Berkshire Becomes New World No. 1 in Open Division; Meti Wins Third Tour Event in Four Starts This Season
World Long Drive Season Continues with Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital; Airs Monday, Aug. 12, Live on GOLF Channel
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 24, 2019) – World Long Drive celebrated its No. 1 ranked hitters in the world on Wednesday evening, as Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) continued to cement her position atop the Women’s Division, while the Open (men’s) Division produced its latest No. 1 ranked hitter in Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.), as each captured the inaugural ROC City Rumble at Home Team Sports Park in Rochester, N.Y.
For Meti, the victory marked her third time hoisting a trophy in four tour events this season, putting the three-time World Long Drive champion on track to attaining the most decorated season ever amongst the sport’s Women’s Division. The defending world champion utilized a 320-yard drive in the final to narrowly edge out Alexis Belton’s (Ruston, La.) 319-yard blast.
“I struggled hitting the grid earlier today,” Meti said. “To be able to [hit the grid] on seven balls out of eight, all over 300 yards in the final, that’s something positive that I’m going to take into the next event. It gives me better confidence to show that I can do it. It gives me reassurance that I’m on the right track.”
Entering Wednesday night, Berkshire was ranked No. 3 and had accumulated a remarkable streak of 10 consecutive tour events where he’d advanced to the televised portion of the competition, with the last time of not achieving that feat coming back in July of 2017. More importantly for the 22-year-old, it put an end to a long list of close calls in televised tour events, shaking the proverbial monkey off his back en route to becoming the sport’s new No. 1 ranked competitor in the Open Division. Berkshire needed only one ball in the final match, bettering Martin Borgmeier’s (Munich, Germany) 369-yard drive with a 380-yard ball that wound up being the longest drive of the night.
“It feels great,” Berkshire said. “I just locked in on what I was trying to do. I really only worried about what I could control, not what I couldn’t control. I don’t feel any added pressure because I never put pressure on myself in the first place to become No. 1. My job is to hit the ball as far as I can as often as possible. That’s what I’m worried about.”
World Long Drive’s summer stretch of the season will conclude next month with the Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (Kingsport, Tenn., Aug. 10-12), which marks the final tour event of the year. Three weeks later, the season-culminating World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 30-Sept. 4) will be staged on the Texas/Oklahoma border at WinStar World Casino and Resort, with the coveted world championship title belts on the line for the Open, Women’s and Masters (age 45+) Divisions. The World Long Drive Championship will culminate live on back-to-back nights under the lights on GOLF Channel, Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 3-4 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
OPEN DIVISION FINAL:
(3) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.) def. (18) Martin Borgmeier (Munich, Germany)
WOMEN’S DIVISION FINAL:
(1) Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) def. (5) Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.)
OPEN DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES:
(3) Kyle Berkshire def. (28) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)
(18) Martin Borgmeier def. (23) Eddie Fernandes (Winter Garden, Fla.)
WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES:
(5) Alexis Belton def. (4) Troy Mullins (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(1) Phillis Meti def. (8) Mary Driscol (Glendale, Ariz.)
OPEN DIVISION QUARTERFINAL MATCHES:
(3) Kyle Berkshire def. (11) Jeff Gavin (Hamilton, Ont., Canada)
(28) Nick Kiefer def. (19) James Tait (London, England)
(23) Eddie Fernandes def. (4) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.)
(18) Martin Borgmeier def. (6) Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.)
2019 WORLD LONG DRIVE – TOUR EVENT SCHEDULE:
|April 13-16||Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun||Maricopa, Ariz.||Phillis Meti, Tim Burke|
|May 5-7||Exchange Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson||Fort Jackson, S.C.||Chloe Garner, Ryan Steenberg, Mikael Dubois|
|June 3-5||Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash||Atlantic City, N.J.||Phillis Meti, Tim Burke|
|July 20-24||ROC City Rumble||Rochester, N.Y.||Phillis Meti, Kyle Berkshire|
|Aug. 10-12||Tennessee Big Shots benefitting Niswonger Children’s Hospital||Kingsport, Tenn.||TBD|
|Aug. 30-Sept 4||World Long Drive Championship||Texas/Oklahoma Border||TBD|
ABOUT WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION
Originating in 1976, the World Long Drive Association is golf at its farthest, loudest, most athletic and adrenaline-filled extreme. World Long Drive was named a finalist at the 2018 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards in the League of the Year for a Breakthrough Sport and Live Coverage of a Breakthrough Sport categories. The broader sports industry also has taken notice, including ESPN proclaiming that long drive has “recently started to enter the mainstream of golf;” Men’s Journal noting “with the sport’s ascendant profile and ever-growing prestige,” fans should “buckle up for more high-octane action;” Golf Digest saying the World Long Drive is “on the upswing, gaining traction;” and Golf.com claiming it as “an eye-opening experience”. Sanctioned WLD events are open to amateur and professional golfers. The 2019 WLDA season consists of events across the United States and around the world, culminating with the World Long Drive Championship, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, on the Texas / Oklahoma border, where competitors will convene under the lights for the world title on GOLF Channel. World Long Drive events can be seen on television in more than 60 countries, including GOLF Channel, NBC Sports Network and NBC in the United States, and Sky Sports Golf in Europe. In 2018, 8.3 million unique viewers watched at least some portion of World Long Drive events (live and replay) across NBC Sports Group, +23% year-over-year, and the most-viewed season of World Long Drive on-record according to data released by The Nielsen Company.