28 Jan 2024 | Long drive |

Kiwi goes back-to-back in Long Drive

by Martin Blake

Chris Charlton image
Chris Charlton on his way to a win at Rosebud. Photo: Henry Peters

New Zealander Chris Charlton has locked up top position on the Australian Long Drive Championship’s Order of Merit with a second consecutive victory, this time at Rosebud Country Club.

Charlton, from the provincial city of Hamilton, backed up his win at Cobram Barooga the weekend before with the victory at Rosebud on Saturday and a second place finish at Royal Queensland earlier in the season with the victory at Rosebud on Saturday.

He qualified with a drive of 364.9 metres and then beat fellow Kiwi Grieg Mooney with a 294-metre drive in the final, which was played into a stiff breeze.

Charlton said the wind was a factor.

“You’re still hitting it as hard as you can, but the thing is, you have to fight it,” he said.

“You can’t hit it as high as you possibly want. You’ve got to watch the spin rates, watch the launch angles. I teed it down a tiny bit and the grid was all carry out there, being a spongy fairway. You’s still trying to flight it high and try to get it out there.”

He has been training in Brisbane for the past six months and working full-time on long driving with the hope of reaching the final.

“It’s been an awesome ride the last six months,” he said. “Hopefully I can keep it going.”

Cairns teenager Joseph Jones emerged as a player to watch after producing a 348.3-metre drive in the qualifying rounds, although the 17-year-old narrowly failed to qualify for the eight-player final.

A crowd of around 100 was on hand after Saturday’s play at the Webex Players Series Victoria tournament to watch the long drive final.

The final event of the inaugural season of this championship is scheduled for Saturday, 10 February at Castle Hill Country Club in Sydney.

Following that event, the top four players will qualify for the national Tour final, to be played immediately afterward. The overall winner will receive a ticket to the World Long Drive Final in Atlanta from 7-11 August. Rosebud result

Order of Merit

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