The 2018 World Long Drive season got underway with a few accompanying fireworks in West Columbia, South Carolina on the grid that has earned its deserving moniker of a “hitter’s heaven.”
MOOSE WINS FIRST EVENT SINCE 2013: A 419-yard blast in the championship match vaulted Justin Moose to his first World Long Drive win since 2013. Matched up against Eddie Fernandes in the final, Moose connected on four drives in the set that rolled out north of the 400 yard mark, with his winning drive outmatching Fernandes’ best drive of 410 yards.
A semifinalist at the 2016 Volvik World Long Drive Championship and native of Pittsburgh, Moose also bested World No. 1 Justin James in the semifinal en route to claiming the $12,000 first place prize and corresponding 800 World Long Drive ranking points. Steve Monroe was the fourth semifinalist, with Fernandes advancing past him to meet Moose in the final.
The Tour event also debuted its qualifier component new to 2018, with four competitors earning their way into the 36-man field at Par Tee Driving Range via the 16-for-4 qualifier on Friday: Jacob Golliday, Jay Milinichik, Danny Moorehead and Troy Teal.
SIX PUNCH TICKET TO 2018 VOLVIK WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP:
Six coveted exemptions into the 2018 Volvik World Long Drive Championship were awarded through the East Coast Classic qualifying on Thursday-Friday. Glenn Wilson Jr., Scott Kalamar, Press LaBrie, Spencer McDaniel, Jacob Golliday and Mitch McDowell each claimed their spot into the field at WinStar World Casino & Resort later this year along with world ranking points.
CURRENT TOP-10 IN WORLD LONG DRIVE RANKINGS: No. 1 – Justin James; No. 2 – Maurice Allen; No. 3 – Ryan Reisbeck; No. 4 – Tim Burke; No. 5 – Trent Scruggs; No. 6 – Will Hogue; No. 7 – Mitch Grassing; No. 8 – Ryan Steenberg; No. 9 – Paul Howell; No. 10 – Glenn Wilson Jr.
COMING UP: The first televised World Long Drive event of 2018, the Clash in the Canyon is next up on the schedule in Mesquite, Nevada. Qualifying will take place Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22, with the Tour event being staged Monday-Tuesday, April 23-24 for the Open, Women’s and Masters divisions. Golf Channel will carry live coverage of the Open/Women’s division competitions beginning at 7 p.m. ET that Tuesday.