The prestigious, La Hacienda Club De Golf in Mexico City hosted the 2019 Latino Americano Long Drive Championship February 14-16. The best amateur long drivers from North, Central, and South America were on hand to compete for the title of this inaugural event. Event founder and coordinator Luis Kuronya along with a host of sponsors and partners created an electrifying atmosphere for three days of competition that also included a Putting Championship and Pro Am golf tournament.
ALD™ Team USA took 2018 World Champion, Corey Culver, 2017 World Champion, Mark Lawrence, and 2018 Open Division Champ, Ryan Thiele to the show. Will Cashin represented the newly formed ALD™ Canada team.
The fairly narrow dogleg left configuration of the grid at La Hacienda and some tricky winds proved to be a challenge for most hitters. But, the 7,300 foot elevation above sea level allowed for impressive yardages. Corey Culver hit a career long (in competition) drive of 390 yards, but was eliminated in semi-final competition. Mikey Jarrell of Rochester, New York won the event while posting a new world record (for amateur competition) of 400 yards. Luis De Cote of Mexico was runner-up. De Cote won the putting championship.
We were very fortunate to be accompanied at the event by 2017 World Long Drive Masters Champion, Jeff Crittenden. The very personable, Jeff “Critter” provided hitting exhibitions for the fans as well as coaching Team USA. The longest drive of the weeks belongs to Jeff at 406 yards. He said he felt like there was a 420 to be had, but came up a little short.
Three hitters from this championship received an exemption into the ALD™ World Championship this August 16-17 at Barefoot Resort & Golf in Myrtle Beach, SC. Luis De Cote of Mexico, Joaquin Fabeiro of Argentina, and Ricardo Battistini of Brazil will be making the trip to America to test their skills against the top amateur long drivers in the world.
The Latino Americano Long Drive Championship is poised for growth. We, at ALD™, are very proud to have been invited to participate. The experience of taking a team to compete against other countries is one we won’t forget. As usual, the comradery among long drivers forged new friendships and created rivalries for the future. We’re already looking forward to next year.
Are you long enough? Have you been told you should consider long drive? Come compete in the most exciting game in golf. Whether you have aspirations to make your way to professional long driver, or just want to see how you stack up to your friends, come join us!