Despite immense wind conditions that forced hitters’ hands on Wednesday, Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) and Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.) navigated their way past fellow competitors en route to winning the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash.
The second win of the season for both, it was a repeat of the April’s Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (Maricopa, Ariz.), which also saw both Meti and Burke find the winner’s circle.
For Meti, a 239-yard drive on her first ball of the women’s final – dead into the wind – was enough to outlast Cassandra Meyer (Orlando, Fla). It also helped the Kiwi widen her margin as the No. 1 ranked competitor in the women’s division.
“First things first, I’ve never played in a wind this strong,” said Meti. “It’s never easy on the tee block, but I think experience prevailed today. Sometimes that’s the way the ball rolls, and I’m just glad the ball rolled my way. I feel super relieved and blessed.”
On the men’s side, Burke made quick work of his opponents, needing only five total balls to win his quarterfinal, semifinal and final matches combined. His 283-yard drive in the final bettered Ryan Steenberg (Rochester, N.Y.), who was unable to find the grid. Fortunately for Steenberg, a silver lining was that his finish earned him enough points to become the new No. 1 ranked hitter in the world, overtaking Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.), who until Wednesday, had held the top spot since winning the 2017 World Long Drive Championship.
“With the tighter grid and into the wind, it can get a little tricky,” said Burke. “My goal going into the season was to make every final eight, which I’ve done so far. I feel good. I’m just going to keep plugging along and doing what I’m doing.”
World Long Drive’s summer stretch of the season will continue next month with the ROC City Rumble (July 20-24; Rochester, N.Y.), the fourth of six televised events on GOLF Channel in 2019. The Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (Kingsport, Tenn., Aug. 10-12) will mark the final regular Tour event of the year, which will lead into the season-culminating World Long Drive Championship in September.
OPEN DIVISION FINAL
(7) Tim Burke def. (2) Ryan Steenberg
WOMEN’S DIVISION FINAL
(1) Phillis Meti def. Cassandra Meyer
OPEN DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES
(2) Ryan Steenberg def. (4) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)
(7) Tim Burke def. (5) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.)
WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES
(1) Phillis Meti def. (2) Sandra Carlborg (Alingsas, Sweden)
Cassandra Meyer def. Mary Driscol (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
OPEN DIVISION QUARTERFINAL MATCH RESULTS
(7) Tim Burke def. (26) Eddie Fernandes (Winter Garden, Fla.)
(5) Will Hogue def. (24) Martin Borgmeier (Munich, Germany)
(2) Ryan Steenberg def. (12) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.)
(4) Kyle Berkshire def. (1) Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.)