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Updated: Apr 5

The Open Division started its season in Huntington Beach earlier this month with an exciting event. The competition was loaded with top 25 hitters, but Justin James dominated his competition on his way to the win in his return to his hometown. With some added rain, JJ was able to hold off Colton Casto in the finals to win his first event of the year. Justin was born in Newport, a 10-15 minute drive from Huntington Beach, making this event even more special for him. The 2017 World Champion kicked off the year with a win all while picking up where he left off last year, where he led the Open Division in wins during the 2023 season.

The 2023 season turned out to be a successful one for Justin James, with wins in Hobe Sound, Florida, and Portland, Connecticut, along with many other Top 5 finishes. At the World Championships, Justin reached the Head-to-Head quarterfinals, where he faced Kyle Berkshire in the first round. Justin's drive of 393 yards appeared to be enough to secure his victory until Kyle's sixth and final ball stayed inbounds by just six inches, which resulted in Justin's elimination. Kyle went on to win his third World Championship in the Open Division, the highest among active players. Despite being eliminated in the quarterfinals, Justin still finished within the Top 3 in season points, despite missing one event.

This first event of 2024 in Huntington Beach was set up perfectly for Justin’s liking. This was his fourth time participating in the outing, and it has become one of his favorite places to visit. "It feels like home to me since I grew up here," said Justin. The weather is perfect, and the people are great. It's a unique event that's different from what we usually do, which makes it a nice change-up. Personally, I like the golf course element and the challenges of hitting golf shots." 

Though Justin now lives in Jacksonville, Florida, he loves returning to California, especially for events like the MB Invitational. The Michael Brown Invitational is a unique cancer fundraiser featuring the world's longest drivers in a two-day event, raising money for pediatric cancer research.

At the recent event, Justin qualified for the quarterfinals of the Head-to-Head competition by finishing in second place in the on-course qualifying round. He defeated Sam Judah and Bobby Ray to reach the finals, where he faced Colton Casto in a rematch of the 2023 Memphis event finals.  In Memphis, Colton managed to defeat JJ and secured his record of 2-0 head-to-head (H2H) in the finals against the 2017 World Champion. However, in California, Justin was able to take revenge and clinch the inaugural victory of 2024. "It has been a fantastic week for me. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Calvary Chapel, where I grew up, so I am pleased to be here and win this event," said Justin.

Justin James returned to action in 2024 as he had never put the club down after the 2023 World Championships. From his first shot, JJ was dialed in, hitting his marks, and emerged victorious against a loaded field of competitors. Justin has risen back up the ranks to #2 in the Open Division, just behind Kyle Berkshire. The next time Justin James will be back on the Teebox will be in Memphis on May 17th.

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