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Silas Schultz wins 2018 Next Gen Championship

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Team Discmania’s Silas Schultz has pulled off something many teenagers aren’t able to do: He owns a car. A Jeep Renegade to be specific. There is only one problem. He’s only 15-years-old.

After a grueling 108 holes over three days, Schultz was able to hang on in the end to win the 2018 Next Generation Tour National Championship and take home the prize of a 2018 Jeep Renegade.

Schultz, one of Team Discmania’s talented teenagers, led the tournament after day one and never looked back. Schultz comfortably extended his lead after two rounds on each Friday and Saturday before the field got cut to just the top 36 for the quarterfinals. All of the tournament action was at the Fountain Hills Disc Golf Course in Arizona.

After the quarterfinals, Schultz held a six shot advantage on Kyle Klein with two nine-hole rounds ahead of them. Others weren’t too far behind, but it was quickly becoming a two man race, and one could argue, Schultz was in firm control going into the semifinals.

In the semis, Schultz extended his lead on Klein to eight with just nine holes remaining. The finals were everything but routine as Schultz struggled to find even a single birdie in the final nine holes. Klein was able to cut the lead to just five with five holes remaining.

Schultz saw good looks at birdies, but couldn’t get things to fall as the pressure was starting to build. A bogey on the sixth hole of the finals saw the lead cut to just four with three to play.

The duo traded pars on the next two holes leading to the famous Hole 18 at Fountain Hills. Schultz was up by four, but needed to finish safe on a tough hole.

On paper, Hole 18 appears to be an easy right to left hyzer shot, but the margin for error is small. If you throw it too far or hang it out right, you’ll be out of bounds. If you hit the right to left downhill slope with too much speed, your disc will hit and skip into the water to the left.

After a safe drive by Klein which landed just outside the putting circle, Schultz threw his drive out of bounds after it didn’t fully hyzer back toward the basket. With the penalty stroke, he was putting for par on a tough downhill look and safely placed it under the basket which all but wrapped up the title.

For the first time all day, Schultz showed a little emotion and pumped his fist as he knew the battle was finally over... and he won.

After tapping in the bogey, Schultz watched as his new Jeep Renegade drove up behind him.

When handed the keys, he joked “what are these for?” as he’ll have to wait a little while longer until he’s legally able to drive his new trophy.

One Year Later, One Better Result 

Schultz was also in the mix at the 2017 Next Generation Tour Championships and nearly took the car home when he was just 14-years-old.

Schultz held the lead last year going into the finals and saw his lead slip away before being forced into a playoff with two others. He ultimately lost and took home second place. This obviously kept him hungry and one year later, he can finally claim revenge and take home the trophy.

The top-five finish also granted Schultz a Tour Card for the Disc Golf Pro Tour. Schultz took advantage of the Tour Card and competed at the DGPT’s Memorial Championship to open the year. The added experience at Fountain Hills certainly paid off.

An Award Winning Year

The Next Generation Tour Championship is a great way for Schultz to end a very memorable year.

Schultz teamed up with his brother, Simeon, to win the PDGA Junior Worlds Divisional Doubles in July before finishing in second place in the Junior 15 division at Junior Worlds.

We’re excited to have Schultz, and his older brother Thunder, on Team Discmania. We are confident this is only a sign of things to come.

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