Burke wins with 394-yard drive

Tim Burke of Orlando, Fla., captured the World Long Drive Championship for the second time in three years by smoking a 394-yard drive into a crosswind to defeat Jeremy Easterly of Ponte Vedra, Fla., in the finals at Thackerville, Okla.

The 29-year-old Burke advanced through the quarterfinals and semifinals with drives that surpassed 400 yards.

“I just wanted to make sure I put a good golf swing on it, and I hit it pretty good,” Burke said of the drive that earned the $150,000 first prize. “I got dedicated this year, got a little better golf swing, learned how to handle the pressure a little better and everything came together tonight.

“I was definitely hungry to get No. 2 after (failing to successfully defend the title last year). … I feel blessed and I’m just going to keep it rolling. I’m in an elite club (of multiple winners) and I’d like to get Nos. 3, 4 and 5.”

Easterly, whose best drive in the finals measured 386 yards, advanced to the title match with a drive of 380 yards to upset two-time winner Jamie Sadlowski of Canada, who failed to hit the grid with any of his drives in the semifinals.

Burke’s drive of 401 yards beat Justin Young of Mount Airy, N.C, who managed 386 yards in the quarterfinals, and the eventual champion hit a 403-yard bomb in the semifinals to turn back Will Hogue of Collierville, Tenn, who bowed out at 390.

Hogue hit the longest drive of the night, 404 yards in the quarterfinals, to defeat Jason Eslinger of Forney, Texas, who had a 390-yarder.

Sadlowski had the only other 400-yard-plus drive of the night, beating Jeff Crittenden of Greensboro, N.C., 402-390.

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