First Televised World Long Drive Association Title for Both Mullins & Allen; Ryan Reisbeck Moves to No. 1 in World Long Drive Rankings
(DENVER, Colo.) – The high elevation of Denver offered an ideal setting for welcoming two first-time, televised-event World Long Drive champions, as Troy Mullins (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Maurice Allen (Pine Hills, Fla.) each claimed the top prize at the Mile High Showdown.
Despite her position as the highest remaining seed entering the semifinals, Mullins’ 398-yard drive was enough to edge the top-seeded Chloe Garner (395) to propel Mullins into the finals against Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand), who in her semifinals match set a new World Long Drive record for the longest ball ever with a 406-yard drive. In the finals, Mullins’ 374-yard mark was enough to outlast Meti (363) to claim her first World Long Drive title and the $7,000 first-place prize.
“I’m still shocked, I can’t believe it,” Mullins said. “I kept my head down [on that last ball] and I didn’t even know if it made it in the grid. I’m really proud of myself… I’m doing this on my own, not sponsored. I come here with my two clubs and I’m doing it. And I think this is a great way to get people into the sport. This is how I got into golf, just coming out and having fun. I hope to stay in it for a long time.”
On the men’s side, each of the four quarterfinals matches saw the top-seeded competitor advance in Ryan Reisbeck, Justin James, Maurice Allen and Ryan Steenberg, with Reisbeck and Steenberg tying for the longest ball of the round at 485 yards. In the semifinals, a 474-yard drive pushed Reisbeck past Steenberg (460) and into the finals, while Allen’s 465-yard drive bested James (445) to earn him a matchup with Reisbeck. After Reisbeck failed to hit the grid in the finals, a 436-yard drive was enough to earn Allen his first televised World Long Drive Association win and the $20,000 first-place check.
“This win means everything,” Allen said. “There are a lot of people who believed in me… all these people gave me an opportunity. And for a guy who was sleeping in his car five years ago because he wanted to be a Long Driver, it [doesn’t] get any sweeter than this.”
Reisbeck Takes Over No. 1 Spot in World Long Drive Rankings
While his showing in the finals match left Reisbeck disappointed with the result, a consolation in addition to his $10,000 second-place check was that he earned enough points to overtake Will Hogue to become the new No. 1 competitor in the World Long Drive rankings. The updated top five competitors in the rankings through the Mile High Showdown are:
1 – Ryan Reisbeck;
2 – Will Hogue;
3 – Justin James;
4 – Maurice Allen;
5 – Tim Burke
The 2017 Open Division schedule consists of qualifying events spanning from March through August, with competitors from each event advancing to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 6). Only two opportunities remain for prospective Long Drive competitors to qualify for the season-culminating event, which include the Catawba Classic (Aug. 4-6, Hickory, N.C.) and the “Last Chance Qualifier” (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). The Volvik World Long Drive Championship will feature a 96-man field competing for a $270,000 purse. The Women’s Division will feature a field of 32 competitors vying for a purse of $40,000. The event will return to WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.) for a third consecutive year, following a multi-year extension as the host site.
For the full 2017 World Long Drive Association schedule, visit https://www.worldlongdrive.com/schedule/.