UPLAND - In a world of big swingers, one of the most visible and popular of golf's long drivers will be absent at the RE/MAX World Championships that start today. Mike Moulton, who once powered a drive 475 yards in competition, died unexpectedly Monday night in his Upland home following a sudden illness. He was 35.
Moulton, known as "Lava" within the long driving community, had quite a resume in professional power golf. A winner at the 2000 PacBell Classic, he was fourth in the 2001 World Championships and finished third on the 2002 LDA Tour money list.
A member of the Pinnacle Distance Team, Moulton promoted the brand at outings and appearances across North America.
"Mike was a tremendous competitor and showman," said Art Sellinger, LDA's chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "He had a knack for creating tremendous rapport with his gallery. Feedback we received about Mike's appearances was literally off the charts.
"He will be greatly missed by a great many people inside and outside of the sport long drive."
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Moulton first came to national prominence in 2000 as he hit three drives between 445 and 449 yards at a long-drive event in Fresno.
He competed against Tiger Woods in junior events in Southern California and later played at Bakersfield Community College. He also played one season for Cal State San Bernardino.
"Tiger could spank it pretty good, but I was always the
freak of the tournament," Moulton told the Los Angeles Times in a 2002 interview. A tribute to Moulton is scheduled today before the world championships at the Mesquite Sports and Event Complex in Mesquite, Nev.
Moulton is survived by his parents, Don and Kathy, and daughter, Ashlee.