Orlando's Tim Burke Crowned REMAX World Long Drive Champion Under The Lights of Las Vegas

By Golf Channel Public RelationsOctober 31, 2013, 1:08 pm

With a crushing drive that measured 427 yards, Tim Burke from Orlando, Fla., became the longest hitter in the world, capturing the 2013 RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMIONSHIP, its coveted championship belt and a winner-take-all $250,000 prize.  Burke, 26, competed with eight of the longest drivers of the golf ball in the world who faced off in front of a raucous Las Vegas Motor Speedway crowd and a national Golf Channel audience.

“The RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship tonight took a step in an amazing direction,” said Art Sellinger, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Long Drivers of America. “The crowd, the atmosphere, the venue – and a great Golf Channel production – all contributed to a dramatic finish with Tim Burke’s amazing 427-yard drive to capture the title.”

The two-hour finale took place under the lights of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a new venue for this season-ending competition and one built for speed.  And it was speed personified, with the eight competitors’ swings speeds exceeding 150 miles per hour, ball speeds topping 220 miles per hour and balls traveling the length of more than four football fields.  The pumped-up finalists hit from a custom-made platform built high into the speedway’s grandstands on to a Championship grid on the race track infield below, creating a dramatic visual feast for Golf Channel viewers.

Through eight months of qualifying events that took place all over the world, it all came down to a final match play of six drives each between Burke – the 2012 runner up – and Englishman, 2010 champion and No. 1 seed Joe Miller.  After Miller set the mark at 381 yards in the first round of three, Burke bested it by 24 yards with his third drive.  Miller stayed alive in the final round of three, matching Burke’s 405 yards and setting the stage for Burke’s final three chances.  With the crowd going wild, Burke’s next shot flew well by Miller’s ball, settling on the Championship grid at a finals record 427 yards and giving Burke his first RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship title.

“That was the longest ball I think I ever hit under this kind of pressure,” said Burke.  “This was the best time and the biggest moment of my life, and I’m thankful to be able to come here and get the job done.”

The finals standings for the semi-finals and finals were:

  1. Tim Burke, 26, Orlando, Fla.
  2. Joe Miller, 28,  London, England
  3. Will Hogue, 27, Collierville, Tenn.
  4. Tyler Kellett, 33,Scottsdale, Ariz.

Not advancing beyond the second set:

  • Aaron Mansfield, 22, Washington, Pa.
  • Patrick Hopper, 26, Columbia, S.C.
  • Jamie Sadlowski, 25, St. Paul, Alberta, Canada
  • Matt Hanger, 29,Anaheim, Calif.

Golf Channel’s broadcast team for the first live telecast of the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP included Bob Papa, Michael Breed and Holly Sonders.  Sellinger also was on hand to provide long drive analysis.  Encore telecasts of tonight’s live telecast will air on Golf Channel on the following dates:

  • Thursday, Oct. 31, 4 a.m. ET
  • Monday, Nov. 4, 12:30 a.m. ET
  • Sunday, Dec. 1, 11:30 a.m. ET

In October 2012, Long Drivers of America announced a new, three-year broadcast partnership with Golf Channel, which moved the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP to the network after 17 years on ESPN. This annual world championship of long driving has taken place each year since 1975 and attracts competitors from all over the world. Participation in competitions has nearly tripled and prize money has increased five-fold. Finalists in the competition often have swing speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and can hit the ball more than 400 yards, which is more than 100 yards longer than the average PGA TOUR professional.

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


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In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.