Jeff Flagg hammered a 365-yard drive that edged Jeff Crittenden by 13 inches to win the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
With the victory, Flagg, a 29-year-old former minor league baseball player, took home $250,000.
Crittenden, at 43 the oldest competitor in the field, also hit a 365-yard drive in the finals, but his tee ball came up 13 inches shy of Flagg's – the shortest margin of victory in event history.
“I thought I had him,” Flagg said afterward, “but if there’s anything I learned from baseball is that you can’t get too high or too low until it’s a done deal.”
Playing into a cold, stiff crosswind, eight finalists competed in head-to-head matches at Las Vegas Pauite Golf Resort. Five were decided by two yards or less, including all of Crittenden’s matches.
First, he edged Matt Hanger by a yard in the quarterfinals (369-368), then escaped by the same margin in the semis (357-356) against tournament favorite Joe Miller. (Two-time champion Jamie Sadlowski lost to Miller in the quarterfinals.)
Flagg, meanwhile, nipped Daniel Beckman by one yard in the quarterfinals (375-374), then blew out Adam Smith in the semis, 335-305.