Each week, GolfChannel.com will take a detailed look at the players who pounded the farthest and fastest tee shots on the PGA Tour. Here are the four most important distance-related stats from the Valero Texas Open, won by Martin Laird:
Longest drive: Luke List, 371 yards
The Tour’s second-longest driver on Tour, averaging 306.9 yards a pop, finally cracked the top spot in this category. His big blast came on the 604-yard eighth hole in the second round at TPC San Antonio, but he still finished T-46 at the Valero. List ranks well behind the two longest drives of the year, both of which were aided by the cart path: Phil Mickelson’s 450-yarder at Doral and Graham DeLaet’s 420-yarder last week.
Last four leaders: Houston: Graham DeLaet, 420 yards; Bay Hill: Robert Garrigus, 369; Tampa Bay: Gary Woodland, 411; Doral: Phil Mickelson, 450
Carry distance: Rory McIlroy, 314.1 yards
Surely this is a good sign heading into the Masters, as the world No. 2 surfaced in this category for the first time this season. What’s more, it was the second-longest carry distance on Tour this season, ranking only behind Graham DeLaet’s 324-yarder at Honda, and the ensuing runner-up finish was his best result of the season.
Last four leaders: Houston: Charlie Beljan, 302.4 yards; Bay Hill: Justin Rose, 300.6; Tampa Bay: Angel Cabrera, 299; Doral: Bubba Watson, 309.1
Clubhead speed: Charlie Beljan, 123.51 mph
A familiar name in this category, Beljan topped the charts for the fourth week this season, and third in a row. Interestingly, each week Beljan’s best swing speed has gotten slower, from a Tour-best 128.41 mph at Riviera to, now, about 5 mph less.
Last four leaders: Houston: Charlie Beljan, 124.94 mph; Bay Hill: Beljan, 125.95; Tampa: Graham DeLaet, 123.14; Doral: Sergio Garcia, 122.55
Ball speed: Charlie Beljan, 181.46 mph
Not surprisingly, Beljan also topped this category as well, for the third consecutive week. It didn’t help him all that much in San Antonio, however, as he tied for 61st. His 184.90 mph ball speed last week in Houston remains the standard in this category.
Last four leaders: Houston: Charlie Beljan, 184.90 mph; Bay Hill: Beljan, 183.95; Tampa: Graham DeLaet, 180.71; Doral: Bubba Watson, 181.32