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Wildcard makes it all the way to Long Drive final

Ryan Reisbeck finishes just 5.5 yards short of eventual winner Burke

Image Credit: Courtesy: Organisers
Tim Burke with the trophy after winning the inaugural event in the four-stage Long Drive World Series (LDWS) at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Friday.
Gulf News

Dubai: Two-time long drive world champion Tim Burke hit 335 yards to win the inaugural event in the four-stage Long Drive World Series (LDWS) at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Friday.

The American was 5.5 yards ahead of his compatriot public wildcard entry Ryan Reisbeck, who hit 329.5 yards, to take the lion’s share of the event’s £50,000 prize fund.

Ten competitors, including eight professionals and two wildcards, narrowed to eight through seeding, and progressed through two rounds and a third-place play-off, before the final.

Burke said: “The conditions were pretty tough with the wind so I was having to hit it more of a flight shot with less spin on the ball but I got it done and had a blast. The Long Drive World Series is definitely taking golf in a different direction, to the next level. I’m super excited to see where it goes.”

Along with Burke and Reisbeck, those also competing were 2016, and two-time world champion, Joe Miller; 2016 world championship Runner-Up, Ryan Steenberg; two-time and current European Tour champion, Maurice Allen; UK champion, Lucas Dornan; European winner, Ilija Djurdjevic; Scandinavian champion; Emil Rosberg; and Italian champion Brad Pearmain.

Dubai-based amateur Ricky Dominguez took the first of two wildcards that were up for grabs through a smash hit of 351.7 yards on the X-Golf simulator at eGolfMegastore, while the second wildcard went to eventual finalist Reisbeck through open qualifiers held on Thursday, March 16 at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Third place in the event, went to Emil Rosberg, who edged out world champion, Joe Miller for a podium finish.

Along with the action on the green, over 1000 spectators were treated to Live DJs, pyrotechnics, food trucks as well as a surprise Long Drive challenge between Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello and UK Long Drive champ, Lucas Dornan.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better kick-off to the Long Drive World Series,” said Jay Boisvert, LDWS managing director. “All of our competitors, wildcards and pros alike, put on a spectacular show for our Dubai fans, who were outstanding. The Dubai event has definitely set the stage for the next events in the Series and we’re looking forward to growing both the Series and the sport.

“The Long Drive World Series is really about opening up long drive and golf to more people, both as fans as well as competitors,” added Boisvert. “As Ryan Reisbeck illustrated this past weekend, the sport is open to keen Long Drivers who can turn up and find themselves going head to head with some of the world’s best. The event, its format and of course, our fans make for a really fun event for everyone, competitors and fans alike.”

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