THACKERVILLE, Okla. (AP) — Maurice Allen won the Volvik World Long Drive Championship on Wednesday night, beating Justin Moose with a 393-yard strike on his final attempt in the final.
The 36-year-old Allen, from Pine Hills, Florida, hit first in the final round at WinStar World Casino and Resort and watched as Moose came up short with a best of 382 yards.
In the semifinals, Allen topped Josh Cassaday with a 393-yarder, and Moose edged Jim Waldron with a 387-yard drive.
New Zealand’s Phillis Meti won the women’s title for the second time in three years and third overall, beating Chloe Garner with a 313-yard strike. In the semifinals, Meti beat Heather Manfredda, and Garner topped LPGA Tour player Emily Tubert.
On Tuesday night, 47-year-old Eddie Fernandes, won the Masters Division, beating Canada’s Jeff Gavin.
Former Rattler, long drive champ Allen back home
Maurice Allen is one of professional golf’s biggest hitters. The multiple Long Drive champion can generate club-heads speed in excess of 150 mph and his longest drive on record is 488 yards. Allen’s one of the sports’ biggest personalities, too. His smile and laugh are infectious, and his impersonation of wrestler Ric Flair is spot-on.
All this – and much more – were on display Saturday in the Tallahassee Open at Hilaman Golf Course.
“It’s almost like a shock when you see his ball – it just never falls,” playing partner and fellow professional Evin Jenkins said.
“He pretty much overpowers every hole.”
Allen’s bone-crushing drives were on display in the opening round of the two-day tourney, but he struggled with his short game and is not among the leaders. But that’s fine. Allen didn’t have any illusions about winning the tourney due to injuries this season. But his body – powerfully built at 5 foot 8 and 230 pounds – is feeling better, and the Orlando resident saw a lot of positives in his game.
It’s good to be home, too.
Allen, 36, attended Florida A&M and still has family in Tallahassee, including his mother, sister and an aunt. He also made time to visit Windy Hill Vineyard for its grapes, peaches and other fruits.“Hanging out with my family and people here, that’s a big part of it for me,” Allen said.
“I don’t always want to be on the road, or get so far away, that I am so consumed with work where I don’t pay attention to enjoying the time I have with them. Doing that is pretty cool as well.”
Allen’s life is cool.
He has traveled the world, routinely smashing golf balls close to 500 yards. Long drive tournaments have gone global, and this former FAMU track and field runner has won in five of seven continents. Basketball has dunks, baseball has home runs, football has touchdowns. Long drive tournaments have Allen, previously ranked No. 1 in the World Long Drive rankings and currently hovering at No. 3. He was a Guinness World Record holder in 2012 for ball speed (211 mph).
Grip it and rip it.
“It’s hard to believe until you actually see his drives,” said playing partner Anthony Phipps, 25, a former FAMU golfer who recently turned professional. “It’s fun actually to see him play versus seeing him on TV. I was waiting for the Ric Flair (impersonation).”
Allen is much more than long, long, long drives.
Yes, he has won on the mini tour and still wants to successfully balance his long drive/tour career. Even more importantly, Allen wants to make the most of each day and have a positive impact. He’s involved in community initiatives. As a motivational speaker, he enjoys connecting with people, specifically youth.
On the course Saturday, Allen was quick to encourage his three playing partners and others.
“It’s his nature to try to help you out, not only in golf but life,” said Jenkins, 19. “Whatever path you take in life, he said commit to it. Not everybody sees your vision, but if you feel it’s right for you, put your mind to it and chase your dream.”
He also got to see Allen up close.
“It’s ridiculous, it’s crazy watching him play,” Whitmore said, smiling.
“He hits the ball so far. He’s such a strong guy but he maintains that flexibility, which is crucial for golf. It’s a combination of strength and flexibility, you can get that rotation, get the power, get that drive. He’s pretty efficient with it.”
Allen didn’t play golf seriously until 2010, when a friend challenged him to hit a ball. He was hooked. Thousands and thousands of buckets of balls later, Allen developed a powerful, winning swing to go with his winning personality.
“I picked up this long drive thing and it turned into what you see today,” Allen said.
“Never in a million years would I have thought what we are seeing now, or have the ability to travel the world.”In his post-victory interview, Allen revealed he would give $20,000 of his winner’s check to the Orlando area Maynard Evans High School in the form of four $5,000 scholarships.
MORE ON MAURICE ALLEN
Maurice is a Professional Long Drive Competitor from Pine Hills, Florida. Maurice attended Evans High School where he excelled academically and at sports. After high school, Maurice attended Florida A&M University where he attained his Biology degree in 2010. After graduating from FAMU, Maurice moved to Atlanta to become a chiropractor where he became a student of the game of golf. After countless hours of practice around the Atlanta area, Maurice set a new Guinness World Record for Golf Ball Speed (211 MPH). His longest drive in competition is 459 yards.
In 2013, the Boys and Girls Clubs of American appointed Maurice “Ambassador of Golf”. Maurice is a contributor of the PGA’s Golf 2.0 program. His mPOWer message addresses purpose, opportunity and the importance of the WOW factor to set his exhibition apart and leaving patrons with an experience they will not soon forget. The Maurice Allen experience employs three strategies of great teachers: creativity, the ability to make the subject relative to the audience and the ability to connect with the audience.
Since 2011, Maurice has competed with continued consistency and strong performances in Long Drive competitions around the globe. In 2015 Maurice competed on the Long Drivers European Tour where he captured the Sweden LDET, Belgium LDET and Italy LDET titles. Maurice earned an exemption into the 2015 World Long Drive Championships Top 64 as a result of winning the Italy Long Drive European Championship. Maurice advanced into the Round of 16 and finished the 2015 World Long Drive Competition with a tie for 9th.
Maurice had an incredible year in 2015. To cap the season, he finished as the Champion of the Volvik Long Drive European Tour where he maintained his #1 ranking throughout the nine championships.
On a personal note, Maurice is committed to giving back to his community. He dedicates his time to the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association which provides inner-city youth with the opportunity to learn the game of golf while attaining skills to succeed in life.