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2018 ALD World Championship Presented by Whisky River and Chase 54

After months of planning and a total of seven qualifier events around the country, the 2018 Amateur Long Drive™ (ALD) World Championship presented by Whisky River and Chase 54 is (as they say) “in the books”. This year’s event saw 134 competitors from 25 states and five countries travel to the Myrtle Beach, SC area to take on the top amateur long drivers in the world at Barefoot Resort & Golf. Every division represented by ALD had competitors except Super Senior Women. Come on ladies…you can do this, too!

We’re very grateful to all our sponsors who made this event possible, especially the professional staff of our host facility Barefoot Resort & Golf along with Putter’s Pub. Our 2018 sponsors are: Whisky River of North Myrtle Beach; Chase 54; Leupold Range Finders; John Daily’s Grip It and Sip It; House of Blues North Myrtle Beach;  PGA Super Store; and Signarama. Special Thanks for Arcadian Shores Golf Club for sponsoring the Adaptive Long Drive division and Ocean Annies for sponsoring a team into the event.

Thursday – Qualifying

The three day event began with an afternoon of open qualifying on Thursday August 16th followed by the ALD House of Blues Welcome Party on the deck a the the Barefoot Landing HOB. Live music, great food, and a few adult (and other) beverages were enjoyed by all who attended.

Friday – Competition Elimination Rounds

On Friday morning, a handful of late arrivals took advantage of a Last Chance Qualifier to get into the show. Competition Elimination Rounds began just after 1:30 to determine those transferring into the Championship Rounds on Saturday. By 7 PM the Competition Elimination Rounds were complete just in time for the Putter’s Pub Pizza Party…approximately ten yards behind the grid.

Saturday – Championship Rounds

Championship Day began by crowing champions in the Youth, Junior, and Super Senior divisions followed by Adaptive, Seniors, Veterans, and Adult Divisions. Here are the results:

Youth Female: Hannah Marsden | Youth Male: Dallas Johnson | Junior Female: Rachael Wilkenson | Junior Male: Daxx Carr | Adult Female: Tina Gac | Adult Male: J.P. Patrylo | Senior Female: Dale Bellaire Patterson | Senior Male : Mark Lawrence | Super Senior Male: Dennis Duncan | Veteran: Corey Culver | Senior Veteran: Paul Williams | VGA: John Camping | VGA Senior: Steve Kubik | Adaptive Division Winners: Rich O’Brien; Thomas Maneely; Fred Gutierrez; Gianna Rojas; Josh Swindle; Byron Heyward; Chris Arnold; & Henry O’Grady | 2018 Amateur Long Drive Open World Champion: Corey Culver

The largest group of the event was the Adult Male Division. Sixteen competitors transferred to the Championship Rounds where they each hit one round of eight balls in groups of four. The top two from each group advanced to the next round. Those eight competitors hit another set of eight balls in groups of four. The top two in each group transferred to set up the final group of four. This group hit yet another round of eight balls to yield the top two, who went head-to-head in another round of eight to determine the Adult Male Champion. But,  Ryan Thiele and J.P. Patrylo’s drives in this round were just inches apart in length requiring a four ball playoff. J. P. Patrylo who qualified for the event in a Charleston, SC qualifier won the division.

Open Word Championship Eliminations and Final

The Open World Championship (OWC) Elimination Rounds are filled by up to four of the longest drives (of the day) from each division: Amateur; Adaptive:, & Veteran. Those (longest) drives had to reach a minimum distance set by event officials earlier in the day. The minimum drive took into consideration the prevailing 15 to 20 MPH wind that competitors faced all three days of the event. First time competitor Ryan Thiele advanced from the Amateur Division. Chris Arnold advanced from the Adaptive Division. Corey Culver advanced from the Veteran Division. Each competitor hit one round of eight balls to determine the winner. Corey Culver bombed a drive of 309 yards to take home the title and the prestigious Amateur Long Drive™ Belt.

The Leupold Longest Drive

From day one, ALD has used Leupold Range Finders to score our events. Leupold Range Finders are incredibly accurate and can measure to the tenth of a yard. The Leupold Range Finder longest “official” drive of the event came on Friday when Des Moines, Iowa bomber, Jake Redlinger went 327 in a 20 MPH headwind to advance into the final sixteen Adult Males heading into the Championship Rounds. Jake was longest at the Des Moines qualifier in even tougher conditions when he went 334 up hill in a 25 MPH headwind. Professional (WLD) long driver, Paul “Chewy” Howell plugged a ball at 347 yards in an exhibition on Friday. The headwind the competitors faced all three days most likely robbed them of 30+ yards each drive. Long driving at sea level never yields the big numbers seen at higher and dryer elevations and Myrtle Beach’s moist and sandy fairways have never been known for a lot for bounce an roll.