While it may not have ended the way he wanted, Adam Hammes still had a successful weekend.
The 16-year old from Arbor Vitae finished second at the 2014 PDGA Amateur and Junior Disc Golf World Championships in the junior boys 16-and-under division, held in Minneapolis.
Hammes carded a 41-under par score of 405 over the 81-hole event, finishing two strokes behind the champion Thunder Schultz from Baton Rouge.
“It didn’t pan out the way everyone would have liked but he still had a good weekend,” said Bill Stolpa, the former pro at the disc golf course at Brandy Lake before moving away from the area to Milwaukee last year. Stolpa was instrumental in bringing a disc golf course to Brandy Park.
“Basically I was an overseer of our course and our leagues,” Stolpa said. “I’ve been disc golfing for 35 years and it was me who kind of brought disc golf to the area, I was the one responsible for all the funding and fundraising for the Brandy Lake course.”
Down two strokes entering Saturday’s semifinal and final matches, Hammes surged into the lead following the semifinals, shooting a 52 to Schultz’s 56, and held a two-stroke lead after the first 72 holes and four rounds of the tournament.
In the final round of the tournament, which consists of just nine holes instead of the usual 18, a “safari” style of play is used.
“It’s a type of course that’s set up just for the finals,” Stolpa said. “They combine holes, separate holes, just so no one has an advantage.”
Unfortunately for Hammes, Schultz outshot him 23-27 over the final safari round to jump ahead of Hammes and claim world championship honors.
“Exactly,” Stolpa said when asked if the second-place finish was grounds for motivation. “It’s hard, you try to rally the kids after something like that happens and sometimes it may have been the best thing for him. This can be used as a learning experience.”
Hammes has a few weeks to practice at Brandy Lake before he has a chance to prove himself again, as a disc golf tournament “Major” – akin to the Masters in golf or Wimbledon in tennis – is being held in Madison in a couple of weeks, a tournament Stolpa plans to attend.
“Disc golf has tournaments going on 12 months out of the year,” Stolpa said. “So he’ll have a chance to redeem himself pretty quickly.”
Hammes also has plenty of opportunity to perfect his skill as a member of the Lakeland Union varsity golf team. Hammes was a key member of the team last year that won a sectional title.
“He understands how close he was,” Stolpa said. “We haven’t seen the last of Adam Hammes at the disc golf world championships.”
For more information on the sport of disc golf, log on to the professional disc golf assocation’s website at PDGA.com. The Wisconsin’s PDGA site can be found at widiscsports.com.
Evan Wixom may be reached at email@example.com.