Preliminary Women’s Division Rounds Produced Record Longest Drives Ever in
Sanctioned Long Drive Competition with 401 (Carlborg) & 402 (Mullins) Yards
No. 1 in World Long Drive Rankings Up for Grabs Tonight for Reisbeck, James
2nd of 3 Televised WLDA Events in 2017; to Feature Eight Men & Four Women
The World Long Drive Association (WLDA) will stage its second of three televised events in 2017 with the ‘Mile High Showdown’, airing tonight at 7 p.m. ET in primetime on Golf Channel. The event – which is being staged at Park Hill Golf Club in Denver – will feature eight quarterfinalists having advanced in the Open (Men’s) Division, along with four semifinalists having advanced from the Women’s Division.
Storylines are abundant in both divisions, as earlier this morning during preliminary rounds the record for the longest drive ever hit in a sanctioned Women’s Long Drive competition was broken – twice. Sandra Carlborg connected on a mammoth drive of 401 yards, only to be outdone less than an hour later by Troy Mullins with a drive of 402 yards in the quarterfinals. On the men’s side, the World No. 1 ranking is up for grabs this evening for both Ryan Reisbeck and Justin James.
OPEN (MEN’S) DIVISION QUARTERFINALS
(1) Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah) vs. (8) Dan McIntosh (Alberta, Canada)
(2) Justin James (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) vs. (7) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)
(3) Maurice Allen (Pine Hills, Fla.) vs. (6) Troy Teal (Kennewick, Wash.)
(4) Ryan Steenberg (Rochester, N.Y.) vs. (5) Glenn Wilson Jr. (Houston, Texas)
WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINALS
(1) Chloe Garner (Johnson City, Tenn.) vs. (4) Troy Mullins (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(2) Sandra Carlborg (Alingsas, Sweden) vs. (3) Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand)
NO. 1 UP FOR GRABS FOR REISBECK, JAMES: At the conclusion of the Mile High Showdown, the World Long Drive Association may have a new face atop the World Long Drive rankings. Reisbeck (currently No. 2) and James (No. 3) each have a chance at taking the top spot from Will Hogue. Reisbeck would need to advance to the semifinals to overtake Hogue, while James would need to advance to the finals. In the event that both Reisbeck and James advance to at least the semifinals and James fails to advance farther than Reisbeck, then Reisbeck would be the new No. 1. There also are two scenarios in which Reisbeck and James could be co-No. 1 in the world, if James were to win and Reisbeck to finish runner-up, or if James were runner-up and Reisbeck a semifinalist.
PURSE: The Open Division winner will earn a $20,000 share of the $50,000 purse, while the winner of the Women’s Division will take home $7,000 of the $15,000 purse.
COVERAGE: Coverage of the Mile High Showdown will air in primetime from 7-9:30 p.m. ET tonight, with Golf Central previewing and recapping the event (6-7 p.m. & 9:30-10 p.m. ET). In addition, Golf Channel will air an encore telecast of last month’s 2017 Clash in the Canyon (3:30-6 p.m. ET), which will lead into Golf Central at 6 p.m. ET.
The production centering around coverage of the competition will utilize six dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera as well as a crane-positioned camera that will track the ball in flight once it leaves the competitor’s clubface. 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 conduct play-by-play, Art Sellinger – long-drive pioneer and two-time World Long Drive champion – will provide analysis, and Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz will provide reports from the teeing platform and conduct interviews with competitors in the field.
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), which 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.