It was a day of big hitting at Chester Racecourse which saw three winners progress to the World Championship next month in Oklahoma
American Golf Long Drive Winners Progess To World Championship Next Month
American Golf and Callaway welcomed Europe’s strongest Long Drive field to Chester Racecourse on Thursday and Emil Rosberg came out on top with a longest hit of 388 yards (into a headwind!).
The Swede, who won the UK leg of the Long Drive World Series last year, came through 2017 American Golf Long Drive finalist James Tait in the final via sudden death to win the Under 45s title.
Rosberg’s 370 yarder beat Tait’s drive of 354 yards. He now progresses to the World Championships in Oklahoma next month.
“It feels absolutely amazing to have qualified for the world championships,” he said.
“It’s my third year in a row now so I have a bit of experience and look forward to going and representing American Golf.
Rosberg acknowledged how difficult the windy conditions were, “I struggled this morning. I started with 6 OB and then only one in the next 6 balls, but it came later in the day and I just found it. It’s kind of how I do Long Drive!”
William Hunt Tyrell won the Over 45s crown, beating 2015 champion Steve Kent in the semis and then Gavin Beddow in the final.
The Irishman beat Beddow two sets to one.
Hunt said, “I wanted it so much this time after last year. I can see my girls, their faces, and they’re saying ‘get the cup daddy, so we can put the chocolate in it!’”
Ilona Stubley won the Ladies title for the second year running, beating 2015 and 2016 champion Rebecca McGinley in the final with a 300 yard drive.
“I’m very pleased,” she said.
“I think it means more to me winning this one than last year. Last year was such a whirlwind between qualifying and getting to the final but this year I’ve put a lot more work into it and with the help of my trainer, Alex at Golf Fit, I’ve come in so well prepared.”
“I’m going to keep on working in the next month leading up to the World Championships, in the gym and hitting balls. I can’t wait to get there though. Last year I didn’t know what to expect, but now I know what the competition is about and I’m definitely a lot better and stronger.“
In their first year of sponsorship of the event Callaway have been integral to its success and had a real boost when they saw the competitors take to the stage, as Nathan Dennis, Retail Marketing Manager at Callaway Golf explains, “We’re delighted to have been the sponsors of the American Golf U.K. Long Drive Championship and even more so to see Emil and Ilona take two of the three titles using Callaway clubs. This really was a collection of the biggest hitters in Europe across all three categories, so to see so many players using Callaway Jailbreak technology to unlock their distance potential was hugely satisfying.”
In its fourth year, the American Golf UK Long Drive Championship has established itself as the premier Long Drive Championship in Europe, but while the best from the professional ranks flew in to take part in the qualification process at American Golf stores, that was not the most satisfying aspect for Matt Bacon, Head of Events at American Golf, “We’ve watched this event grow in stature and I can’t quite believe the quality of competitors who fly in for qualifying and then for the finals. But while it’s amazing to see the established stars, the people I love are the American Golf customers who just gave it a go and found out they were among the best. People like Abbi, who has qualified every year since she was 13 and made the semi-finals this year, Dave Evans who turns up every year without training for long drive and hits around 400 yards, and Ilona who never tried long drive before walking into an American Golf store last year and is now a double U.K. Champion. I love this event and I’m so proud of what everyone has achieved.”
All three categories will be shown on Sky Sports in October this year. The American Golf UK Long Drive Championship is part of American Golf’s drive to get more people hitting more balls, more often. And this year, those Callaway balls have been going a very long way.