Against the stunning setting of Heythrop Hall, in Oxfordshire, the 2017 Final of the American Golf UK Long Drive Championship was played out in front of a large crowd.
The UK’s biggest hitting golfers went head to head to be crowned UK Champions and win the right to compete in the World Championships in a few weeks time.
Dan Konyk (Under 45 category – longest drive 430 yards), Ilona Stubley (Ladies category – longest drive 338 yards) and Charles Seo (Over 45 category – longest drive 409 yards ) were ultimately crowned UK champions, but the way to victory was paved with huge drives in every category that would have won the 2016 World never mind UK Championships.
In the Ladies’ section, Ilona Stubley hit the longest Ladies’ drive ever recorded in an American Golf Championship with 338 yards in seeding. Dan Konyk (the 2015 Champion) overcame Lucas Dornan (2016 Champion) in a fiercely competitive quarter-final settled by sudden death before overtaking German contender Timo Petrasch in the final.
Not to be outdone, the over 45’s category saw its first ever 400+ yard total when William Hunt Tyrell marked his return from retirement with 413 yards in the first round, a feat matched later by the eventual winner Charles Seo.
Dan Konyk said: “To win qualification for the World Championships is a great opportunity and I can’t wait to represent the UK at the highest level. This will be my 13th World Championships and if I can carry this form forward to the US then I’ve got a real chance of bringing the title home.”
As Daniel Gathercole, director of marketing and communications at American Golf remarks, this year’s event has been phenomenal and promises some exciting finishes when the winners take their places at the Volvik World Long Drive Championships in a few weeks time: “This event keeps getting better but I don’t think anyone expected what we’ve seen here today.
“This year we’ve had over 5000 people take part and this really has become the premier long drive event in Europe. It’s such a competitive environment but every player has shown fantastic sportsmanship and support for each other. I’m very proud of what American Golf has achieved with this Championship and hope to go even bigger with it next year.”