Joe Miller has vowed to make quick amends after narrowly failing to add the world title to his European crown at the 2013 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Miller, 28, went into the event for golf’s biggest hitters as favourite in the eight-man field to land the $250,000 winner-takes-all first prize and advanced through the qualifying stages to face American Tim Burke in the final.
Both players each received six drives, over two rounds of three shots apiece, with the longest shot that stayed within a 50-yard wide grid counting toward their final score.
But, despite managing a drive of 405 yards with his fourth attempt, 2010 world champion Miller found himself beaten to the title after Burke hit a championship-record 427 yards with his fourth shot.
Miller, a member of Brocket Hall Golf Club’s team of ambassadors who prepared for the event at the famous Hertfordshire venue, said: “It would’ve been a perfect end to what’s been a perfect year if I’d have won. It’s obviously extremely frustrating to come up short, but I gave it my all.
“It was amazing to be part of such a great spectacle, especially in Las Vegas, but I will regroup, share some developmental ideas with Callaway and come back bigger, stronger and better next year. I appreciate all the support that everyone has given me and hope to give people what they want next time.”
Burke overcame tricky chilly weather conditions in Las Vegas to lift the title, and the victory was extra special to him after he finished runner-up to Ryan Winther in the event in 2012.
The 27-year-old from Orlando, Florida, said: “I waited a year for this. I took one week off last year, and I just decided I’m going to start from the foundation up. I got a little better golf swing and gained a lot of speed.
“I’ve never hit a ball better in my life and I knew I was going to end it there. That was my goal with that Krank driver. (Miller’s) drive of 405 yards was not that big of a number, especially in these conditions. I knew he could clearly beat that.”
Miller joined Brocket Hall’s ambassador programme this summer, with the club’s team also featuring the likes of European Tour star Simon Khan and former supermodel Jodie Kidd.