James drives his way to long distance finals

Long distance driver James Tait.
Long distance driver James Tait.

St. Andrews golfer James Tait has finished second in the American Golf UK Long Drive Championship, narrowly missing out in the final to Swede Emil Rosberg.

Tait (28) was one of the favourites going into the final and his consistent hitting on the day did nothing to dampen those expectations.

He sailed through seeding in first position before making short work of Angus Lang in the quarter’s and Chris Latta in the semis with a monster drive of 384 yards.

That brought Tait head to head with Rosberg and after one set he was one up after hitting 381 yards. Unfortunately Tait couldn’t maintain his form, losing the next two sets to the impressive Swede.

After the final Tait said: “I hit the ball great, unfortunately I just couldn’t quite get the middle of the club in the last two sets of the final.

“The semi finals was the best I’ve hit it all year.

“The American Golf Championship is a great competition.

“You can see the level getting stronger and stronger.

“Next year is going to be even fiercer.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll definitely be back.”

In its fourth year, the American Golf UK & Ireland Long Drive Championship has established itself as the premier Long Drive Championship in Europe, but while the best from the professional ranks flew in to take part in the qualification process at American Golf stores, that was not the most satisfying aspect for Matt Bacon, head of events at American Golf, who said: “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 James 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.”

In their first year of sponsorship of the event Callaway have been integral to its success and had a real boost when they saw the competitors take to the stage.

Nathan Dennis, retail marketing manager at Callaway Golf said: “We’re delighted to have been the sponsors of the American Golf UK.

“Long Drive Championship and even more so to see two of the three winners take their titles using Callaway clubs.

“This really was a collection of the biggest hitters in Europe across all three categories, so to see so many players using Callaway Jailbreak technology to unlock their distance potential was hugely satisfying.”

Keep an eye out for all three categories when they are shown on Sky Sports in October this year.

The championsip is part of American Golf’s drive to get more people hitting more balls, more often.