In anticipation of the 44th annual World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 30 - Sept. 4, with Golf Channel showcasing the final two days), worldlongdrive.com is highlighting past champions. Click here to view more of the series and information on the championship.
Last year’s World Long Drive champion Maurice Allen is attempting to become the first repeat winner in the Open Division since Jamie Sadlowski (2008-’09), after advancing on Sunday afternoon to the Round of 32.
“Nobody has gone back to back since Sadlowski, so it’s been 10 years,” Allen said. “And if you look at the list of hitters winning a world title since then, there have been some really awesome hitters. So, that shows you just exactly how hard it is to go back-to-back.”
Allen says he didn’t have a good expectation for how he would do going into last year’s championship, but after he won his group in the preliminary round, he had a different feeling.
“I had missed the TV round in [the] 2017 [World Long Drive Championship], so I just told myself I wanted to be competitive,” said Allen. “Getting on the plane and driving to the hotel and checking in the clubs I was honestly like, ‘Let’s just try to make the top 16,’ but, after the first round I knew I was going to win the world title. I wasn’t subtle about it. I told people who are really close to me after hitting that first day that it was over. I knew I was going to win.”
Allen’s win came in emphatic fashion, needing to successfully convert on his eighth and final ball in the championship match against Justin Moose.
“I talked to my dad quite a bit that day between rounds,” said Allen. “And the last conversation we had, he said, ‘You know, you have a whole lot more time on the clock than you think.’ That’s why I walked up to the ball, looked at the clock and then backed off and really got my composure. It was one of those times I can honestly say that when I hit the ball, the moment it came off the clubface, I knew it was good.”
Despite having made only one TV appearance this season (Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun), Allen feels like he’s accomplished all of his goals as a world champion.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing season,” said Allen. “Regardless of what happens on and off the grid, I’m one of the few people who can say they’ve done everything that there is to do in this sport. After a certain point, you have to expand and continue to raise the bar off the grid to help grow the sport.”