U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

Feats Of Strength

Kyle Berkshire wins a third World Long Drive Championship—by an incredibly small margin

October 23, 2023

Alex Slitz

The sport of long drive doesn't usually bring to mind the phrase "It's a game of inches," but that's exactly what it turned out to be for Kyle Berkshire on Sunday. Twice.

The long-haired bomber won a third career World Long Drive Championship, and this time he did it by the smallest of margins.

Berkshire's best effort of 398 yards in the finals was good enough to defeat Sean Johnson by one yard. And in the quarterfinal, his sixth and final attempt barely stayed in the grid to produce a 432-yard poke that allowed him to advance past Justin James.

"I knew I just needed a couple tiny things to go my way and I'd be right there," Berkshire said after.

This title stands out for Berkshire after a season in which he surprisingly didn't win any official events despite setting recent world records for highest ball speed and longest drive.

"When you lose that feeling and that kind of mojo, when you get it back it's much more sweet," Berkshire said.

Berkshire wasn't the only winner in Atlanta as Monica Lieving upset No. 1 Phillis Meti in the finals of the women's division. Meti hit the competition's longest drive of 382 yards in the quarterfinal, but was unable to find the grid in the finals. That left Lieving only needing to put one in play and she did just that to win with a drive of 288 yards.


Alex Slitz

And Ryan Reisback won the World Long Drive Championship Senior Division earlier in the week with a top drive of 390 yards.

Defending champion Martin Borgmeier, a guest on Golf Digest's The Loop podcast last week, made it to the Round of 16 before being eliminated.

With a third World Long Drive belt, Berkshire joins long drive legends Jason Zuback and Sean Fister as the only competitors to win the event at least three times.

"I respect those guys beyond measure and to even be close to being mentioned in the same air as them, it's pretty humbling for me," Berkshire said. "I'm just going to keep my head down, keep training, keep taking care of my body and just keep taking swings. Hopefully, I'm around for another 15 plus years and I can rack up another couple more."