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This past weekend Innova Crew member Nicholas Duran picked up his first pro win in Flagstaff, AZ. Nick has been an Innova sponsored player since 2007 and we've watched him grow as a golfer and distance competitor. We've also watched him go from a little squirrelly teenager to a regulation-sized dude. We caught up with “little” Nicky Duran after his memorable win.
So how did it feel to wake up Monday morning as the Treebash Open Champion and to have your first pro win?
N. Duran: Tired and sore. It was a long weekend on long courses but I had a great time. I'm excited that I won. I've been playing and practicing for a long time for just this, to win a open division tournament and eventually an open world championship title. I'm happy all my hard work is finally paying off.
At what point during the final round did you know you had the win?
N. Duran: I wasn't positive about the score until the last putt went in. I thought that John (Austin) and I were tied a few holes back when he got a 3 on a hole I deuced. Then with 3 holes to play he tied it up. On the next hole I deuced and he got his par but I thought we were still tied. So on the last hole I was about 40 out and thought I had to run my putt for the chance to win and he was 100 out. I ran my putt and missed but I had already won on the second to last hole. I try not to keep track of my score during a round to much because then I start to focus on scores instead of my next throw like I should be.
Did you accept cash, or will you be seeking another amateur world title this summer?
N. Duran: I declined $700 so that I can play Junior Worlds this year and next year. It has always been my goal to win a title in every junior division and that will stay my focus. I'm pretty sure once I win the under 19 division I'll go Pro and not even try for an Am Championship title. Then my focus will shift to a Pro World title. But for now I'm focused on the under 16 division. It's gonna be a tough battle in under 16 like it is every year but I'll come prepared.
In addition to your junior world titles, your sister Desiree is the current Junior Girls <10 World Champion. Is your Dad just a great coach or is there something in the water?
N. Duran: Hahaha! I think it's a bit of both. My dad coached me and caddied for me for several years but he always gave us both the option to play or not to play. We always chose to play! He always gives me good advice and helps me see the bigger picture. He's pretty smart. Even now if he's not caddying or watching, he is still with me on my shoulder telling me to take my time, or to focus, or to hit my gap, or nice and easy, is my favorite. He also gave us all these chances to do our best. We traveled to 27 different states already to play disc golf so that says a lot. I also think it might be in the water a bit. The courses in our area have produced 4 different World Champions since being installed 13 years ago so that fact alone is kinda hard to overlook.