ST. GEORGE — Most anyone who follows long drive competition knows that Logan Leavitt is one of the best in Utah at gripping it and ripping it. The St. George native won his fourth Utah State Long Drive men’s open championship Saturday by sending all four of his drives in the finals more than 365 yards.
Leavitt, who finished second last year and third in 2014, was the dominant driver of the day. His top drive of 395 yards was nearly 30 yards further than any other golfer could manage and, of Leavitt’s four “counting” drives, three of them were better than any other golfer. Leavitt drove it 371 and 395 in the first two rounds, then made the championship with a stroke of 366 yards. Leavitt clinched the title by pounding the dimpled ball 376 yards, beating second place Lynn Ray by 37 yards.
“He’s always one of our top hitters,” said event organizer Devin Dixon of ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM. “It’s always a great battle, but he was just the best today and it wasn’t even that close.”
Carson Jones and Greg Walker also made it into the semifinals, but couldn’t match Leavitt or Ray.
The day started with the charity scramble tournament to benefit JAG golf and Desert Hills Cheer. A substantial amount of money was raised according to Marco Leoni, head golf pro at Coral Canyon Golf Course.
Along with Leavitt’s open title at the 12th annual Legend Solar Utah State Long Drive Competition, there were nine other long drive titles earned. In the 14 and under girls division, Ellie Johnson took the title with a drive of 188 yards, just getting past Kenzi Owen.
In the boys 14 and under division, Merrick Johnson, 12-years-old, won it with a drive of 264 yards. Billy Bonham was second. jack Phillips won the 17 and under boys title with a drive of 316 yards.
Then things heated up when four collegiate golfers squared off in the women’s division. Former Pine View Panther and soon to be Dixie State Trailblazer Taylor Bandley (294 yards) out-hit Brittney Bisgrove (290).
In the men’s senior divisions, Dave Watson and Greg Walker both grabbed titles. Watson took the 60-plus division with a winning drive of 336 yards and Walker snagged the 50-plus by going for 357 yards. He also qualified for and won the 40-plus age group.
The men’s amateur open saw James Taylor win his first title in his first ever event. He hit 355 yards in the finals, outpacing Carson Jones (349) and Kyle Chappell (341).
Robert Watkins won the Van Gilder Homes Shootout by coming within 6-feet, 11-inches of the cup.
Editor’s note: Walker won two age divisions, not one as previously reported.
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