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Meet the two Texan disc golfers making waves in the burgeoning sport

Mason Ford and Valerie Mandujano never realized how competitive the sport was. Then they started playing...and traveling the country to compete.

SAN ANTONIO — “I actually quit my job to pursue it," says Mason Ford, a professional disc golfer.

There’s the PGA and the WPGA, but have you heard of the PDGA? The Professional Disc Golf Association.

“It’s crazy, it got to the point that I started to in every event, and then there are sponsorships," Ford said. "Everything fell together at the right time."

“I became a three-time junior world champion," added Valerie Mandujano, another professional disc golfer. "So for me. after that, it’s like what do you do but go pro?"

Ford and Mandujano played disc golf as a weekend hobby until they realized their skills could get them paid. Now, both are competing at the professional level.

“I don’t think I realized how competitive I was until I started playing," Mandujano said.

First, they traveled around the Lone Star State, measuring up their skills against other disk golfers. But it wasn't long until they started traveling around the country to prove why they're among the elite. 

“Also, competing in Texas and staying in Texas, there are 12 girls in my division. Then, going out of state there is 40. So that is a whole different field alone," Mandujano said.

“A lot of the times we’ll have six weeks in a row where we are in six different states," Ford said.

Now, as professionals, disc golf is their full-time job.

“When we are back in town, I do a lot of personal lessons, so I can do four in one day, then go play a round and a half, and still go throw in a field or putt," said Ford.

“Being home, I get to set a routine daily. We play only on the weekends, Friday to Sunday. So after that I get to go home and work on my game and what I want to improve on," Mandujano said. 

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