Garner, the former East Tennessee State golfer and assistant coach, won the World Long Drive tour’s world championship on Wednesday night in Thackerville, Oklahoma, unleashing a 347-yard bomb in the finals to beat her archrival, Phillis Meti, the three-time defending champion.
“That was unbelievable,” Garner said. “I felt really good going into it. I felt like I had found a good rhythm. I think maybe Phillis felt a bit more pressure having to back up those titles, whereas I was able to let loose.”
Kyle Berkshire, ranked No. 1 in the world, won the men’s championship.
In the semifinals, Garner beat Alexis Belton who was fresh off a championship in Kingsport’s Tennessee Big Shots. Garner got only two of her eight balls in the grid, but a 346-yarder got her to the finals.
Meti had beaten Garner in the semifinals in Kingsport and had a 344-yard effort to lead off the finals. When Garner’s drive rolled past Meti’s mark, the 28-year-old South African celebrated her first world title.
Garner took home $35,000 for her efforts. Berkshire, who went over 400 yards in each of the four match play rounds, won $125,000. His longest effort in match play was 426 yards.