With the Melbourne skyline on the Yarra River serving as the backdrop, tournament officials and Presidents Cup Global Partner Citi today announced the completion of the Citi 44 Million Yard Challenge. Fans across the world completed Citi’s challenge to collectively drive a golf ball 44 million yards – the length it takes to circle the globe – either in-person or virtually. The Citi 44 Million Yard Challenge.

Citi and the Presidents Cup celebrated reaching this milestone as part of the opening of the Fan Experience on the Yarra River to officially launch the start of the Presidents Cup which will take place December 9-15 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club as the United States Team hope to defend their title from 2017 against the International Team.

PGA TOUR stars, and Team Citi golfers, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele, who will be a part of the U.S. Team this year, along with Australia’s Cameron Smith, representing the International Team, each hit celebratory shots at the Citi 44 Million Yard Challenge Simulator as part of Monday night’s celebration.

In celebration of the challenge, Citi is donating enough to help launch the first ever chapter of The First Tee in Australia.

The Citi 44 Million Yard Challenge featured a web-based game, a simulator, and a mobile game, allowing fans from all over the world to play and enjoy an interactive experience. The simulator has been be placed in popular locations throughout Australia, and other select locations, to raise awareness of Citi's partnership with the Presidents Cup and the launch of The First Tee in Australia. Fans can now take their shot at the simulator all week long at the Presidents Cup Fan Experience in Melbourne.

“It had been a pleasure to once again partner with the Presidents Cup to bring the Citi 44 Million Yard Challenge to golf fans around the world,” said Guy Matthews, Corporate Affairs Head, Citi Australia and New Zealand. “We are delighted that so many people have engaged with the game to reach a common goal of driving the ball around the globe.”

At Monday’s event, several Presidents Cup players were asked about the goal of 44 million yards being reached and how it helps the launch of the First Tee.

It’s great. The First Tee has been a big part of American golf for a long time - it’s good for Australian golf, good to grow the game of golf in Australia. Beyond golf, it will teach so many kids the values of life through our sport.

Australian Cameron Smith

It’s great to give back, especially with the First Tee and everything they do to help kids. We love this sport. It’s a great game and it teaches so much. It’s awesome that Citi could be a part of this.

Justin Thomas

I think it’s important to leave our legacy here and donate to charity just for the fact that I feel very fortunate to do this as a job and for a living and I think we all feel very blessed and fortunate as well and it’s important that we share our fortune and give back and grow the game and help others that need it.

Xander Schauffele