For avid disc golf players who love to compete but maybe don’t have a flexible enough life to go on a full US tour, the Next Generation Tour is a great option. With events scheduled throughout the nation that culminate in a championship event in Arizona, it provides a way to fuel one’s competitive nature and put their hat in the ring for some pretty sweet prizes.
This year’s Next Gen Championship was held in Fountain Hills, Arizona and perhaps marks one of the very last big events of the year. 80 players in the Advanced division came out for great weather, challenging golf, and the opportunity to win a brand new car. Let’s break down the action and see what happened!
The Next Gen Championships isn’t one of those tournaments that you can sign up for a week beforehand, as all players had to play in and place high enough in another Next Gen event to even qualify for their invitation. In all, 92 invitations were extended in 2018, and while the registration fee did set players back $200 each, they all received players packs valued at over $500.
Each of the five rounds, plus the semifinals and final 9, were played on the championship layout at Fountain Hills, a course that many know from The Memorial. Between the copious amounts of water and the stiff competition, players had to bring their A game and then some. Remember, these are competitors who are in the Advanced division, but their performances were simply incredible.
Riding The Rollercoaster
For the sake of brevity, we’ll spare you the finer details of the 108 holes that were played across the duration of the weekend. What we will do, however, is share some of the highlights from this three-day tournament. Anyone who has played at Fountain Hills knows firsthand how challenging it can be to even shoot par there, let alone come up with scores that rate into the 1000s.
Friday’s play started off hot with Peyton Niendorf shooting six down and an unofficially rated 1033-round, which is especially impressive given that he’s currently rated 951. Five others joined him in the over 1000-rated club after round one, but with two rounds each day, maintaining that level of momentum was bound to be difficult. Neindorf fell back that afternoon, opening up room for others like Silas Schultz to shoot a 47.
Across the next several rounds, Schultz found himself on a bit of a rollercoaster, sometimes shooting the hot round and at other times falling back a few strokes. However, when it was all said and done, he had positioned himself to play safely during the final 9 as others pushed to take over. While Kyle Klein and Quinn Rodius both carded a -3 during Sunday’s play, Schultz was able to walk in a +3 performance and take home first place.
The best part about it? Silas Schultz is 15 years old and cannot yet drive the new car he won! Congratulations to Silas on his win, and make sure to keep your eyes out for this phenomenal player in the coming years.