2013 Sula Open – Pre Tournament Interview

I got the incredible opportunity to return again as the defending Champion of the Sula Open Disc Golf Tournament in Ålesund, Norway. Here’s the complete 2013 Sula Open Pre-Tournament Interview that I did for the DiscGolfGutta Norweigian Disc Golf Blog Website before playing the event!

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Hole #23 at the Vasset Disc Golf Course – Photo Courtesy of Avery Jenkins

It seemed like you had a ball, both off and on the course. Did you enjoy Sula?

Yes, of course! Last year was my first time to Sula and it was quite an experience to playing Disc Golf in that part of Norway. It might be the most remote place that I have ever played Disc Golf as it seemed very far away from everything including other towns and cities. But that’s also what probably made it so great, that it was so beautiful, pure and untainted. The players were awesome and the accommodations were amazing as I was staying at the Myrrusten Household which was just 5 minutes walk from the course. An overall great Tournament as I look forward to returning again this year!

And beside the tournament, did you do anything fun?

Yeah, lots of things throughout the week of the tournament. It started off with a Juniors Disc Golf Clinic as dozens of children from a local elementary school came to the course for a day of Disc Golf. Several Professional Players including myself spent a few hours teaching the kids the basics of Disc Golf Technique and played some fun, interactive games to keep them entertained. I also got the opportunity on Sunday night after the event to go out on a boat in the Alantic Ocean to travel to the various nearby islands and to watch a Midnight Sunset. Simply Gorgeous!

You were very friendly and including with everybody. We think we can speak for all of us at Sula Open, when we say we enjoyed your company. How did the Norwegians treat you?

Thanks so much, it was a fantastic time overall. The Norweigans were very outgoing, friendly people and I had a lot of fun meeting everyone throughout the week. It was great to be a part of such a awesome event and it seemed like everyone at the tournament was having a good time throughout all of the activities.

Also the Myrrusten Family really took great care of me and a few other Disc Golfers that stayed at their house. They gave me a nice bed, delicious meals and they made it feel like being home. Great company and amazing hospitality, they are truly an incredible family.

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Norwegian Boat Rides – Photo Courtesy of Avery Jenkins

You won. Does it feel good?

It feels absolutely great to have won over such great competition in this event. I played solid golf all weekend long and I definitely threw the shots that I needed to win. I had great knowledge of the course, where to play aggressive and where to play conservative as it worked out well in the end.

KJ played great and it was a battle until the end. He is a true sportsman and a gentleman, I had a lot of fun playing the rounds with him. He is a World Class Player that wanted to win just as bad as I did, he has all the drives and putts to play just about anywhere.

How did you do it?

Patience, Confidence and Will to Win were probably the biggest contributors to my success at the Sula Open. I never forced a shot that I didn’t want to throw and kept patient on the holes that offered the most danger. I also played agressive when I needed to with great confidence knowing that the course layout fit my type of game. The player that wants to win the Tournament the most usually does, I wanted to play good and commit fully to all of my shots to produce a successful outcome.

Anybody at Sula who was significant to your victory?

I would have to say that it was a lot of people that were significant in my victory. Jostein Haland for contacting me and inviting me to travel to Norway to play the Tournament. Daniel Myrrusten and his Family for giving me a great place to stay and amazing meals every night. And all of my sponsors incliuding Innova Champion Discs, Huk Lab, Keen Footwear, Grip Equipment Disc Golf Bags, Clif Bar and others that provide me with everything that I need to compete at the highest levels.

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Norway has Beautiful Scenery – Photo Courtesy of Avery Jenkins

Tell us about the fight between you and K.J. Nybo?

It was a battle until the end.

We both knew throughout the round that it was going to be the player that made the least amount of mistakes. As in most Tournaments, the player that keeps the disc in bounds and avoids the bogies usually has a great chance to win.

I was fortunate that the weather was ideal the entire weekend, which made the course very enjoyable to play. We started the final round with one stroke between us, and that stroke traded off several times throughout the round as we capitalized when possible.

