Richard vows to take on the world
WISBECH golfer Richard Allen has vowed to challenge for the world championship title next year, after a top-40 finish in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships, in the United States. As reported in the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard last month, Richa
WISBECH golfer Richard Allen has vowed to challenge for the world championship title next year, after a top-40 finish in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships, in the United States.
As reported in the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard last month, Richard, 22, qualified for the event after winning the European Championships.
And competing against more than 120 of the world's biggest hitters, Richard, who plays at the Ryston Park Golf Club, produced a good performance and progressed as far as round six before he was eliminated from the tournament.
Richard admitted that nerves got the better of him when he first took to the range in Mesquite, Nevada. He said: "There were about 1,000 people watching and with television cameras there as well, it felt like I was a mini-celebrity.
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"There were some of the world's best drivers and I found it difficult to adjust to the amount of attention that was put on us."
Nerves forced Richard's first set of drives out of bounds. He said: "I think I was trying too hard in the first round and I knew that I had to settle down.
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"It tends to happen in the major events and I got off to a similar start in the European championships."
The bad start almost put him out of the event but Richard was given another chance to progress and he recorded drives of 368 yards and 369 yards in rounds three and four to reach the later stages.
In round six, Richard drove 352 yards and missed out on a place in the next round by just six yards. He said: "The bounce of the ball was very inconsistent and some drives were bouncing on while others were just stopping dead.
"It is a little frustrating knowing that if the ball had kicked-on a bit more in the sixth round I would have progressed even further."
And it was even more frustrating given that Canadian Jason Zuback won the event and a cheque for $125,000 with a drive of just 368 yards in the final.
Richard said: "I am certainly capable of hitting further than that and my European title came from a 378-yard drive. When we saw the results of the final we all thought that we should have done better.
"But now I look back, I am pleased that I progressed as far as I did and it has given me confidence for the event next year."
He added: "It was a fantastic experience and I learned so much from the other competitors. The guys were really friendly and they shared information on setting-up clubs and the equipment they use."
Following some winter training, Richard aims to return to the United States in January. He explained: "I want to take part in a few European tour events and a couple in the States.
"I am also aiming to take part in a world record event early next year.