MESQUITE, NV (August 17, 2014) — Defending National ParaLong Drive Champion Jared Brentz and runnerup Brendon Jacks will lead a field of disabled long drivers representing 10 countries on Oct. 16-17, at the inaugural ParaLong Drive Worlds in Mesquite, Nevada. Brentz and Jacks will tee it up along with 60 other amputee, paralyzed and blind golfers at the world’s top Long Drive grid at the Mesquite Sports & Event Complex.
“There are many great story lines going into our first ‘World’ event, but everyone is anxious to see what Jared and Brendon can do in their rematch that will top their first two ParaLong Drive battles in Mesquite,” said Bryan Dangerfield, Director of the Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive Local Organizing Committee. “We also look forward to seeing many new competitors including drivers from overseas and women for the first time; and our wounded soldier and paramobile (paralyzed) divisions are more competitive.”
While Brentz, of Nashville, Tenn., won the first two ParaLong Drive titles, it was Jacks, of Prescott Valley, Ariz., who became he first amputee golfer to surpass the 400-yard mark with a 401-yard blast in the early rounds of the Nationals. Jacks fell in the next round, but worked his way back to the Championship matchup versus Brentz and won, forcing a playoff in the double-elimination format. It was during that playoff that Brentz let loose with a 409-yard drive to claim the overall title and became the longest driver ever in ParaLong Drive history.
Hoping to add “World Champion” to their ParaLong Drive Nationals titles are Jesse Florkowski (one-arm winner with a drive of 333 yards), Anthony Netto (paramobile champ at 295 yards) and Bill Davis (blind winner at 325 yards). There will be sub-divisional winners for specific disability categories such as leg: above the knee and below knee amputee, arm: assisted and unassisted, paramobile/paralyzed: one-arm and two-arms, and blind divisions. There will be a wounded soldier and women’s divisions.
Producing and sponsoring many events during the week is the Mesquite NV Local Organizing Committee, City of Mesquite Athletics & Leisure Services, Eureka Casino Resort, Golf Mesquite Nevada, Mesquite Regional Business and other service organizations and businesses.
In addition to the U.S. and Canadian athletes, the international contingency represents Australia, England, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, South Africa, Scotland and Wales. Others may sign up in the next three weeks.
The Scottish Disability Golf Partnership, based out of Fife, Scotland, has organized the contingency coming from overseas to participate in the ParaLong Drive Worlds. After competing in the ParaLong Drive they will play a “Ryder Cup” format golf tournament called the Phoenix Cup. It will feature disabled golfers playing rounds on Oct. 18-22 at the Palms and Palmer Courses in Mesquite with North America vs. the World.
There will be a last chance qualifier, skills challenge and a recreational division for disabled athletes who want to be a part of the ParaLong Drive experience.
A Welcome Dinner will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m., for athletes, sponsors and volunteers. The general public is also invited to hear inspirational stories and each athlete will be introduced. Also in attendance will be members of the media and invited guests from the International Network of Golf and participants in the Mesquite Innovation & Technology Summit (MITS). The ParaLong Drive Worlds dinner is open to the public and tickets are required for a $30 donation per person or $50 per couple. Tickets are available at the Mesquite Recreation Center or from any Local Organizing Committee volunteer.
The MITS event is headlined by teen inventor Easton LaChappelle, who will demonstrate the latest in brain-powered prosthetic robotic devices along with other presenters introducing leading-edge technology that improves human performance. MITS presentations are on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 4-6 p.m. at the Eureka Casino Resort’s Grand Canyon Room. Admittance is free and open to the public. The event is hosted by Mesquite Regional Business Inc. and the Eureka Casino Resort.
A complete schedule of events, including times for the ParaLong Drive competition on Thursday, Oct. 16 and Friday, Oct. 17, will be posted on the “Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive” Facebook page and at www.ParaLongDrive.org.