Kings of Distance: Humana Challenge


Each week on, we’ll take a detailed look at the players who pounded the farthest and fastest drives on the PGA Tour. Here are the five most important distance-related stats from the Humana Challenge, won by Patrick Reed:

Driving distance (logest drive): Scott Piercy and Jhonattan Vegas, 352 yards 

For the first time, there was a tie in this category, with both Piercy and Vegas hitting the longest drives of the week. Surprisingly, these were the shortest chart-toppers of the season, which is odd given the dome-like conditions in the desert. 

Recent leaders: Charlie Beljan, 368 yards (Sony); Webb Simpson, 397 yards (Hyundai); Alvaro Quiros, 368 yards (Mayakoba)

Driving distance average: Harris English, 309.6 yards

English, already a winner in the wraparound season, finished T-33 at the Humana Challenge, his week undone by a Saturday 71 that was well above the field average. In fact, the T-33 finish was the worst result of a player who led this category since the McGladrey. The previous three leaders all finished inside the top 20.

Recent leaders: Jimmy Walker, 319.5 (Sony); Dustin Johnson, 297 yards (Hyundai); Alvaro Quiros, 313.1 yards (Mayakoba)

Carry distance: Gary Woodland, 297.5 yards

Woodland, who lost in a playoff here in 2011, tied for 38th in this year’s edition of the Humana. His big blast here compared well to others in the new 2013-14 season, however; the longest carry distance so far was 303.8 yards, by Robert Garrigus in Vegas.

Recent leaders: Charlie Beljan, 286.4 (Sony); Charles Howell III, 286.2 (McGladrey); Robert Garrigus, 303.8 (Vegas)

Clubhead speed: Charlie Beljan, 123.87 mph

Already a three-time leader in this category, Beljan posted the best clubhead speed of the season, which was slightly better than last week’s performance (123.23 mph). He finished T-9 at the Humana, his first top 10 since losing in a playoff at last year’s Northern Trust Open.

Recent leaders: Charlie Beljan, 123.23 (Sony); Jason Kokrak, 120.22 (McGladrey); Jhonattan Vegas, 123.45 (Vegas) 

Ball speed: Seung-yul Noh, 177.87 mph

Noh topped this category for the first time, and it was the slowest clubhead speed of the season. He was more than 5 mph slower than Jhonattan Vegas’ chart-topper in Vegas. Noh finished T-38 at the Humana, continuing his struggles. In 2013, he had just one top 10 and 13 missed cuts. This season, he has made five of six cuts, but he has yet to finish inside the top 25.

Recent leaders: Charlie Beljan, 178.62 (Sony); Jason Kokrak, 178.52 (McGladrey), Jhonattan Vegas, 183.16 (Vegas)