Former world number one wins Pacific Rim Long Drive

Monday June 11, 2018 Written by Published in Other Sports
Maurice Allen won the Pacifi c Rim Long Drive Competition at Nikao golf course on Saturday. 18061015 Maurice Allen won the Pacifi c Rim Long Drive Competition at Nikao golf course on Saturday. 18061015

Former world number one Maurice Allen won the Pacific Rim Long Drive Competition held at the Rarotonga Golf Club course in Nikao over the weekend.

The American long-drive golfer, who is currently ranked fourth in the world, defeated Mitch Dobbyn, also of the United States, in the final to win the inaugural tournament on Saturday.

Allen recorded the longest distance of about 60 metres in the tournament.

The Pacific Rim Long Drive Competition had 14 international long-drive golfers tussling for the $20,000 total prize purse.

Cook Islanders William Howard and Kris ‘Gunz’ Williamson also competed in the event as wildcard entrants.

Initially only one wildcard place was available but another place opened up after an international player pulled out of the tournament.

The local competition, which had 21 participants, was won by Howard, followed by Williamson in second place.

Howard managed to make it to the semifinal of the Pacific Rim Long Drive Competition, where he narrowly lost to Allen in an exciting tussle.

“Willie did amazingly well. He almost defeated Maurice in the semis,” said Rarotonga Golf Club president George George.

“All of Willie’s drives landed into the grid and Maurice was just lucky to have one of his drives, which proved to be the winning one, into the grid.

“I think Maurice somehow knew that it could have easily gone the other way had it not been for that drive which landed in the grid.”

Howard played well in the third-place playoff too, but was unlucky to lose that match to world number 20 Troy Teal.

“With the crowd behind him, Willie put on another great performance in the playoff but he was just unlucky to lose again,” said George.

George said the organisers, International Golf Associates New Zealand (IGANZ), were pleased with the local participants.

“They even said that Willie and Gunz had what it takes to make the World Series. This is exciting news for us,” he said.

Overall, George said they were pleased to host the event and were looking forward to hosting it again next year.

“The organisers and the international players were really pleased with the hosting and they have indicated that they want to come back again to host the event in Rarotonga and next year.”

Meanwhile, Allen walked away with $6000 and the winning trophy, while Dobbyn settled for $4000.

In the Pacific Rim Long Drive Competition, the players hit eight balls within three minutes. Only drives within a marked grid 400 metres long by 45 metres wide were counted as successful attempts.

Attempts that landed outside the width of the marked grid were not counted, as well as those outside the three-minute time limit.

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