Fresh off his third USDGC title, I talked with Will Schusterick about his big win and a look back at 2014.
1. Once again this year Hole 17 plays a major role in the outcome of the USDGC. However, this year you’re on the other end of it. How did it feel to watch JohnE play that hole after your experience last year?
“Before he threw, I assumed he was getting inbounds. JohnE is a great putter thrower and that shot sets up well for him. Hole 17 is one of those holes that if you’re ‘off’ by just a little in the wrong area, it can really hurt. That’s why I try to miss going to the right and play to the larger area. Anybody on any given day could go to that hole and take 9. It’s just how it works. I don’t think it makes it a ‘bad’ hole, it’s just a hole not to mess around with.”
2. People have commented that your putting style has changed a lot this year. However, during the USDGC rounds you were back to the style we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. Was this is sign of something deeper you were working on within your game?
“I wouldn’t say that it is a sign of something deeper, but more of a sign that my game has changed a fair amount since last year. Any tour player will tell you that if your putt isn’t going in, you better figure out a way to make it work. For me, that was to straddle putt. Now that I don’t putt straddle mainly, my jump putts are better. Driving the disc has always been second nature to me. Playing the smart play over and over again, the most consistent way, and being confident doing it is something anybody can learn.”
3. You gave one of the most eloquent victory speeches in USDGC history–or for any tournament in recent memory–it’s one people will talk about for years. You mentioned you had something else on you wanted to say in your speech, what was it you wanted to say?
“I honestly don’t remember saying that I wanted to say more during my speech. I went through a lot throughout the year and had a lot of emotion coming into the tournament. In previous years I really didn’t take my time while I was giving my speech. This year I wanted to take some time and express how I feel about the USDGC, the support I receive from my family/friends, and say something about growing the sport. I came up with it while I was up there.”
4. 2014 hasn’t been your strongest touring year. How does it feel to bring home the biggest title in disc golf to wrap up the season?
“Although the year wasn’t exactly successful on the course, it was great off the course. I did lots of clinics in the U.S. and in Europe and plan to do more next year. I connected with thousands of people that I would normally never connect with. Growing the sport has to be the main goal when traveling. We (tour players) are at the forefront of the sport and have to take the reins where we want it to go. If we don’t take time throughout the week and make it a goal to do one thing beneficial for the future, what are we really doing?”
5. When does Shoestrings 2 come out?
I hope there will be a yearly long version of Shoestrings very soon. I have lots of aspirations to create something that Disc Golf has been needing for awhile now.