Bothwell long drive ace Chris Latta is third biggest hitter at UK Championships

Chris Latta did exceptionally way to make it all the way through to the semi-finals in Warrington (pic by Mark Newcombe).
Chris Latta did exceptionally way to make it all the way through to the semi-finals in Warrington (pic by Mark Newcombe).

From thousands of entrants from all over Europe, Bothwell golfer Chris Latta finished third at the UK Long Drive Championships.

Bellshill Golf Club member Latta made it all the way through to the semi-finals in Warrington at the weekend, before finally losing to professional long driver James Tait.

Latta, who was defeated despite hitting his longest drive of the day – a 371-yard monster – said afterwards: “Not bad at all, I’m pretty happy with that.

“I couldn’t hit it much better.

“I really pushed James, so I’m happy with that.

“He’s had to post two of the longest drives of the day to beat me.

“I just really picked up long drive this year.

“I’m just a golfer who could hit it a decent distance.

“I’d have probably taken that at the start, to be honest.

“These guys are the best in Europe, some of them in the world.

“But I’ll definitely be back next year if you’ll have me!”

In its fourth year, the American Golf UKand Ireland Long Drive Championship has established itself as the premier Long Drive Championship in Europe.

But while the best from the professional ranks flew in to take part in the qualification process at American Golf stores, that was not the most satisfying aspect for Matt Bacon, head of events at American Golf.

He said: “We’ve watched this event grow in stature and I can’t quite believe the quality of competitors who fly in for qualifying and then for the finals.

“But while it’s amazing to see the established stars, the people I love are the American Golf customers like Chris, who just gave it a go and found out they were among the best.

“I love this event and I’m so proud of what everyone has achieved.”

In its first year of sponsorship, Callaway had a real boost when it saw the competitors launch drives with its brand of club.