Troy Mullins (Women), Maurice Allen (Men) Win 'Mile High Showdown' World Long Drive Event

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 26, 2017, 12:55 pm

First Televised World Long Drive Association Title for Both Mullins & Allen

Ryan Reisbeck Moves to No. 1 in World Long Drive Rankings

DENVER, Colo. (July 25, 2017) – The high elevation of Denver offered an ideal setting for welcoming two first-time, televised-event World Long Drive champions, as Troy Mullins (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Maurice Allen (Pine Hills, Fla.) each claimed the top prize at the Mile High Showdown.

Despite her position as the highest remaining seed entering the semifinals, Mullins’ 398-yard drive was enough to edge the top-seeded Chloe Garner (395) to propel Mullins into the finals against Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand), who in her semifinals match set a new World Long Drive record for the longest ball ever with a 406-yard drive. In the finals, Mullins’ 374-yard mark was enough to outlast Meti (363) to claim her first World Long Drive title and the $7,000 first-place prize.

“I’m still shocked, I can’t believe it,” Mullins said. “I kept my head down [on that last ball] and I didn’t even know if it made it in the grid. I’m really proud of myself… I’m doing this on my own, not sponsored. I come here with my two clubs and I’m doing it. And I think this is a great way to get people into the sport. This is how I got into golf, just coming out and having fun. I hope to stay in it for a long time.”

On the men’s side, each of the four quarterfinals matches saw the top-seeded competitor advance in Ryan Reisbeck, Justin James, Maurice Allen and Ryan Steenberg, with Reisbeck and Steenberg tying for the longest ball of the round at 485 yards. In the semifinals, a 474-yard drive pushed Reisbeck past Steenberg (460) and into the finals, while Allen’s 465-yard drive bested James (445) to earn him a matchup with Reisbeck. After Reisbeck failed to hit the grid in the finals, a 436-yard drive was enough to earn Allen his first televised World Long Drive Association win and the $20,000 first-place check.

“This win means everything,” Allen said. “There are a lot of people who believed in me… all these people gave me an opportunity. And for a guy who was sleeping in his car five years ago because he wanted to be a Long Driver, it [doesn’t] get any sweeter than this.”

Reisbeck Takes Over No. 1 Spot in World Long Drive Rankings

While his showing in the finals match left Reisbeck disappointed with the result, a consolation in addition to his $10,000 second-place check was that he earned enough points to overtake Will Hogue to become the new No. 1 competitor in the World Long Drive rankings. The updated top five competitors in the rankings through the Mile High Showdown are:

1 – Ryan Reisbeck; 2 – Will Hogue; 3 – Justin James; 4 – Maurice Allen; 5 – Tim Burke

The 2017 Open Division schedule consists of qualifying events spanning from March through August, with competitors from each event advancing to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 6). Only two opportunities remain for prospective Long Drive competitors to qualify for the season-culminating event, which include the Catawba Classic (Aug. 4-6, Hickory, N.C.) and the “Last Chance Qualifier” (Aug. 31-Sept. 1). The Volvik World Long Drive Championship will feature a 96-man field competing for a $270,000 purse. The Women’s Division will feature a field of 32 competitors vying for a purse of $40,000. The event will return to WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.) for a third consecutive year, following a multi-year extension as the host site. For the full 2017 World Long Drive Association schedule, visit https://www.worldlongdrive.com/schedule/.

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 sport appeals to golfers of all ages, whether you’re a competitor or spectator. The 2017 WLDA season consists of events across the United States and around the world, culminating with the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, Aug. 31-Sept. 6, from WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.,) where competitors will convene under the lights for the world title on Golf Channel.

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.