Three competitors. Three really long drives.
And when all was said and done, three new champions were crowned.
The bright lights left no doubt that the grid was center stage this week as thousands of fans descended on the Red River Valley to witness some of the longest hitters in golf go head-to-head for the championship belt and the title of 2018 Volvik World Long Drive Champion.
Fast Eddie Fernandes grabbed his first Volvik World Long Drive Masters Division Championship belt on Tuesday night with a drive that bested competitor Jeff Gavin’s by 25 yards. Fernandes, ranked No. 21 in the world, topped the 36-man field of individuals 45 years old and older. The 47-year-old was emotional following the victory, dedicating the championship belt to his wife, late-brother and late-father.
It was Phillis Meti’s turn to take the spotlight as she rolled through the Women’s Division competition, winning her quarterfinal and semifinal matches by a combined 37 yards before setting up a head-to-head final with South African Chloe Garner. Meti took the grid first, setting the pace with a 313-yard drive. Garner nearly matched the line to beat on her third drive, but fell just three yards short, ultimately resulting in Meti raising the championship belt for the third time in her career. She is just the third woman to win at least three World Long Drive Championships, joining Sandra Carlborg (5) and Stacey Shinnick (3).
And then there was just one championship belt left to decide. Maurice Allen, fresh off his third wardrobe change of the evening, stepped onto the grid looking to solidify his place in long drive lore. He already had the two longest drives of the night at 392 and 393 yards and he knew it would take another gutsy performance to defeat Justin Moose in the finals. Then, with furious footwork and a bone-crushing swing, Allen sent the ball ripping through the night sky, landing nearly four football fields away and matching his previous best of 393 yards. Moose wasn’t able to counter, and the evening ended with Allen raising his first career world championship belt high above his head.
It was a week of high-flying action on the grounds of WinStar Golf Club and we couldn’t be more excited for next season! How far can you drive a golf ball? If you think you can compete, stay tuned to the World Long Drive website for more information on the 2019 season and don’t forget to check out photos of all the action on our Instagram!