Eight Men, Four Women Vying for Volvik World Long Drive Championship Belts, Tonight at 9 p.m. ET Under the Lights on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 6, 2017, 6:30 pm

Women’s Division to Crown World Champion Live on Television for First Time

Overnight Rating for Tuesday Telecast Up 9% Year-Over-Year

THACKERVILLE, OKLA. (Sept. 6, 2017) – Eight men and four women tonight will be vying for the title of the longest hitter in golf and the coveted belt, as the Volvik World Long Drive Championship culminates under the lights and in primetime on Golf Channel, beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Phillis Meti is looking to defend her 2016 title, as the Women’s Division will be showcased live on television for the first time ever at the event, while two-time World Champion Tim Burke and the highest remaining seed in the event – Justin James – lead the Open (Men’s) Division quarterfinalists.

VIEWERSHIP: Tuesday night’s telecast earned a .12 Overnight Rating, up 9% year-over-year vs. the same Tuesday telecast in 2016 (according to data released by The Nielsen Company). Underscoring the global nature of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, the event – in addition to a North American-audience via Golf Channel – is being distributed to more than 300 million homes in 65 countries around the world.

The Open Division will showcase the quarterfinals, semifinals and Championship match during tonight’s telecast, while the Women’s Division will feature the semifinals and Championship match:

OPEN DIVISION (MEN’S) QUARTERFINAL MATCHES:

(9) Mitch Grassing (Ottawa, Ont., Canada) vs. (16) Wes Patterson (St. Louis, Mo.)

(4) Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.) vs. (12) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)

(2) Justin James (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) vs. (7) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.)

(3) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.) vs. (11) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)

WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES:

(2) Sandra Carlborg (Alingsas, Sweden) vs. (6) Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.)

(4) Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) vs. (8) Heather Manfredda (League City, Texas)

The ‘Round of 16’ on Tuesday night saw several “upsets,” with the lower seed advancing in four of the eight matches. The first and final matches of the night respectively saw the 16th-seeded Wes Patterson take down World No. 2 Ryan Reisbeck – the highest remaining seed going into the night – and Nick Kiefer knock out the defending World Champion, Joe Miller. Burke advanced to the quarterfinals by the slimmest of margins, with a drive of 415 yards that edged out Stephen Kois by a mere nine inches.

CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT: Competitors in each match tonight will compete head-to-head in two alternating 90-second sets with an opportunity to hit four balls in each set.

COVERAGE: Live coverage of the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship from WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., will air from 9-11 p.m. ET tonight. Golf Central will preview live event coverage, with a special one hour pre-game show analyzing the matchups, which also will include interviews with those in the field preparing to compete.

PURSE: A $270,000 purse will be paid out among those advancing to the Round of 16 in the Open Division, with the winner receiving $125,000. In the Women’s Division, those advancing to the quarterfinals will earn a portion of the $40,000 purse, with the winner receiving $20,000: (Open: 1st – $125,000; 2nd – $50,000; 3rd/4th – $19,500; 5th-8th – $7,000; 9th-16th – $3,500; Women’s: 1st – $20,000; 2nd – $8,000; 3rd/4th – $3,000; 5th-8th – $1,500).

PRODUCTION: The production centering around live coverage of the competition will utilize nine dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera along with two crane-positioned cameras (one directly behind the tee box and the other stationed in the landing area) that will track the ball from the moment it leaves the competitor’s clubface until it comes to rest. The telecast also will feature a custom graphics package suited to the anomalous swing data typically generated by Long Drive competitors, tracking club speed, ball speed and apex in real-time via Trackman. Top Tracer technology also will provide viewers with a sense of ball flight, tracking drives from the moment of impact.

BROADCAST TEAM: Golf Channel’s Bob Papa will handle play-by-play duties, while 2012 PGA Professional Teacher of the Year and host of The Golf Fix – Michael Breed – will serve as analyst, and Jerry Foltz will handle interviews. Art Sellinger – long-drive pioneer, two-time national long-drive champion and founder of the Long Drivers of America – also will be on hand to provide an analyst perspective and offer additional background on the competitors. Additionally, Golf Channel reporter Chantel McCabe will be on-site for Golf Central, offering reports and conducting interviews with competitors prior to and following live event coverage.

COLT FORD STAGING CONCERT ON-SITE TONIGHT:Renowned musician, Colt Ford, will be on-site at WinStar’s golf facility tonight to perform a special (free) concert for those attending the competition. The band will perform a handful of songs prior to the competition getting underway, and will resume with a full performance immediately following the completion of the event later in the evening.

2017 WLDA SEASON RECAP: The Volvik World Long Drive Championship serves as the culmination of the 2017 WLDA season that already has produced a number of dramatic moments, led by the two televised events, along with several other events over the course of the past several months, including:

Date

Event

Location

Winner   (Open)

Winner   (Women’s)

April    23

East Coast   Classic

West   Columbia, S.C.

Tim Burke

 

May 20

WinStar   Midwest Slam

Thackerville,   Okla.

Landon   Gentry

 

May 27

New Zealand   Championship

Christchurch,   New Zealand

Sam Jones

 

June 6

Clash in   the Canyon**

Mesquite,   Nev.

Ryan   Reisbeck

Chloe   Garner

June 25

Bluff City   Shootout

Memphis,   Tenn.

Justin   James

 

July 8

Rockwell   Blast

West   Bountiful, Utah

Glenn   Wilson Jr.

 

July 16

Bash for   Cash

Port   Robinson, Ont. (Canada)

Justin   James

 

July 25

Mile High   Showdown**

Denver,   Colo.

Maurice   Allen

Troy   Mullins

July 30

Japan   (Tokyo) Championship

Shizuoka,   Japan

Kimihiro   Minamide

Chika   Kobayashi

August 4

U.K.   Championship

Enstone,   England

Dan Konyk

Ilona   Stubley

August 6

Catawba   Classic

Newton,   N.C.

Maurice   Allen

 

August 14

Japan   (Iwaki) Championship

Iwaki,   Japan

Naoto   Misumi

Kaori Saito

(**signifies televised event on Golf Channel)

For more information, visit www.worldlongdrive.com.

ABOUT WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION

The World Long Drive Association is an organization that brings together golf’s longest hitters from around the globe. Emerging as one of golf’s most popular grass roots competitions, sanctioned Long Drive events are open to amateur and professional golfers. With an Open Division, Women’s Division and Masters Division (Ages 45+), the 2017 WLDA season consists of events across the United States and around the world, culminating with the Volvik World Long Drive Championship Sept 1-6, from WinStar World Casino and Resort (Thackerville, Okla.,) where competitors will convene under the lights for the world title on Golf Channel.

ABOUT WINSTAR WORLD CASINO AND RESORT

As the world’s largest casino by number of gaming positions, WinStar World Casino and Resort offers more than 7,400 electronic games, 97 table games and 46 poker tables. The Resort also boasts a 3,500-seat entertainment venue – the Global Event Center – as well as nearly 1,500 luxury hotel rooms, a 36-hole championship golf course and state-of-the-art Golf Academy. Located just north of the Oklahoma/Texas border along Interstate 35, WinStar World Casino and Resort presents unrivaled gaming action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, world-class entertainers and a vibrant culinary scene with 17 diverse restaurants for guests to explore.

 

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."