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AMATEUR DIVISION SEASON PREVIEW

World Long Drive made its return this month with the first event of 2024 in Huntington Beach taking place earlier this month. However, hitters from the Amateur Division will make their 2024 season debuts in Sacramento, California, on April 1st and 2nd. After the recent elevation of the reigning 2023 Amateur World Champion, Andrew Eigner, to the Open Division, the coveted championship belt is now up for grabs this year. This event will be the first of six scheduled for this season, with the World Championship concluding in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, from July 19th through July 22nd. To help you stay on top of things, we have compiled a list of the top players in the Amateur Division to keep an eye on in 2024:


Jay Heath

Jay Heath is a highly skilled and talented hitter hailing from California, who has made a name for himself as one of the most accurate long drivers in the sport. In the 2023 season, Jay participated in a total of six events, impressively recording only two OB sets throughout the season. He kicked off the year on a high note, winning the first event in Mesquite, and continued to perform consistently with multiple semifinal and quarterfinal finishes. As the 2024 season approaches, Jay is currently ranked fifth in the Amateur division and is keen to return to competition, with an aim to continue his ascent in the standings and achieve further success in the upcoming events.

 

Casey Steed:

Casey Steed is set to commence the 2024 season as the highest-ranked Amateur in the World Long Drive Rankings, following 2023 champion, Andrew Eigner, moving up to the Open Division. Steed will begin the year ranked second in the WLD Amateur division rankings and is determined to clinch the top spot. Despite not securing a win in the 2023 season, Steed's impressive performance saw him secure two runner-up finishes in Portland and Memphis, and three semifinal finishes in Utah, Colorado, and at the World Championships in Kingsport. Casey Steed will be a competitor to look out for at every event he attends.

 

Kauner Kay:

Kauner Kay concluded the 2023 season on a high note, having achieved a significant milestone by reaching the World Championship final for the first time in his career. Although he fell just short of victory, his strong showing in the World Championship has elevated his world ranking to #3, making him one of the most highly regarded hitters for the upcoming 2024 season. Despite his youthfulness at just 18 years old, Kauner's composure and poise on the Teebox are truly impressive, marking him as one of the most talented and promising players in the game.

 

Zach Duggan:

Zach Duggan, the winner of the 2023 La Salle, Colorado event, is a rising star in the WLD world, having broken into the Top 10 in the Amateur Division for the first time in his career in 2023. With only two events under his belt in the Amateur Division last year, Zach's impressive performance in those events and advancement out of the first round on several occasions in the Open Division has earned him the rank of #9 golfer in the Amateur Division. Zach Duggan is a player to watch out for in the upcoming season and has the potential to make further strides in the rankings.


Marc Foto:

Marc Foto is a highly skilled hitter who hails from Armonk, New York. In 2023, Marc achieved a new Personal Record at the Mesquite V2 event, where he impressively hit the ball 389 yards. Throughout his 2023 season, Marc consistently made it to the quarterfinals, including a notable finish at the 2023 Amateur World Championships in Kingsport, Tennessee. Prior to competing in Long Drive, Marc attended Colgate University and Washington and Lee Law School, where he was a Rugby player during his time in school.

Chase Noell:

 

Chase Noell, a young and gifted hitter hailing from Greeley, Colorado, is currently ranked 16th among Amateur Golfers. He is also the younger brother of Hunter Noell, who is currently ranked 40th in the Open Division rankings. Chase's best result from the 2023 season in the Amateur Division was a semifinal finish in Mesquite V1. Chase was also able to qualify for the 2023 Open Division world championships after securing a spot in a Mesquite regional qualifier. Chase has serious power off the tee and can compete with the best when he is playing at the top of his game and hitting balls in the grid.

 

 

Jeff Allen:

 

Jeff Allen enters the 2024 season as the 13th-ranked golfer in the Amateur Division Rankings. Jeff is from Harrisville Utah, and has had a massive impact on the preparation of World Long Drive events and the events running smoothly. Jeff had a strong 2023 season where his best finish of the year came in Memphis, where he advanced to the Quarterfinals and then narrowly missed advancing to the Quarterfinals at the World Championships. Jeff has a plethora of experience in Long Drive and will also be a hitter to keep an eye on at every event he attends.

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