Carlborg (Sweden) Wins Record-Fifth Championship Title; James Caps Outstanding Season by Taking No. 1 Spot in World with Third Victory of 2017
(THACKERVILLE, OKLA.) – The World Long Drive Association (WLDA) celebrated the latest title for one of its most decorated competitors and welcomed its newest victor
as Sandra Carlborg (Women’s Division, Alingsas, Sweden) and Justin James (Open Division, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) each claimed the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship as the longest hitters in all of golf.
Previously a four-time champion (2011, ’12, ’14, ’15), Carlborg snagged her record-fifth victory in the season-culminating event with a 320-yard winning drive over Heather Manfredda (League City, Texas) in the Championship following a 349-yard drive in the semifinal match.
“After my third place finish last year, I’d been working so hard the whole year to get [the title] back,” said Carlborg. “The sport has grown so much, with so many good players. I’m so happy.”
On the men’s side, James claimed his first World Championship victory after connecting on a 435-yard drive in the Championship match against Mitch Grassing (Ottawa, Ont., Canada). James – who becomes the new World No. 1 with tonight’s victory – acknowledged his father Gerry afterward, a past World Long Drive champion in his own right in the Masters (age 45+) Division.
“They always say – when I watch games – ‘there’s no words’ and I think they’re stupid,” said James.” But now I’m the stupid one because there’s no words to describe this. It’s the best thing ever. I’m really happy to win for my dad. He never got this one, and I think he deserved it. So I’m really happy to be able to pull that one out for him. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
The victory was James’ third of the season, following his win at the Bluff City Shootout and Bash for Cash events earlier this summer.
The Volvik World Long Drive Championship capped a 2017 WLDA season that already had produced a number of dramatic moments, including the two additional live televised events – tripling the number from any previous year. Underscoring the global nature of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, the event – in addition to a North American-audience via Golf Channel – was distributed to more than 300 million homes in 65 countries around the world.
· Open Division: 1st: Justin James ($125,000); 2nd: Mitch Grassing ($50,000); 3rd/4th: Kyle Berkshire & Nick Kiefer ($19,500); 5th-8th: Tim Burke, Will Hogue, Paul Howell & Wes Patterson ($7,000)
· Women’s Division: 1st: Sandra Carlborg ($20,000); 2nd: Heather Manfredda ($8,000); 3rd/4th: Phillis Meti & Alexis Belton ($3,000)
OPEN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
(2) Justin James def. (9) Mitch Grassing
WOMEN’S DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
(2) Sandra Carlborg def. (8) Heather Manfredda
OPEN DIVISION (MEN’S) SEMIFINAL MATCHES:
(9) Mitch Grassing def. (12) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)
(2) Justin James def. (11) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)
WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES:
(2) Sandra Carlborg def. (6) Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.)
(8) Heather Manfredda def. (4) Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand)
OPEN DIVISION (MEN’S) QUARTERFINAL MATCHES:
(9) Mitch Grassing def. (16) Wes Patterson (St. Louis, Mo.)
(12) Kyle Berkshire def. (4) Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.)
(2) Justin James def. (7) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.)
(11) Nick Kiefer def. (3) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.)
For more information, visit www.worldlongdrive.com.