25 Nov 2023 | Long drive | Participation |
Australian Long Drive debut rocks Royal Queensland
by Paul Munnings
In front of a raucous Fortinet Australian PGA Championship crowd, Paul Mews crunched a ball 328 metres into the breeze today to win a place at next year’s World Long Drive Final in the United States.
The Royal Queensland leg of four Australian Long Drive Order of Merit events to coincide with upcoming tournaments on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia produced 45 minutes of non-stop action from eight of the country’s biggest bombers of the golf ball.
It included a string of Australia versus New Zealand battles before Mews, a +2 handicapper in traditional golf, came out on top.
A former Australian representative, Mews has been encouraged to return to Long Drive thanks to its rebirth under Golf Australia.
In the final, played off the first tee at Royal Queensland with the balls sailing towards the Gateway Bridge, he defeated NZ’s Chris Charlton, who only took up Long Drive three months ago, by 10 metres.
“When I got told about these events, I thought I’d get out of retirement and who knows, maybe I’ll start competing a bit more now,” Mews said.
“I’m absolutely stoked. I didn’t expect to come out here and win. My goal was to come top eight.
“I’ve played regular golf for a long time now and I’ve always hit it really far. My dad coached me from a really young age to hit the ball a long way.
“When I saw long drive come through to Australia, I’d seen it in America, I got pretty hooked.”
Originally from Perth, Mews played golf at Royal Fremantle, the home club of Min Woo and Minjee Lee, before relocating to Cairns where he has operated a golf fitness business.
In long drive, he is a former Australian Indoor Championships winner and a two-time representative for Australia in the Trans-Tasman competition.
“Today was tricky. The wind was very tough to get the ball going on a decent line,” he said.
“I went from using a really whippy shaft to more of a stiffer shaft to get the ball down a little bit and it definitely worked.”
The qualifying event for Royal Queensland was held using TrackMan with Matt Nicholls taking the No.1 seed with a 363.8m drive.
Upcoming Australian Long Drive events
Cobram Barooga: January 20
Rosebud: January 27
Castle Hill: February 10
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