Golfers compete in long-drive contest
Photos by John Whiting Last year’s Sussex County Long Drive champions wait to see if challengers can dethrone them. From left are: Matt Dickson, Keri Williams, Rob Mack, Michele Quinn, McKenzie Gaw and Rich Vanicek.
J.T. Wilson demonstrates good form in hitting his tee shot 274 yards in the long drive competition.
Crystal Springs Long Drive Competition is a family affair Mom Debbie and dad Jim support son J.T. Wilson in long drive event. Crystal Springs Event Coordinator Gary Griener is at left.
FRANKLIN — One of the popular golf competitions of the season is underway at the Black Bear Golf Club, the Fifth Annual Sussex County Long Drive Championships.
Contenders have been seeking to qualify for the championship since the beginning of July with qualifying competitions being held every Friday and Saturday evening between 5 and 7 p.m. at the at the Black Bear Golf Club.
J.T. Wilson was one of many golfers of all ages, abilities and genders seeking to qualify on July 25 for the championship scheduled for Friday, Aug. 29, at Black Bear Golf Club and was able to hit a drive of 274 yards but it was not long enough to best the top drive of the night by Rich Lenihan of 307 yards which became the top performance for this year’s long drive championship qualifiers.
The male and female winners of the Sussex County Long Drive championships qualifying events will compete for top honors in three Divisions; Junior for golfers up to 18 years old, adult for ages 18-49 years of age and the Senior Division for golfers 50 years of age and older. An overall champion will be declared based on the best long drive of the competition. This year’s competitors are trying to qualify and defeat the other qualifiers in their division and the performance of last year’s champions that produced a top overall winning drive of 317 yards for the men and 203 yards for the women, a 50+ Division drive of 282 for the men and 200 yard drive for the Lady’s Division Drive of 210 yards was enough to take the title for the girls.
This year’s top Sussex County Long Drive qualifiers will be challenged to beat the performance of past champions. Last year’s champ, Rob Mack’s 317-yard long drive won the 2013 overall title but fell 6 yards short of the long drive mark of 323 yards by Dan Sauter, the overall champ in 2010 and the 2011 winning drive of Jamie D’Orio of 320 yards, but outdistanced the drive of 2012 Champion Mark Marais who won with a 283 yard drive.
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