Joe Miller wins in Mijas
September 8th, 2013- The British long driver Joe Miller has won the Spanish LDET Championship with a boom of 371.5 yards. Miller beat Andreas Persson (358y) in the final after a very close contest on the golf course of Los Lagos (Mijas Golf International), where the best hitters in Europe have exhibited their drives. With still one event to go on the Tour, the Mijas tournament has left the LDET ranking tighter than ever.
The weather is one of the worst enemies of the Long Drivers, and the tournament began with heavy rain that fell early in the morning. With thick cloud cover and with a light wind, the qualifying stages began at 10am. Group 1 faced Andreas Persson (Swe), Alfonso Laso (Esp), Joakim Boltenstern (Swe), the amateur Scott Beaven (UK) and Thomas Metcalfe (UK).
The Spanish player Alfonso Laso was held back by a shoulder injury that has prevented him from enjoying a good season, and the event of Los Lagos was no exception. The best shots of the first group were from Persson, with 352y, and Scott Beaven, with 351y, getting through to the quarterfinals. Beaven has been, without doubt, the surprise of the tournament, as this was the first time he participated in a Long Drivers event.
Amongst the golfers in Group 2 was the player of the American Tour, Maurice Allen, who holds the Guinness Speed World Record in Long Drive, with a shot at 356 km/h. The pairings in this group confronted Allen with two of the strongest LDET hitters: Joe Miller (World Champion in 2010) and the Scot Jamie Kinnell. The longest distances after three rounds went to Miller and Allen, with 360y and 364y respectively, two impressive records for two of the world’s best.
In Group 3 three hitters were also looking for a place in the World Finals in U.S. in late September: David Kvist, John McSloy and Eric Houballah. For Scottish player McSloy, who was third in the rankings, this was a decisive tournament and he got through to the quarterfinals with an excellent result of 355.5y, surpassing his record of this season (344.7y). The Swedish Kvist qualified with a shot of 352 yards.
Group 4, the last group, was full of surprises with the amazing and unexpected drive of 370 yards by Anders Pettersson, who qualified for the quarters along with the British player Dan Konyk. The music, the drinks, the speaker and the audience encouraged the players early in the afternoon in the quarterfinals. With well toned muscles and tingling nerves the players put up a tremendous spectacle and let impressive shots like the 386.5 yards of Andreas Persson, which was the ‘Samsung longest ball of the day’.
The four players who won the semi-finals were Persson, Pettersson, Allen and Miller, who all showed top level play in this golf discipline. The rivalry was so tight that the finalists were decided by just a few yards: Allen (368y) and Miller (370y), Persson (374y) and Pettersson (362y).
The first and second in the ranking staged a new final in the Tour in the struggle for the title and the notable prize for the winner of the season (10,000 euros). Joe Miller and Andreas Persson played against each other on the tee, and had to play two rounds to decide the winner. Miller, with a shot of 371.5y, his best shot in the tournament, won the championship, pocketing his fourth competition of the season.