megan Matsen #59875 all had her in their sights. Matsen started the day at the bottom of the card only to eventually surpass Schrimsher to take over the third place slot. Lamberson did her best to close the gap that Van Dyken created the day prior and will start the day tomorrow three throws off the lead. 

The Advanced Masters division finished the day much the same as they started. Kenneth Tyburksi #45935 still holds a generous lead over second and third place contenders Bill Cray #25855 and John Borelli #23492, respectively. Robin Johnson #22716 started the day in fourth place but would fall to 6th due mostly to a few unfortunate holes at Kenwood Park this afternoon, including a quadruple bogey on hole 2B. Replacing him for the morning round tomorrow is Jeremy Flowers #37128.

In the Advanced Senior Grandmasters division, Mark Hauser #13459 threw a smoking hot 49 for his morning round at Lions Park, unofficially rated at 1047. Hauser’s round put him up by four going into the afternoon round at Bryant Lake.  He would only increase his lead at Bryant Lake, finishing the day with a lead of six overall on second place holder Michael Schweitzer #272.  Defending Am Worlds champion Jim Banbury #33708 will start the day tomorrow in third place, joined by Michael Whipple #45653 in fourth place.

 There are still plenty of close races to go, especially in the Juniors divisions. In the 19 & Under division, Nick Papineau #59783 shot an absurd 12 under par at Kaposia Park to start the day, unofficially rated at 1065. This is not only the hot round, it’s one of the best rounds of the entire week on the course. He’s now in second place, just a single throw off the leader Nate Corder #44800. 

The more you look at the scores the crazier it gets. In the 16 & Under division, current leader Thunder Schultz #56016 started off his morning, also at Kaposia Park just one throw worse than Papineau in the age group division above his. Same tees. Same conditions. 1053 rated! Andrew Kaluk #35027 is only one throw behind in second place. Kaluk took down the only ace of the day, nailing hole 16 at Kenwood Park.

The end of the day tomorrow brings the first cut to the field, and it’s a major one. Divisions will be cut by 25-40% before the semifinals and finals on Saturday. Some divisions, based on the number of players, won’t have the chance to play on Saturday so tomorrow is do or die day for them. Basically, tomorrow is either your last day of Am Worlds, or it’s moving day. Either way it will make for some very entertaining disc golf in what looks to be great weather yet again here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul greater area. will be home to a ton of live scores for Friday's round, with pictures and commentary coming in from @PDGALive on Twitter. The SmashBoxxTV crew will be broadcasting live once again, this time covering all the Friday afternoon disc golf action at Kenwood Trails park. Keep watching as the final full day of the 2014 Am Worlds comes to an exciting finish before the semifinals and finals on Saturday! 

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