A former RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion took his second title with a blistering semi-final round showing, blasting a winning drive of 459 yards and then a 409-yarder to take the Open Division.
Carl Wolter, who won the title on his first try in 2002, has once again grabbed one of golf’s most prestigious honors and earned a permanent spot in the Long Drivers of America record books. His 459-yard drive was one of two in this year’s competition.
“The skill and ability of these golfers is truly unbelievable.” – Mike Reagan Senior Vice President Business Alliances RE/MAX
“What’s really amazing is that some Long Drive champs had never picked up a golf club until they entered this competition. These are real athletes with unlimited potential.”
Wolter was a Big Ten javelin champion from Penn State when he entered his first Long Drive competition nine years ago. Since then, he’s become one of the top money winners on the Long Drivers of America Tour. This win nets him a $ 150,000 purse.
The 459-yard hit came in the Open semi-finals; his winning drive in the finals was 409 yards. The Open Division winning drive record is 418 yards, set by the 2008 winner, Jamie Sadlowski.
During Championship Week at the Mesquite Sports and Event Complex, five other champions were crowned, including one who matched Wolter’s biggest hit. In the Senior Division, David Mobley took the title with a final round blast of 459 yards in a gusty 20mph tailwind under partly sunny skies. The winds produced enormous distance during the Senior competition, as several players registered drives exceeding 440 yards. Mobley’s winning drive surpassed the Senior Division record of 394 set in 2007.
Two divisions had only one winner. Pat Dempsey took the titles for the Super Seniors and Grand Champions Divisions, with drives of 367 and 381 yards, respectively. Dempsey became only the second player in history to win two titles in one year.
In the Legends Division, Michael Hooper hit a 340-yard drive to win. Rick Scott won the Masters Division with a 280-yard drive, besting the second and third place players by just one and four yards.
The weather was definitely a factor this year, the first day of competition was delayed 24 hours because of high winds. When play got underway, the competitors in the Women’s Division were still fighting the wind. Sandra Carlborg, from Sweden, took the title with a winning drive of 285 yards. All of the ladies were held to under 300 yards in the finals.
ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast a 90-minute highlights show on December 24 and 25. On Christmas Eve day, the Long Drive program starts at 1pm eastern on ESPN. On Christmas Day the show airs on ESPN2 beginning at 12:30pm eastern time.
The RE/MAX Long Drive Championship evolved out of the National Long Drive Championship, which began in 1975. It has grown from a mostly low-key event to one that includes golfers from virtually every corner of the world. Competitors come from more than 15 countries and vie for a purse worth $ 500,000. The Long Drive Finals are broadcast live on the internet on ESPN3.com and also tape-delayed to air on ESPN each year during the Christmas season.