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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M disc golf brings home third place in the 2021 College Disc Golf National Championship

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Photo by via tamu_disc_golf Instagram

The 2020-21 Texas A&M disc golf team brought home third place in the 2021 College Disc Golf National Championship.

The Texas A&M disc golf team closed out its 2021 season by securing a spot on the podium with a third place Division I finish and a third place Division II finish in this year’s College Disc Golf National Championship, despite the extreme North Carolina weather conditions.
A&M sent two disc golf teams to the championship meet this year. Junior Michael “T” Taylor and senior Chandler Kramer competed as a pair in the Division I event, and seniors Nathan Crosby and Drew Fitzwater competed as a pair in the Division II event, formerly the First Flight event.
The Taylor and Kramer team shot an overall score of 192 and 43 under par, finishing just above the scores of 191 of both their first and second place counterparts, Georgia and Missouri S&T. The Crosby and Fitzwater team concluded the event with a score of 198, six above a second place title and eight above securing the Division II title.
“The title stayed in the SEC, which is good,” Taylor said. “And the guys at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are some of our really good friends.”
Taylor and Kramer shot the best overall in the first round on the first day of the tournament, accumulating a score of only 43, 17 under par. As posted on the team’s Instagram, by the end of the first day the pair was tied for sixth, sitting just three strokes behind first place. The Division II Crosby and Fitzwater team finished the first day in fifth place.
Odds became stacked against participants on the third day of the tournament when inclement weather came over the town of Marion. Taylor said it was one of the wildest days of disc golf he has ever been a part of, since the entire back half of the course was played in 30 mph wind in the pouring rain.
“We were trying to grab people’s hoodies to see if they were dry. Anything that was dry, we were trying to get a hold of,” Taylor said. “There was a tornado watch at once point.”
Yet, the team looked back positively on their performance, given the circumstances.
“We were a little disappointed to think that we were inches away from being national champions,” Taylor said. “But we can’t complain too much because we are pumped that we are third in the country.”
Going into the tournament, the team’s biggest goal was to make the podium, Taylor said.
“You did what you set out to do,” their coach reminded them. “You made the podium.”
The four players also landed individual accolades over the weekend. Out of 72 Division I participants listed on the College Disc Golf National Championship website rankings, Kramer and Taylor placed 14th and 44th, respectively. Kramer secured a second team All-American award, becoming A&M disc golf’s first ever All-American team member, Taylor said. Crosby and Fitzwater placed 10th and 34th, respectively, out of 84 participants in the Division II event.
With their Division I third place title, Taylor and Kramer secured a bid to the prestigious Dean’s Cup invitational, Taylor said, which takes place in October alongside the United States Disc Golf Championship at the No. 1 disc golf course in the world, Winthrop Gold Course in Rock Hill, S.C. At the Dean’s Cup, the top collegiate teams are invited to gather together to compete for the title.
Spectators of the team are proud of the way the disc golf team has continued to grow and improve since resuming play at A&M in 2018. A&M junior Marcus Thomas, a friend of Taylor, said he admires the players’ motivation to continue pursuing the sport.
“T is a great example of a player truly dedicated to his passion,” Thomas said. “He has accomplished a lot in his time with the team.”
A&M sophomore Jay Edwards frequently plays disc golf at Research Park, where the disc golf team practices.
“I see them out there practicing nearly every time I’m out there,” Edwards said. “No doubt I think they’re going to keep making a name for Texas A&M disc golf.”
Taylor, Kramer and Crosby, the team’s leading scorers, are all returning in the fall to compete in their final collegiate year. Taylor said Fitzwater will be missed not only for his abilities in disc golf, but also the great friendship they have formed through the sport.
The team also hopes to return Scottie Taylor, who will be returning after a one-year hiatus from the sport. Scottie Taylor led the team in several skill sets prior to his departure. The team is hopeful this addition will help keep the team on an upward path next season.
“We’re excited for next year,” Michael Taylor said. “We’ve got room to improve.”

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