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Junior Worlds

Junior Worlds

They've battled and endured weather, fierce competition and some of the toughest courses that central Illinois has to offer.

Now it's time for the final push at the 2022 PDGA Masters and Junior Disc Golf World Championship.

Competitors will hit the course Saturday morning for the semifinal rounds after Friday's cut. From there the top four from most of the divisions will descend on Northwood Park for one last challenge: the final nine.

There are tight battles everywhere, both at the top of the leaderboard as well as near the cut for the finals to see who will get nine more holes in Peoria and who will push for a podium finish at a World Championship.

Victoria Eriacho-Paul tees off to start 2022 Junior Worlds. Photo: Justin Anderson / PDGA

The phrase ‘it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon’ doesn’t apply anymore when a PDGA World Championship is on the line.

On Wednesday, the 287-player field at the 2022 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships raced out the gates in the Peoria, Illinois area, kicking off a week of disc golf with a competitive opening day.

Some of the 10-division field played two rounds to start their championship and the others will see that schedule on Thursday. The courses were tough, like the Junior 18’s trek through Wildlife and Sunset Hills.

PDGA Junior Worlds offers a fun and fierce competition every year. Photo: PDGA Media

The list of PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championship alumni is loaded with names you will very easily recognize.

PDGA Pro World Champions and PDGA Major winners like Nate Sexton, Paige Shue, Paul McBeth, Kona Panis and Valarie Jenkins all competed at the Junior Worlds level before rising in the disc golf ranks.

It's a trend that has continued as recent Junior World Champions, like Gannon Buhr, have shown their ready to compete at the elite level.

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The 2021 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships kick off Wednesday in Emporia, Kansas. Photo: Bobby Brown / Dynamic Discs

From the first time she picked up a disc, Sai Ananda knew immediately that she wanted to be a professional disc golfer.

She also knew how important the process was to reach that level.