Against the stunning setting of Heythrop Hall, the 2017 Final of the American Golf Long Drive Championship was a real crowd pleaser.
In the Ladies section, Ilona Stubley hit the longest Ladies drive ever recorded in an American Golf Championship with 338 yards in seeding. Not only was this the start of a fantastic day for Ilona but also signalled the start of her battle with 14 year old prodigy Elle Gibson. Elle qualified in second spot with a huge 326 yards, setting up a rivalry that would last all the way to the final hit of the day.
The Ladies competition proved enthralling as reigning champion and current world No.3 Rebecca McGinley was deposed in the quarter finals by Becki O’Grady. Becki couldn’t quite continue her form in the semi’s as she came up against 14 year old wonder kid Elle Gibson. Elle was a model of consistency all day, hitting 300 yards on multiple occasions with a smooth, fluid golf swing.
The only player able to compete in consistency and numbers was Ilona Stubley. The 33yr old Glaswegian kept pace with the Barnet youngster, with both players taking a set each in the final with drives of 300 yards. In the deciding set Elle went first and recorded 299 yards. This was not quite long enough as Illona kept her head and powered past with her final drive of the day.
“All day Elle was hitting great, so I knew the final would be tough. In the third set, I was pleased that I was hitting second as I prefer to chase down a score and knowing what I have to do to win.''
''To win it with a drive of 307 yards was a great feeling as I was still able to hit a good distance when the pressure was on and made all the hard work leading up to the event worthwhile.”
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