Seven of Top-10 in World Long Drive Rankings Among 16 Competitors
Vying for Championship Belt at WinStar World Casino and Resort
Tonight’s Telecast Also to Feature Mixed-Team Event Showcasing Four
Men Paired with the Four Women Advancing to Tomorrow Night’s Semifinals
THACKERVILLE, OKLA. (Sept. 5, 2017) – The stage is set for 16 of the longest hitters in golf to convene live and in primetime under the lights, beginning tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel at the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship from WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The first of back-to-back nights on Golf Channel, tonight’s telecast will feature the eight Round of 16 matches in the Open (Men’s Division), along with a mixed-team (Open/Women’s Divisions) format. Tomorrow night, the 2017 World Long Drive Association (WLDA) season will culminate in primetime with competitors vying for the title of World Champion and the coveted winner’s belts.
OPEN DIVISION (MEN’S) ROUND OF 16 MATCHES:
(1) Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah) vs. (16) Wes Patterson (St. Louis, Mo.)
(8) Kevin Shook (Bradenton, Fla.) vs. (9) Mitch Grassing (Ottawa, Ont., Canada)
(4) Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.) vs. (13) Stephen Kois (Wheaton, Ill.)
(5) Trent Scruggs (Hickory, N.C.) vs. (12) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)
(2) Justin James (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) vs. (15) Bobby Bradley (Wellington, Fla.)
(7) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.) vs. (10) Steve Monroe (Clearwater, Fla.)
(3) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.) vs. (14) Josh Cassaday (Denver, Colo.)
(6) Joe Miller (London, England) vs. (11) Nick Kiefer (Chicago, Ill.)
The Women’s Division preliminary rounds are taking place today, and fans can follow live scoring in real-time here. The four semifinalists on the Women’s side will take part in tomorrow night’s telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Phillis Meti is looking to defend her 2016 World title, alongside 2017 event winners Chloe Garner and Troy Mullins, in addition to four-time former World Champion Sandra Carlborg.
COVERAGE: Live coverage of the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship will air from 9-11 p.m. ET tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday). Golf Central will preview live event coverage both nights, with a special one hour pre-game show analyzing the matchups, which also will include interviews with those in the field preparing to compete.
PURSE: A $270,000 purse will be paid out among those advancing to the Round of 16 in the Open Division, with the winner receiving $125,000. In the Women’s Division, those advancing to the quarterfinals will earn a portion of the $40,000 purse, with the winner receiving $20,000: (Open: 1st – $125,000; 2nd – $50,000; 3rd/4th – $19,500; 5th-8th – $7,000; 9th-16th – $3,500; Women’s: 1st – $20,000; 2nd – $8,000; 3rd/4th – $3,000; 5th-8th – $1,500).
PRODUCTION: The production centering around live coverage of the competition will utilize nine dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera along with two crane-positioned cameras (one directly behind the tee box and the other stationed in the landing area) that will track the ball from the moment it leaves the competitor’s clubface until it comes to rest. 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 handle play-by-play duties, while 2012 PGA Professional Teacher of the Year and host of The Golf Fix – Michael Breed – will serve as analyst, and Jerry Foltz will handle interviews. Art Sellinger – long-drive pioneer, two-time national long-drive champion and founder of the Long Drivers of America – also will be on hand to provide an analyst perspective and offer additional background on the competitors. Additionally, Golf Channel reporter Chantel McCabe will be on-site for Golf Central, offering reports and conducting interviews with competitors prior to and following live event coverage.
COLT FORD STAGING CONCERT ON-SITE TOMORROW: Renowned musician, Colt Ford, will be on-site at WinStar’s golf facility tomorrow, Sept. 6 to perform a special (free) concert for those attending the competition. The band will perform a handful of songs prior to the competition getting underway, and will resume with a full performance immediately following the completion of the event later in the evening.
CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT: The Open Division competition will be contested through a single-elimination bracket, narrowing to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to ultimately determine a winner. The Women’s Division also will utilize a single-elimination match play format for the semifinals and finals. Competitors in each match will compete head-to-head in two alternating 90-second sets with an opportunity to hit four balls in each set.
Tonight’s telecast also will introduce a new team format, with the top-four in the Women’s Division – who will compete in Wednesday night’s semifinal matches – being paired with the four highest-ranked men in the Open Division not having advanced from the Round of 32: Maurice Allen (No. 1), Tommy Hug (No. 8), Jason Eslinger (No. 13) and Jeff Flagg (No. 19). The four, two-person “mixed” teams will face off in a match play bracket format that will use the aggregate yardage of each team member’s longest drive in the set versus that of their opponent’s aggregate yardage.
2017 WLDA SEASON RECAP: The Volvik World Long Drive Championship serves as the culmination of the 2017 WLDA season that already has produced a number of dramatic moments, led by the two televised events, along with several other events over the course of the past several months, including:
|Date||Event||Location||Winner (Open)||Winner (Women’s)|
|April 23||East Coast Classic||West Columbia, S.C.||Tim Burke|
|May 20||WinStar Midwest Slam||Thackerville, Okla.||Landon Gentry|
|May 27||New Zealand Championship||Christchurch, New Zealand||Sam Jones|
|June 6||Clash in the Canyon**||Mesquite, Nev.||Ryan Reisbeck||Chloe Garner|
|June 25||Bluff City Shootout||Memphis, Tenn.||Justin James|
|July 8||Rockwell Blast||West Bountiful, Utah||Glenn Wilson Jr.|
|July 16||Bash for Cash||Port Robinson, Ont. (Canada)||Justin James|
|July 25||Mile High Showdown**||Denver, Colo.||Maurice Allen||Troy Mullins|
|July 30||Japan (Tokyo) Championship||Shizuoka, Japan||Kimihiro Minamide||Chika Kobayashi|
|August 4||U.K. Championship||Enstone, England||Dan Konyk||Ilona Stubley|
|August 6||Catawba Classic||Newton, N.C.||Maurice Allen|
|August 14||Japan (Iwaki) Championship||Iwaki, Japan||Naoto Misumi||Kaori Saito|
(**signifies televised event on Golf Channel)
For more information, visit www.worldlongdrive.com.
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 2017 WLDA season consists of events across the United States and around the world, culminating with the Volvik World Long Drive Championship Sept 1-6, from WinStar World Casino and Resort (Thackerville, Okla.,) where competitors will convene under the lights for the world title on Golf Channel.
ABOUT WINSTAR WORLD CASINO AND RESORT
As the world’s largest casino by number of gaming positions, WinStar World Casino and Resort offers more than 7,400 electronic games, 97 table games and 46 poker tables. The Resort also boasts a 3,500-seat entertainment venue – the Global Event Center – as well as nearly 1,500 luxury hotel rooms, a 36-hole championship golf course and state-of-the-art Golf Academy. Located just north of the Oklahoma/Texas border along Interstate 35, WinStar World Casino and Resort presents unrivaled gaming action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, world-class entertainers and a vibrant culinary scene with 17 diverse restaurants for guests to explore.