Glasgow golfer Ilona Stubley has retained her American Golf UK & Ireland Long Drive title with a stunning display of big hitting at Chester Racecourse.
Ilona now progresses to the World Championships in Oklahoma where she will represent Scotland and American Golf.
Going into the final, Stubley was one of the favourites to take the title but she was pushed all the way by 2015 and 2016 champion and former world No. 3 Rebecca McGinley who matched her strike for strike. This was no more evident than in the semi-finals where the two players made it through, both recording top drives of 290 yards.
The final was a tense affair, with Ilona looking to match Rebecca’s record of two UK titles, a feat she managed after taking the first set 296-283 and the second set 300-292
“I’m very pleased,” said Ilona. “I think it means more to me winning this one than last year. Last year was such a whirlwind between qualifying and getting to the final but this year I’ve put a lot more work into it and with the help of my trainer, Alex at Golf Fit, I’ve come in so well prepared.
“I’m going to keep on working in the next month leading up to the World Championships, in the gym and hitting balls. I can’t wait to get there though. Last year I didn’t know what to expect, but now I know what the competition is about and I’m definitely a lot better and stronger.“
The men’s competitions, meanwhile, were won by Sweden’s Emil Rosberg and William Hunt Tyrell from Ireland.
Rosberg saw off James Tait to take the under-45’s title, with Hunt Tyrell overcoming Gavin Beddow in the over-45’s category.
Now in its fourth year, the American Golf UK & Ireland Long Drive Championship has established itself as the premier Long Drive Championship in Europe.
Matt Bacon, Head of Events at American Golf, remarked: “We’ve watched this event grow in stature and I can’t quite believe the quality of competitors who fly in for qualifying and then for the finals. But while it’s amazing to see the established stars, the people I love are the American Golf customers like Ilona who just gave it a go and found out they were among the best. I love this event and I’m so proud of what everyone has achieved.”
• Highlights of the 2018 American Golf UK Long Drive Championships will be shown on Sky Sports in October.