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UNC disc golf takes home gold at 2024 PDGA Nationals

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Photo Courtesy of Kelly White.

Only two strokes behind first place going into the final round, UNC’s men’s disc golf team knew it was going to be a close game.

Powered by an ace from Mitchell Massey, the team posted a 14-under-par to vault into first place. But still, the University of Dayton was right behind them.

“When we finished our round, we had a three-stroke lead over them and [they] had four holes left to go," Dylan Youngberg said, "so we were holding our breath."

Dayton tied UNC’s total score of 28-under-par and prompted a one-hole playoff round. There were lots of nerves going into the sudden death round, but UNC “played fantastic.” Jasper Tyll put the team to circle’s edge and Massey hit one of the biggest putts of the tournament, securing the gold for UNC. 

“We really want to perform well in Division II," Youngberg said, "and we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome."

Carolina Disc Golf is a club team dedicated to growing the game of disc golf.

The game's objective is to toss a flying disc into an elevated metal basket with the least amount of throws — it is played and scored much like golf. The team plays year-round and competes at various tournaments.

UNC traveled to Rock Hill, South Carolina last weekend to compete in the 2024 College Disc Golf National Championships. The UNC men's team finished first in Division II and Kelly White won first in the women’s Division I singles.

The men’s disc golf A team consists of Tyll, Youngberg, Luke Shehee and Massey. Youngberg, like many others, started playing disc golf during the pandemic as a way to get outside.

On the women’s side, White was crowned champion after a strong opening round that ultimately came down to the wire. White was able to pull it out, winning by one stroke over N.C. State’s Genesis Beck. 

White has been playing disc golf for the last five years just for fun. This was her first year competing in tournaments. 

“When I found out about the fact that UNC had a women’s team for disc golf this year," White said, "I was super excited and I just jumped at the chance of that."

White joined the women’s disc golf team in November after hearing about it from a friend. She was nervous about entering a new arena, but she quickly made her mark.

Despite entering nationals undefeated, White was underestimating herself going into the tournament. She said she was able to block out the added pressure of her record by leaning on her competitive nature and just playing her game. 

White had a strong start, but stayed neck-and-neck with a couple of other players. Going into the last hole, she had managed to take the lead but knew she needed to maintain it as two girls were close behind.

“I was able to make that final putt for the win, which was incredible, but it was also just a wild, wild experience,” White said. “It was so cool to be surrounded by team and my family and friends and it was kind of surreal.”

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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