GOLF

Christchurch To Decide NZ Long Drive Golf Champ

Thursday 25 May 2017, 5:16PM
By dave worsley
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A trip to the world championships of long drive golf is a step closer as Clearwater Golf Resort hosts the Trident Homes South Island Long Drive Golf tournament this Saturday and the playoff against the North Island Champion.

The day starts at 10am with the best from the South Island, plus a few counterparts from the north searching for a winner. Then the South Island Championship victor takes on last week’s winner from the North Island tournament, Sam Jones, the 20-year-old from South Taranaki in an eight ball cutthroat playoff,

The winner of the playoff earns the coveted place in the World Long Championships later in the year where there is US$270,000 in prizemoney and the event is featured live on NBC Golf Channel.

Jones, who is currently studying at the University of West Georgia in the USA under a golfing scholarship won the North Island Long Drive Championships held at Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty last weekend in horrendous weather and will be hoping for calmer conditions at Clearwater.

“It’s going to be real tough on the day anything can happen in the final. I hit my best shot on my first playoff drive to win. It would be great to get to the world champs, I’m sure the weather will be better in Christchurch,” said Jones who is a left-hander who broke the head of his club early on in the North Island Champs and won with a borrowed club.

The South Island Championship is expected to have a few handy competitors and a few unknowns who are keen for a taste of the big time. Entry is free to watch at the Clearwater Golf Resort driving range with distances in excess of 320metres anticipated by some of the leading contenders.

The New Zealand winner will travel to the Volvik World Long Championships August 31 – September 6, 2017, at the WinStar World Casino and Resort, Thackerville, Oklahoma in the United States. British golfer Joe Miller won the 2016 world championships with a drive of 386metres.

An international Long Drive event will be hosted in early November at Remuera Golf Club in Auckland with some of the biggest long drivers from around the world set to take part. The New Zealand champion from Christchurch will gain a place at the international tournament at Remuera Golf Club