It was 23-year-old Brendan Allatta from Long Valley, N.J., who out performed the other seven qualifiers in his division and all other competitors to earn the title of overall Sussex County Long Drive Champion. The competition was held Aug. 1 at the Crystal Springs Golf Resort in Franklin.
His longest drive of the day came to rest 295 yards from the tee. Allatta’s win was rewarded with a weekday Crystal Springs Premier Golf Membership.
The win for Allatta did not come easy. Among the men in the 18-49 Division, three golfers had hit their long drive 295 yards, producing a three-way tie. The winner was decided by a shoot-off. Allatta’s drive of 283 was long enough to defeat Dylan Dembeck and Justin Prokop, who claimed second and third place, respectively.
The Men’s Division was not the only one decided by a shoot-out. At the end of the regular competition, Patricia Zakur and Joan Huffine were unable to deliver a drive in the grid requiring that each golfer hit an extra golf ball to determine the division champion. Zakur’s took the win with a shot of 130 yards, which was good enough for her to take home the win.
The repeat 18-49 Women’s Division repeat winner, Lisa Coe, hit a drive of 275 to qualify for the championship and hit a drive of 255 yards to lead all but four other men and women golfers in the competition. The youngest female competitor, Malena Johnson, at age 13, hit her drive 195 yards to win the Junior Women’s Division and showed great form while earning the title of Champion in her Division.
Other Division Champions included Junior Men’s Champ Ryan Silvestri, with a drive of 248 yards; Men 50-64 Joe Smith, with a drive of 288 yards; Men 65+ Al Winn, with a drive of 265 yards; and Ladies 50-64 repeat winner Michele Richard, with a winning drive of 211 yards.
COVID-19 doesn’t stop competition
Golfers ranging in age from age 13 to 77 gathered to compete for the honor of being named the 2020 Sussex County Long Drive Champion in four Men’s and Women’s Divisions.
Crystal Springs required masks and social distancing to protect participants, staff and observers. Fourteen women and 20 male golfers faced off to hit three golf balls into the long drive grid in the hope of producing the longest drive in their Division.