James drives his way to American Golf finals

James Tait
James Tait

St Andrews golfer James Tait has qualified for the final of the American Golf UK Long Drive Championship.

A hugely impressive drive of 395 yards booked him his place and just one step away from taking the national title, along with a place in the World Championships in the US.

Tait (28), a sales advisor from the town, was one of thousands of budding long drivers from all over Europe who entered the event run by nationwide golf retailer American Golf.

He topped the national leaderboard with his 422 yard effort at first stage qualifying at his local American Golf store in March, progressing to regional qualifying where he sent out a 395 yard monster to secure his place in the final.

Tait now lines up against the best long drivers in Europe at Chester Racecourse on August 2, where he will be the guest of American Golf and tournament sponsor Callaway to do battle for the national title and only one of two UK Open qualifying spots for the World Championships in Oklahoma.

This will be Tait’s second final but after struggling in 2017 he is back full of confidence.

He said: “I feel great, I’m going to win.”

After watching qualifying come to a close, Matt Bacon, Head of Events at American Golf couldn’t hide his excitement for the action to come.

“Although we’ve seen golfers from all over the world fly in to take part this competition is all about the huge numbers of loyal American Golf customers who come back year after year to compete in store,” he said.

“Having Callaway as sponsor has been a huge draw this year and with them involved the mixture of talent we have has raised the bar for the competition.

“I can’t wait to get all of the qualifiers to Chester racecourse to compete for what is now without a doubt Europe’s most prestigious long drive title.”

The 2018 under 45, over 45 and Ladies finals will be shown on Sky Sports.

Spectator entry to the final will be completely free and all are welcome.

The Long Drive Championship is one part of American Golf’s drive to get more people hitting more balls and for 2018 those balls have been going a very long way.