I took the lead by a stroke with 3 holes to go and made sure that I stuck with the game plan to continue to play aggressive when available. I scored a birdie to push the lead to 2 strokes but KJ quickly answered on the next hole to cut the lead back to one. On the last hole I knew that I needed to just keep in bounds on the long Par-4 and lay up the shot…and I did just that for the victory!

Do you wish you had a caddy like K.J.? Or do you think the caddy was the reason K.J. got second?

Of course I wish that I had a caddy like KJ! His caddy Adam was a really nice guy that I had a great time talking to throughout the rounds. He was always busy taking care of KJ, talking through shots with him and even taking notes on each hole throughout the round.

There will be a day when all Professional Disc Golfers have caddys to carry their Disc Golf Bags, take notes, strategize the optimal shots on every hole along with being a great companion to talk to during the round. It will definitely be a great thing to witness.

In the days before the event, how did you prepare yourself for the competition? And do you think you prepared yourself better than your competitors?

I like to get to the event early to practice the course several times in order to dial in the proper shots. I will throw several drives per hole just to get the feel for what is the most effective shot on that hole so that I know what to throw during the Tournament rounds.

I really think that KJ Nybo had the best preparation before the tournament last year as I saw him out there for several hours every day that we were there. He would play only 6-9 holes at a time and continue to play only those holes until he felt confortable the shots that he was going to throw during the event.

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Nate Doss driving on Hole #8 – Photo Courtesy of Avery Jenkins

How do you feel about Christian Sandstrom winning the longest drive competition?

He is a former World Distance Record Holder and a phenominal thrower, a great combonation of awesome techinque, power and speed. The shots that he threw doing the competition were not the farthest that I’ve seen him throw throughout the years but they were still impressive as he was clearly the favorite. He’s an incredible Disc Golf talent but ever a better Individual as well, I’m proud to call him a good friend of mine.

Any comments about the course? Is 27 holes to much? Did you enjoy the scenery? Was it challenging?

I thought that the course looked absolutely beautiful and I really like the holes over or near the water because they created a great challenge to all competitors. It also added to the beauty of the course as it made for some difficult and sometimes conservative throws.

I thought that the 27-hole layout worked out just fine as we only played one round per day which left the rest of the day for other activities including the Distance Contest and the Barbecue for the Players.

Trying other courses? Maybe the course in Skien?

I actually got the opportunity to play some of the other Disc Golf Courses in the area after the event. I planned my flight to leave on Tuesday just so that I would have the opportunity to play some other nearby courses. We traveled around the town on Monday playing one course near an Elementary School and another closer to town. They were decent courses mostly set up as beginner or recreation courses which is always needed to help get newer players involved and to enjoy the sport.

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Sunset in the Harbor – Photo Courtesy of Avery Jenkins

How did the Norwegian disc golf community represent?

It was interesting to see the various Norwegian Players from all over the country compete in last year’s Sula Open as it’s one of the Biggest Events in Norway all year. I would say that the Norwegian Disc Golf Community represented very well with great competitive and friendly players.

Ewa Bergquist was wondering what you think about the Norwegian Ladies?

I think that the Norwegian Ladies have a lot of ethusiasm, overwhelming excitement and incredible potential as the sport continues to grow in Norway. It will be great to see their reaction to my sister, Valarie Jenkins, participating in the Sula Open event this year. I think that Valarie definitely brings a certain energy to the Tournaments that she attends and special vibe that can be felt throughout the lady players that she meets. I know that Valarie is really looking forward to it.

What do you expect from this year’s Sula Open?

I expect it to be another great battle between some of the Best Players in the World especially with Threee-Time Disc Golf World Champion, Nate Doss, in the mix this year along with KJ Nybo that finished second last year. I believe that it’s going to be an even better Tournament this year because the Sula Open is definitely getting some worldwide recognition as I have done my best to bring it some much deserved notice. It’s gauranteed to be an awesome competition, fun festivities and lots of players from all over the world sharing the same passion in Disc Golf!

2013 Sula Open Champions
2013 Sula Open Champions – Photo Courtesy of The Disc Golf Guy

Here’s the Complete 2013 Sula Open Post-Tournament Interview at DiscGolfGutta.com: Avery Jenkins 2013 Sula Open Post-Tournament Interview

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