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Nick Carlson wins Next Golf Tour Round 6 after dramatic finish at Innisbrook

Nick Carlson wins Next Golf Tour Round 6 after dramatic finish at Innisbrook

When Nick Carlson watched his tee shot on the 16th hole at Innisbrook Copperhead drift toward the water, he called it “pure heartbreak.” A bogey (or worse) seemed likely, which would erase Carlson’s one-shot lead in Round 6 with the rest of the “Snake Pit” — Copperhead’s brutal three-hole closing stretch — still to play.

Then, Carlson said, “craziness ensued.” Taking his drop in a patch of pine straw, he pulled out his mini-driver and launched a towering cut over the pond and toward the flag, 296 yards away. The ball took a hard bounce short of the green before slamming into the cup for a spectacular birdie.

“The best shot of my career by a mile,” Carlson said. He followed with another birdie on the 205-yard, par-3 17th to finish -9 and earn the $50,000 winner’s check.

"Money helps, but just being able to compete, shoot nine-under and win against an unreal field feels pretty damn good," Carlson said. "I drove home with 50 bucks in my bank account. It's difficult to make it [on tour], but it's not impossible, and 50 grand is going to help me along the way.”

The 27-year-old Carlson became the second American to win a NEXT event and the first player to win by multiple strokes. He’ll head into the NEXT Golf Tour Season Finale as the top-ranked player on the Order of Merit, with a chance to earn up to $45,000 more.

Round 6 of the mixed-field NEXT Golf Tour included 524 players from 35 countries. The total purse of $202,400 included $20,000 in prizes for in-round side games and top video posts from players on Instagram.

Watch shot-by-shot replays of every player’s Round 6 performance at Innisbrook Copperhead on the live leaderboard.

Kim Koivu of Finland went four-under through his first five holes and finished solo second at -7 ($22,863). A pair of Swedes, William Östlund and Anton Kiddy Nilsson, tied for third at -6 ($15,587 each).

A group of 12 players tied for fifth at -5 ($3,635 each), including Round 1 winner Oliver Lilliedahl of Sweden. Twenty players came in at -4 (T–18, $398 each), including the top female finisher, China’s Mohan Du, Round 4 winner Jordan Weber of the USA, and a pair of amateurs, Elias Haavisto of Finland and Mathias Thybo of Denmark.

The NEXT Golf Tour Season Finale begins March 8 at The Concession Golf Club, exclusively in Trackman simulators. The field for the 18-hole event features the top 100 players on the season-long Order of Merit (plus ties). The top 10 finishers on the Order of Merit following the finale will receive additional payouts ranging from $2,000 for 10th place to $15,000 for the champion, who will also receive three Challenge Tour exemptions and a spot in a DP World Tour event during the 2024 season.

The top female performer receives the ANNIKA Women’s All Pro Tour Wildcard, which includes tour membership and free entry to three ANNIKA WAPT events during the 2024 season. Three women will head into the Season Finale with a shot at these prizes: Emma Thorngren of Sweden (13th overall), Patricia-Isabel Schmidt of Germany (74th) and Fie Olsen of Denmark (88th).

The NEXT Golf Tour will present a special live viewing event on Championship Saturday, March 16, during which the top players on the Order of Merit will complete their rounds. In the event of a tie, there will be a nine-hole playoff the following day.

Side games winners

Closest-to-the-Pin (Aggregate): Matthew Anderson, Canada (79’ 4”) — $3,000

Longest Drive (Men): Colton Kalkanis, Canada (362.8 yards) — $2,000

Longest Drive (Women): Rachel Rastaad-Andersson, Norway (281.4 yards) — $2,000

Birdie Streak: (tie) Jacob Jørgensen, Denmark; Christian Jacobsen, Denmark; Nick Carlson, USA; Albert Eckhardt, Finland (4) — $375 each

The full Round 6 results — including all side games winners, individual payouts and updated Order of Merit rankings — can be found at Follow the action all season long on Instagram and Facebook: @NEXTGolfTour and #NEXTGolfTour. Follow the NEXT Golf Show on Youtube, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

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