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Re-Max Long Drive starts 2013 season at MSEC

Art Sellinger, owner and Chief Executive Officer of Long Drivers of America, praised Mesquite city officials, Golf Mesquite Nevada and the Mesquite Resort Association for preserving the 17-year partnership that has returned the Long Drivers to the Mesquite Sports and Event Center.

“Long Drivers Association is delighted to be bringing the Re-Max World Long Drive Championship back to Mesquite,” Sellinger told the MLN during Desert Launch, the opening of the 2013 Long Driver season. Competition was held Friday through Sunday at the MSEC, 1635 Bertha Howe Way.

"For long drivers and long drive fans around the world, Mesquite is our Mecca. The championship grid at Mesquite Sports and Event Complex is our Pebble Beach, our Augusta National. It's where we want to be," he added. 

Contestants from five countries and 30 states competed in the event.  The Long Drivers plan to stage three separate competitions in Mesquite in 2013, leading up to the finals, to be held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 30: Desert Launch on March 1-3, Re-Max Regional Finals on Aug. 9-11 and the championship over two weeks, Sept. 18-27.  All are free to the public.

The reigning 2012 Long Drivers of America champion, Ryan Winther of Sacramento, Calif., received the bragging rights as the longest hitter on the planet.  He earned $150,000 plus endorsements. He used a Krank club with a House of Forged shaft.

Winther has a history of being a top performer: he was a pitcher for the world class baseball team in Tampa Bay, Fla. He works out five to six days a week, plus physical therapy and golf-range practice for at least 50 hours per week.  He has qualified in five Long Drive contests.  He is here this year but has already earned a berth in the competition

Logan Leavitt, 28, from St. George, Utah, won seventh in the world a few years ago.  He said he started concentrating on his real estate career, but has changed his focus back to golf.  It took him five weeks to go from the “worst shape of his life” to the best.  He worked on a special regimen for muscle development (called “muscle confusion”) and a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet (called the cave man or paleo diet).  He said he works on "mind and body “and trains between his” two ears to focus," which is such a major part of the sport.  He has a lot of support from family and friends.  He attended Pine View High School and Dixie College in St. George where he earned associate degrees. 

It all leads up to the Oct. 30 Re-Max World Long Drive Championship finals at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the field of long-driving golfers is reduced to eight.

Steve Wiley, the sales and marketing director for Long Drivers of America, singled out one golfer.

“Dustin Merrill is the one that we really want to watch,” he noted about the 30-year-old

St. Louis, Mo., golfer.

 In 2010 Merrill won the Mesquite Shoot Out to be the best of the best.  Merrill has been on the circuit for 10 years and says that "I don't need to brag, for if I do it right, everyone else will do it for you."  He is an engineer at Armstrong Teasdale, LLP.  He gets together once a month with 50 of his competitors from the tour.

In October on the Golf Channel, Gary Collins, who covers the Long Drive for the cable station, will be doing a history of the sport and an introduction featuring the “Road to Mesquite,” which will include all of last year’s winners who are automatically qualified and Merrill.

“The benefits to Mesquite as a golf and leisure resort destination will be catalytic across the globe,” Collins told the MLN. For the first time, NBC will join the Golf Channel in live coverage.

Full Results:

Results Courtesy of http://www.longdrivers.com/events/2013-desert-launch#results

RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship
Desert Launch finals - Mesquite, Nevada
The following players advance to the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Finals September 18-27 in Mesquite, Nevada.

Open Division

LONGEST BALL IN QUALIFYING:

Bobby Bradley - 440

Kevin Shook - 437

Richie Moore - 440

Trent Scruggs - 434

Jeff Farley - 447

Mitch McDowell - 447

SHOOTOUT FINALS

Bobby Bradley - 408 - Callaway XHOT Team Member

Kevin Shook - 419

Richie Moore - 428

Trent Scruggs - 429

Jeff Farley - 431 - Callaway XHOT Team Member

Mitch McDowell - 447

 

Senior Division

The following players advance to the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship
Senior Division Finals September 18-27 in Mesquite, Nevada

LONGEST BALL IN QUALIFYING:

Vince Ciurluini - 388 Yards

Jeff Gavin - 392 Yards

James East - 368 Yards

SHOOTOUT FINALS

Vince Ciurluini - 387 Yards*

Jeff Gavin - 386

James East - No Marks

*Winner also received a complimentary stay at any Mesquite Resort Property for the duration of the World Championship Finals also the Open Division.

 

Division

Competitor

Distance

Open Division

David Hedley

384 yds

Open Division

Kevin Shook

380 yds

Open Division

Brennen Truax

378 yds

Open Division

Kyle Blakely

377 yds

Open Division

Trent Scruggs

366 yds

Open Division

Luis Saavedra

365 yds

Senior Division

Vince Ciurluini

386 yds

Senior Division

Pat Dempsey

385 yds

Senior Division

Jeff Gavin

385 yds

Open Division

Jim Carriel

398 yds

Open Division

Garrett Gill

390 yds

Open Division

Daniel Beckman

390 yds

Open Division

Michael Knox

389 yds

Open Division

Todayoshi Wada

388 yds

Open Division

Rich Moore

387 yds

Senior Division

James East

364 yds

Senior Division

Dave Buckles

360 yds

Senior Division

Michael Dale

355 yds

Open Division

Jeff Gavin

402 yds

Open Division

Kody Zurek

391 yds

Open Division

Spencer McDaniel

383 yds

Open Division

Brock Shackett

382 yds

Open Division

Vince Ciurluini

381 yds

Open Division

Nate Brown

379 yds

Open Division

Tommy Hug

379 yds

Open Division

Chris Kinsey

379 yds

Senior Division

Richard Smith

366 yds

Senior Division

Pete Rutter

366 yds

Senior Division

Mark Frampton

357 yds

Open Division

Derek Hines

383 yds

Open Division

Eric Lunt

382 yds

Open Division

Will Hague

378 yds

Open Division

Allen McDougall

378 yds

Open Division

Jake Taylor

377 yds

Open Division

Eric Van der Walt

374 yds

Senior Division

Lance Reader

356 yds

Senior Division

Bobby Petersen

348 yds

Open Division

Mitch McDowell

403 yds

Open Division

Austin Kincaid

402 yds

Open Division

Tommy Hug

391 yds

Open Division

Bobby Bradley

388 yds

Open Division

Gabriel Caron Landry

388 yds

Open Division

Tyler Kellett

388 yds

Senior Division

Guy Schmidt

371 yds

Senior Division

Monte Scheinblum

362 yds

Senior Division

Tommy Beshear

361 yds

Open Division

Ryan Reisbeck

397 yds

Open Division

Chris Kinsey

395 yds

Open Division

Jeff Farley

392 yds

Open Division

James East

386 yds

Open Division

Brad McAnally

384 yds

Open Division

Chris Montion

382 yds

Senior Division

Ron Potocnik

378 yds

Senior Division

Jeff Williams

372 yds

Senior Division

Lynn Ray

366 yds


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