MESQUITE, Nev. — Local golfer and long-drive champion Justin Young lasted until the seventh round in the ReMax World Long Drive Championship Wednesday.
Young, who played on the golf teams at North Surry and Surry Community College, hit some huge bombs, but was knocked out of the final round of the day after finishing sixth in the world last year.
Starting at 9 a.m. local time, Young won his four-man pod with a drive of 405 yards. In this year’s format, the top two hitters move on, while the bottom two were dropped into a second-chance bracket.
In the second round, Young went further at 419 yards, but finished in second, just three yards out of the lead.
That jumped Young over to the fifth round. He was one spot shy of reaching the final 48, but finished with a long of just 384 yards. That put him fourth out of his group, but he still had one more chance to advance.
In the seventh round, the former Greyhound blasted his best drive of the day, going 445 yards.
Unfortunately for him, all four golfers hit massive shots that round. Chris Bennetts went 475 yards, the longest hit of any round. Joakim Hultman and Austin Kincaid tied at 454 yards, putting Young in fourth place and knocking him out of the tournament in the last round of the day.
The drive of 445 yards was the sixth-longest of the field, but because of the format, Young was ousted.
There has to be a little luck involved, said dad Joe Young. Last year Justin lost in the first round, then advanced through 10 straight levels to reach the final eight, which is just incredible, he said.
Bennetts went 475 yards in that round, but in an earlier try the best he could do was 377, Joe Young noted. For that to happen, the wind must have been swirling around pretty hard, he reasoned, helping golfers in one round and hampering them in another.