How far can Bryson DeChambeau take the long ball? Maybe longer than many considered possible for a legit PGA Tour player, as he repeatedly blew past 400 yards Tuesday at the Professional Long Drivers Association’s World Championship.
Fresh off the United States’ victory Sunday in the Ryder Cup, where DeChambeau flexed by driving the green on the par-4 opener in his singles match en route to accumulating a 2-0-1 record at Whistling Straits, the PGA Tour’s longest hitter showed even more power at the Professional Long Drivers Association’s World Championship.
DeChambeau, who received a special invitation to the World Championship in Mesquite, Nevada, advanced out of the first round of group qualifying with a longest blast of 412 yards. With each competitor swinging away in five sets of six balls each, DeChambeau finished second in his group to advance.
Despite some criticism on social media about this being a publicity stunt, DeChambeau showed Tuesday that he’s legit against the long-ball game’s best. Most players in the event didn’t sniff 400 yards Tuesday.
Sixteen players made up each of five groups of qualifying hopefuls, with 12 players advancing to Wednesday’s rounds of competition. Those 60 players will combine with four more from a round-robin to make up Wednesday’s 64-man field, which will compete in four groups to try to make it to Thursday and eventually Friday’s final round.
With his 30 total shots spread across five sets, DeChambeau hit five balls past 400 yards, with the longest of 412 coming in his fourth set. His shortest drive that counted went 355, and 21 of his shots found the grid that players must hit for the shot to count.
DeChambeau led the PGA Tour in the recently completed 2021 season with a 323.7-yard driving average. His longest drive on Tour in that season was 414 yards. His average measured clubhead speed on drives was 132.25 mph, but he has said he can go faster in training when he doesn’t have to worry about where the ball might land. The top players in elite long-drive competitions frequently surpass 140 mph in clubhead speed.
DeChambeau’s most impressive drive of 2021 might have come at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he cleared a lake with a 377-yard tee shot on the par-5 sixth hole at Bay Hill.
And all those stats came with a driver made for Tour use. It’s likely he’s using a maxed-out driver at 48 inches long for the World Championship, where balls off the landing grid don’t lead to double bogeys. Details on his long-drive clubs were not yet available.
In DeChambeau’s group of 16 players Tuesday, only four other players managed to send a ball past 400 yards, with Josh Cassaday leading the way with a 417-yard blast. DeChambeau managed to hit four of the group’s 11 total balls that traveled more than 400 yards in finishing second in the points for the group, trailing in points only Scottie Pearman, whose longest shot went 413 yards.
With the final two groups still swinging away and the day’s results not complete, Zack Holton had the longest drive of the day, a 419-yarder in a different group than DeChambeau. Kyle Berkshire, the defending champion after winning the event in 2019 and the 2020 competition having been canceled because of COVID-19, hit a shot of 409 yards in the first set and had 24 balls left at the time of this report.