David Wiggins Jr. can't legally drive a car, having just turned 15 years old a couple months ago. But already the High Point, N.C., native is one of the world's best when it comes to throwing his driving disks - and his mid-range disks and putter and just about everything in between.
As the PDGA Amateur World Disc Golf Championships rolled through its second day of singles competition Wednesday, Wiggins was part of the lead group in A Pool of the advanced division that played at Hedges-Boyer Park. He and David Nelson (Ill.), Connor Thompson (S.C.) and Chris Vandagriff (Houston) had the top scores in their pool after Tuesday's rounds and thus were paired together - a crowd of about 25 following them all over the course.
Nelson had perhaps the most impressive make of the day, an estimated 130-footer on No. 3 after his tee shot got chopped down by a tree, but Wiggins' round of 11-under 47 from the back tees topped all players Wednesday.
Wiggins leads all tournament players regardless of division with a 25-under-par total after three rounds. Earlier this week he and 14-year-old and Andrew Coggin, a fellow North Carolinian, won the junior doubles competition for a fourth-straight year. That included a round at Tiffin. Coggin is in second place in the 16-under juniors competition, three strokes behind Finland's Seppo Paju.
"We live real close, the same course, so we play together a lot," Higgins said of how he and Coggins paired up.
Besides his world titles in doubles play, Wiggins also has multiple world titles in individual junior play and was runner-up in the advanced division last year.
"It's just knowing my shots, being consistent and staying in the fairway," he said of how he adapts to new courses so quickly.
As part of his round Wednesday, he risked going out of bounds on No. 8 and threw over the outfield of the baseball diamond, halfway up the hill to the right of the trees, rather work toward Mulch Hill and then up it. He then curved high around the trees to the basket for an easy 3.
"I was just trying to come out and get birdies - there's a lot of them out there," he said. "I was just trying to get my 3 [on No. 8]. I thought it was safer [to go right]."
Nelson's round of 51 left him seven strokes behind Wiggins in the advanced division, with Thompson another stroke back. Trey Williams and Sandy Redd, who played in the B Pool, are tied for fourth at 15 under.
Williams, a 23-year-old from Greensboro, N.C., shot a 48 to nearly match Wiggins, who is in the same club as him, he said.
"I finally started putting good," Williams said. "My first two rounds I couldn't hit anything, so I tweaked it a bit. I was more authoritative.
"This course plays good if you're safe," he said, referring to Hedges-Boyer's many points out of bounds. "It's my second-favorite course in this tournament, behind Alum Creek. That plays right into my game, with the tight fairways. I'm usually playing safe. If I'm not in the fairway in the first shot, I will be in the second one. This course is real nice if you know your fairway driving game."
Bill Cary (Minneapolis) leads the advanced masters division at -19, and John Schengber leads the advanced grandmasters at -17. Ron Engebretson (Texas) and Chuck Hornsby (Ga.) are tied atop the advanced senior grandmasters at -4.
Richard Wysocki of Medina is at -22 to lead the juniors 19-under division. Paju and Arizona's Triston Covington (-11 in the 13-under) are among the other junior division leaders. Rebecca Frazier (Ind.) is at +3 to lead the advanced women's division, eight strokes better than her second-place mother, Sandra.
ACES HIGH: Two holes-in-one were recorded Wednesday. Joe Levell, playing in the advanced masters division, became the second player to ace No. 6 at Upper Sandusky's Reservoir Park. Advanced grandmasters players Peter Engelman aced No. 7 at Alum Creek State Park, which carries the water a majority of its path.