The 2019 Amateur Long Drive™ World Championship presented by MyrtleBeachGolf.com and Short Par 4 wrapped up this past weekend at Barefoot Resort & Golf. It was an amazing event with some outstanding competition from in all divisions. Competitors from over 20 states as well as Mexico and Canada converged on North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot to compete against each other to see who could be World Champions. The competition was tight over the 2 days and the camaraderie was even tighter.
The hitters and staff had to battle Mother Nature on Friday just to get the competition in. There were delays and schedule changes but it was certainly worth the wait. All divisions were narrowed down to the championship rounds by the end of the afternoon on Friday. Everyone was excited moving into Saturday morning and that is when the weather changed everything. Heavy rains came in the area overnight and lasted into the morning. This forced the competition to be finished inside on a simulator. A huge thank you to Barefoot General Manager, Dave Genevro, for letting the competition go on inside.
The morning started with the 70+ Men’s Division that was won by Garrett Lefler with a winning yardage of 245 yards over Donald Bunting at 228 yards. That division was followed by the Open Adaptive division which was won, once again by Chris Arnold at 346 yards. He was followed by Edward Urqahart at 294 yards and young Henry O’Grady at 190 yards.
Next up on the John Daly’s Grip It & Sip It Tee was the youth and junior division for boys and girls. Leading the way in the Youth Girls Division was Zhana Navato from Canada with a winning drive of 223 yards over Graclyn Toler at 204 yards.
The Youth Boys Division saw Jack Brown win going away with a mark of 221 yards over Josh Mielke (141) and 7 year old Liam Breece (113). Jack finished second last year and vowed to return this year to grab victory. Well done young man!
The Junior Girls took to the simulator next and Kylee Dubroski took home the title with a drive of 275 yards. She beat Olivia Sargla (260) and Rachel Wilkenson (239) in the finals.
Up next was the Junior Boys Division and these young men put on a show! All 5 competitors hit the ball over 300 yards! Alex Bunting (304), Miller Miller (314), Daxx Carr (326), Sandy Porter (344) and the champion was Josh Fowler from Canada with a whooping 364 yard drive to clinch the title. This division was a treat to watch. The future of ALD™ is very bright in the hands of all these youngsters both boys and girls.
Onto the adult division and first up was the Super Senior Men. Richard Flanagan bested Craig Rische 285 yards to 280 yards in a very close contest.
Senior Women were up next. A hard fought final saw Debbie Peaver outlast Jill Morgan in a very competitive match. Peaver prevailed at 234 yards over Morgan’s 224 yards.
The Senior Men were very impressive in their final. AJ Carr bested Paul Cleary 368 yards to 346 yards. Both men gave it all they had and really impressed the crowd.
Next up the days competition was the Open Women and Open Men’s Divisions. The competition could not have been any more intense and hard fought than it was Saturday night. The Open Women came down to the final two in Kelly Rudney from Canada and Natalia Fletcher from Indiana. But they had to wait for the men to get down to their finals.
The Open Men went at it hard down to the final four then the final two. To the surprise of no one in the room their yardage were both impressive and close. All 16 hitters went over 300 yards and a few much farther than that. As we worked our way down to the final two hitters we saw the final four with drives of 375 yards by Mike Axford, 377 yards by Trey Gilliland, 380 yards from Will Cashin and a whopping 410 yards from Scottie Pearman. So it would be Cashin and Pearman in the finals.
When the women took to the John Daly’s Grip It & Sip It Tee the anticipation was incredible. Kelly Rudney was up first and she posted a very impressive 283 yard drive. A number that would be tough for Natalia Fletcher to beat. But she was up to the task. After just missing Rudney’s 283 yard drive by 2 yards, Fletcher stepped up on her final ball of the night and ripped the championship winning drive of 294 yards! It was easily the highlight of the night.
As the men stepped to the teeing area all eyes were on this last match of the weekend. The air in the room was filled with electricity as Scottie Pearman, who chose to hit first, took to the box. Pearman had been the longest hitter all weekend and he was not to be denied in the finals. His longest drive of 398 yards was too much for Will Cashin to catch. Cashin hit a very respectable 383 yard drive in his set but it was Pearman’s night.
Congratulations to Will Cashin of Canada for racking up the most World Ranking Points during the 2018/19 season! – 2019 World #1!
The 2019 Amateur Long Drive™ World Championships presented by MyrtleBeachGolf.com and Short Par 4 was an amazing event. Next year’s is sure to be bigger and hopefully just as exciting! We will see everyone at Barefoot Resort & Golf August 13th, 14th and 15th 2020.