Scorching heat, cool wind, pouring rain, long stretches.
The PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships 2021 threw a bit of everything at the participants at the Emporia Country Club in Kansas this July.
Fridley’s Nathan Brewer took on all these challenges and threw them back better than anyone else in the youngest category of the field, taking the 8th and below world title.
“The city of Emporia is great for disc golf and we were made very welcome,” said Brewer. “I was very nervous and excited and it was a challenge to play the new courses, especially because it was either very hot or rainy! They were less forested and more open than what I usually play, but also longer and harder. “
Disc golf is a driving passion, one of Brewer’s earliest pastimes.
“I was 4 years old when my dad and I started playing the Fridley Middle School class,” Brewer said. “I was interested first because discs look cool and my dad started playing first.”
From then on it became an everyday activity to play with dad and friend Seth, little brother Charlie and big sister Emily. Where there is room to throw, there is room to play.
“I usually play in the yard every day and punch holes with our basket,” Brewer said. “I play most of the time at Fridley Middle School and Silverview Park. My favorite course is Blue Ribbon Pines. I love the look of discs, how they fly and how they hit the chains of the basket. “
Brewer, sponsored by the Blue Ribbon Pines Disc Golf Course and Innova Champion Discs, entered the tournament after having previously played and won five of seven tournaments across the state. PDGA members who had participated in at least one tournament in the past year were eligible to participate.
The tournament featured a number of challenging conditions including four different courses over four days. In the third lap the temperatures were up to 98 degrees, the last lap was plagued by wind and rain.
Brewer’s game was consistently strong in the wire-to-wire win, with just two penalties on 72 holes. Constant play during the first three rounds put Brewer in position to fight for the title on the final day, one of four finalists in the age group. It all adds up to an exciting, exciting final round.
“Very, very, very nervous,” said Brewer. “Especially on the last day when I was only leading by one margin! But also very excited. I wanted to get into the top three at the beginning of the tournament. “
Brauer remained calm throughout and was particularly brilliant at putting. No putt on the final round was bigger than a 40-foot birdie, which gave a one-shot lead, an advantage Brewer expanded to four on the final nine holes to secure the championship, the youngest ever world champion .
“I was very happy and proud,” said Brewer. “I felt like a legend!”