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Power hitters clinch American Golf Long Drive titles
Intense pressure and strong headwinds didn’t deter Europe’s longest drivers from racking up prodigious distances at the American Golf Long Drive Championships jointly-hosted by Callaway last Thursday. Crowds witnessed 300-yard drives in the women’s competition and a monster hit of 384 yards in the under 45 men’s category as competitors vied for the UK & Ireland Long Drive title.
Sweden’s Emil Rosberg (Under 45), Scotland’s Ilona Stubley (Women’s) and Ireland’s William Hunt Tyrell (Over 45) came out on top in the three categories, each booking a place at the World Championship final in Oklahoma next month.
With 2017 champion Dan Konyk going out in the seeding rounds, the competition threw up surprises from the start and into a strong headwind, consistency was hard to find, as eventual under-45 winner Emil explained. “I struggled this morning,” he said. “I started with 6 OBs and then only one in the next 6 balls, but it came later in the day and I just found it. It’s kind of how I do Long Drive!
“It feels absolutely amazing to have qualified for the world championships. It’s my third year in a row now so I have a bit of experience and look forward to The Women’s title was hotly contested, with stand-out competitors, 2015 & 2016 champion Rebecca McGinley and 2017 Champion Ilona Stubley reaching the final. Ilona shone in the final with the best drive of the day (300 yards) into a slight headwind to take the win. “I’m very pleased,” she said. “I think it means more to me winning this one than last year. Last year was such a whirlwind between qualifying and getting to the final but this year I’ve put a lot more work into it and with the help of my trainer, Alex at Golf Fit, I’ve come in so well prepared.” In the final category, the Over 45’s William Hunt Tyrell, from Gorey in Ireland, dominated from start to finish. “It’s absolutely brilliant,” he said. “After last year’s finals I’ve focussed on training hard five days a week. I took it seriously, got some help from Long Drive coach Lee Cox and left no stone unturned.” In its first year sponsoring the event, Callaway has been integral to the event’s success. Nathan Dennis, Retail Marketing Manager at Callaway Golf said: “We’re delighted to have been the sponsors of the American Golf U.K. Long Drive Championship and even more so to see Emil and Ilona take two of the three titles using Callaway clubs. “This really was a collection of the biggest hitters in Europe across all three categories, so to see so many players using Callaway Jailbreak technology to unlock their distance potential was hugely satisfying.”