Anthony Barela Wins 2015 US Amateur, Youngest in History

Congratulations to Innova Junior Team member, Anthony Barela, on his record-breaking performance at the 2015 United States Amateur Championship. Barela won the event with a score of -22, which was lowest in tournament history. Anthony is also just 15-years old, making him the youngest player to ever hold the US Amateur crown.

“I was a little nervous going into the event because I wanted to win so badly”, Anthony said after the tournament. “I finished tied for 38th here last year. This time I just refused to lose”, added Barela. Anthony credits his Destroyers for the distance he needed off the tee on the long courses. He also used Discmania’s P2 Psycho for upshots, which really was about all he needed. “I carry the Roc3 for my mid-range, but I didn’t need them much this weekend”, said Barela.

Anthony’s father, Jason, was a glowing and proud papa. “It was an awesome and amazing experience”, Jason said. “There were moments when I had to turn away because it was just too much. The putts he knocked down… I couldn’t believe it.” Jason has pushed Anthony on the baseball field, however disc golf has come naturally to Anthony. “He plays baseball for the high school and they practice all the time. I have pushed him in that but he has picked up disc golf on his own. He started coming out and playing with us and got real good, real quick”, Jason said.

Barela and teammate Matt Kashima sat atop the tournament leader board all weekend, pushing each other hard into the final round. Barela held a one shot lead going into Sunday’s final round and proceeded to calmly shoot 55, tying two other players for the hottest final round score. This would be enough to pull ahead of the pack and secure a five shot win.

Anthony can probably expect to see a boost in his PDGA player rating in the near future. He is currently rated 990, but his weekend round ratings of 1030, 1011, and 1016 average out to 1019, a full 29 points higher than his rating. That kind of consistency is what it takes to excel in the professional ranks, which Barela clearly has in his sights.

Team Innova was also well represented at six different A-tier events during the weekend. Nathan Sexton picked up his first A-tier win of the season and the sixth of his career, at the Ft. Steilacoom Open in Lakewood, Washington. Nate trailed leader Ricky Wysocki by two going into the final hole. Nate put his drive about 45 feet short with a chance to make birdie.

Wysocki was the last to tee and grip-locked his drive, yanking it right and missing a mandatory. He then had to re-tee. Wysocki’s second attempt flipped over and landed out-of-bounds, opening the door wide open for Nate to march through. No longer needing a birdie to win, Nate pitched his upshot under the pin for an easy tap in three, and a one shot win over Wysocki and Dave Feldberg.

Patrick Brown was also victorious in Washington grabbing the win in Masters. Brown is hoping his season’s hot streak will continue this weekend at the Beaver State Fling, the next stop on the PDGA National Tour.

Joe Rovere and Tom Carrillo pulled off an Open/Masters sweep of their own in Colorado. Joe took home the top Open spot at the High Plains Challenge, successfully defending his title from 2014. Carrillo fell one throw short of winning the 2014 High Plains Masters title so the win was extra sweet for him as well.

Pasi Koivu lead the charge across the pond at the Grip EQ – Tour Kaatis in Finland. Pasi came from behind in the final round to win against a very strong field. His final round of 57 was five shots better than the next best score, and vaulted him into the tournament’s top spot.

Other top performances from this weekend:

Matt Kashima – United States Amateur Championship, 2nd Place Men’s Advanced
Christian Dietrich – Zoo Town Open, 2nd Place Open
Jessica Weese – Zoo Town Open, 2nd Place Open Women
Des Reading – 16th Nacogdoches Open, 1st Place Open Women
Casey Wright – 16th Nacogdoches Open, 2nd Place Open
Debbie Scott – Wilkesboro Wide Open, 1st Place Open Women
Steve Brinster – Tinicum Open, 1st Place Open
Barry Schultz – Big Valley Challenge, 1st Place Open
Brian McRee – Big Valley Open, 1st Place Masters
Philo Brathwaite – Canon Ball Run, 1st Place Open
Chris Brophy – Canon Ball Run, 1st Place Masters
Erica Johnson – Dragan Disc Golf Classic, 1st Place Open Women
Kevin McCoy – The Ham & The Hog, 1st Place Open
Steve Boylan – LIS: SOHO Open, 1st Place Masters
Karina Nowels – Riverpark Open, 1st Place Open Women
Lacey Brugler – 2015 Disc Girls Gone Wild, 1st Place Girls U16