Monday, Emily Tubert, a second-year member on the LPGA Tour, won in her World Long Drive debut. Tubert qualified during the morning rounds and competed in the finals on Monday evening at the Tennessee Big Shots tournament at Cattails at MeadowView in Kingsport, Tennessee.
“I was honestly kinda surprised,” Tubert told LPGA.com after her win. “Going into the event, I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to have a respectable showing. It was such an amazing experience. All of the competitors were so welcoming, and the fans were great!”
The former Arkansas Razorback went head-to-head with recent Long Drive champion, Alexis Belton, who won the Clash in the Canyon in April. Belton took the early lead with her eighth and final drive at 319 yards. But Tubert, who currently ranks fourth on the LPGA Tour in driving distance at 273.11 yards, defeated Belton with her fifth drive, landing it 322 yards inside the grid.
While Monday’s competition was her first official foray into the world of long driving, she did get a taste in June at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. That week, she was one of four LPGA players to compete in a showcase in Atlantic City. It was there that she connected with Bobby Peterson, a long drive coach from One Stop Power Shop who has 63 wins. He also works with No. 8 ranked long driver, Paul Howell, who has guided Tubert in to the world of long driving.
“He’s kind of taken me under his wing and shown me the ropes,” Tubert said about Howell. “It was with their help that I decided to compete in Tennessee yesterday.”
Tubert regularly uses a 45-inch driver on the LPGA Tour, but used a 48-inch driver for the long drive competition. The loft was also several degrees less at five to seven degrees, whereas her Tour driver has nine degrees.
“The swings are similar, but with the longer driver it takes longer to complete the back swing so I need to feel more pause at the top for the club to set before I start my downswing,” Tubert said about how she changed her swing for the competition.
Tubert is back on the LPGA Tour this week at the Indy Women in Tech Championship but already has another long drive competition on her radar. She’s registered for the Volvik World Long Drive Championship in Thackerville, Oklahoma August 30 - September 5, the week after the LPGA Tour’s stop in Portland.