FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 7th, 2017
SANDRA CARLBORG (WOMEN’S), JUSTIN JAMES (MEN’S) WIN 2017 VOLVIK WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP
Carlborg (Sweden) Wins Record-Fifth Championship Title; James Caps
Outstanding Season by Taking No. 1 Spot in World with Third Victory of 2017
THACKERVILLE, OKLA. (Sept. 6, 2017) – The World Long Drive Association (WLDA) celebrated the latest title for one of its most decorated competitors and welcomed its newest victor as Sandra Carlborg (Women’s Division, Alingsas, Sweden) and Justin James (Open Division, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) each claimed the 2017 Volvik World Long Drive Championship as the longest hitters in all of golf.
Previously a four-time champion (2011, ’12, ’14, ’15), Carlborg snagged her record-fifth victory in the season-culminating event with a 320-yard winning drive over Heather Manfredda (League City, Texas) in the Championship following a 349-yard drive in the semifinal match.
“After my third place finish last year, I’d been working so hard the whole year to get [the title] back,” said Carlborg. “The sport has grown so much, with so many good players. I’m so happy.”
On the men’s side, James claimed his first World Championship victory after connecting on a 435-yard drive in the Championship match against Mitch Grassing (Ottawa, Ont., Canada). James – who becomes the new World No. 1 with tonight’s victory – acknowledged his father Gerry afterward, a past World Long Drive champion in his own right in the Masters (age 45+) Division.
“They always say – when I watch games – ‘there’s no words’ and I think they’re stupid,” said James.” But now I’m the stupid one because there’s no words to describe this. It’s the best thing ever. I’m really happy to win for my dad. He never got this one, and I think he deserved it. So I’m really happy to be able to pull that one out for him. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
The victory was James’ third of the season, following his win at the Bluff City Shootout and Bash for Cash events earlier this summer.
The Volvik World Long Drive Championship capped a 2017 WLDA season that already had produced a number of dramatic moments, including the two additional live televised events – tripling the number from any previous year. Underscoring the global nature of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, the event – in addition to a North American-audience via Golf Channel – was distributed to more than 300 million homes in 65 countries around the world.
- Open Division: 1st: Justin James ($125,000); 2nd: Mitch Grassing ($50,000); 3rd/4th: Kyle Berkshire & Nick Kiefer ($19,500); 5th-8th: Tim Burke, Will Hogue, Paul Howell & Wes Patterson ($7,000)
- Women’s Division: 1st: Sandra Carlborg ($20,000); 2nd: Heather Manfredda ($8,000); 3rd/4th: Phillis Meti & Alexis Belton ($3,000)
OPEN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
(2) Justin James def. (9) Mitch Grassing
WOMEN’S DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
(2) Sandra Carlborg def. (8) Heather Manfredda
OPEN DIVISION (MEN’S) QUARTERFINAL MATCHES:
(9) Mitch Grassing def. (16) Wes Patterson (St. Louis, Mo.)
(12) Kyle Berkshire def. (4) Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.)
(2) Justin James def. (7) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.)
(11) Nick Kiefer def. (3) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.)
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.