The Long and Longer of It

LDA champ knocks it out of the park

Published in the July 2015 Issue Published online: Jul 16, 2015 Events, Stories

Think you hit a long ball? If so, you’ll probably change your tune when you see how the big boys do it. MWG had the pleasure of catching the Long Drivers of America championships in Mesquite, Nev., a few years ago. On the road to that event are a number of build-up competitions, including a recent event that resulted in an insane winning drive of 400-plus yards.

Jason Eslinger from Forney, Texas took home the top prize of $10,000 at the 2015 WinStar Invitational presented by Long Drivers of America at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma on June 27.

A unique, round-robin format, using a scoring system based on accumulated points through five rounds, made consistency a premium.  "It definitely brings the best performers to the top of the leaderboard." said Mike Ambriz, LDA's GM and Director of the event.   "We have had great feedback from the competitors.  It gives them a chance to improve on a bad set instead of being eliminated.   It will test their stamina as well."  

Eslinger was on top of his game from the very beginning, consistently winning his groups and only finishing second once on the road to the final 8.  Once there, he calmly eliminated the competition with numerous blasts over 385 yards.  In the finals against Kody Zurek, Eslinger took the early lead with his first ball then put the pressure on by hitting the longest ball of the day 403 yards!  It flew on the front of the green of the Par 4, #1 hole on the East course at WinStar Golf Club.  Jason took home his second LDA sanctioned win and $10,000 for his impressive performance.  "It feels great!  It's really been a long time for me" 

 Zurek, who finished 9th in the world in 2013, was humble in his defeat.  When asked by Art Sellinger (LDA CEO) "What do you do when you know you have to hit 403 yards?"  He smiled and calmly replied " I was just swinging as hard as could and hope I catch one." 


Top 8 Shootout

Top 4 advance to match play

Alternate shot - 3:45 seconds 

Mitch Dobbyn- 353  - La Verne, CA

Cam Swanson - OB -  Atkinson, NH

Kody Zurek - 378* - Callaway / San Antonio, TX

Austin Kincaid - 379* -  McKinney, TX

Rich Moore - 374 - Denver, CO

Jeff Grear - 373 - Montgomery, AL

Jason Eslinger - 384* - Forney, TX

Luis Saavedra - 385* - Albuquerque, NM


Semifinal matches

Luis Saavedra - 384

Kody Zurek - 388

Austin Kincaid - 370 

Jason Eslinger - 385


Championship Match

Jason Eslinger - 403

Kody Zurek - 376


Click here to see the full scoreboard -