Long-drive star puts rules controversy behind him, wins World Long Drive Championship
It was wild week for No. 1 ranked Long Drive competitor Kyle Berkshire. One day after facing cheating accusations at the World Long Drive Championship, Berkshire stormed through the final two rounds to win the title, the first of his career.
One the eve of his championship-winning performance, accusations surfaced on Twitter that Berkshire had illegally used a towel as an alignment aid in competition. Berkshire defended himself, saying that he used the towel to keep his balls dry, not as an alignment aid. A spokesman for the World Long Drive confirmed to GOLF.com that Berkshire had not committed a penalty, and that Berkshire had moved the towel farther away from his tee at the request of a rules official.
That drama was swirling around Berkshire ahead of the final, but you wouldn’t know it based on his performance.
He needed just two drives to dispatch his semi-finals opponent, Jordan Brooks, and he did so in style. Berkshire’s second attempt flew his opponent’s ball in the air, landing beyond the 400-yard line.
In the final, Berkshire faced a much steeper challenge in two-time champion and World No. 2 Tim Burke. But Burke didn’t put up much of a fight. His best qualifying drive was 374 yards (only drives that land within the competition grid qualify). Berkshire went second, and surpassed Burke with a 407-yard blast on his fourth attempt to secure his first championship victory.
Check out the winning drive below.
“This feels awesome,” Berkshire said after clinching the win. “It’s validated a lot of the hard work and sacrifice I’ve put in to be the best, and I am the best right now. I look forward to raising that bar.”
While this is Berkshire first World Long Drive Championship title, it’s not the first time he’s entered the winner’s circle on the WLD Tour. Berkshire, who credits his 70% hearing loss for the heightened feel in his hands, had two runner-up finishes early in 2019, before winning the ROC City Rumble in July and the Tennessee Big Shots event in August.
Along with a wrestling-style championship belt, Berkshire will head home with a winner’s check worth $125,000.
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