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A little goes a long way

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Maybe the distance police have it all wrong.

Maybe it’s time to juice up the golf ball again.

When those PGA Tour Player of the Year ballots finally do get mailed out, Luke Donald is the frontrunner to win. And if he does win, it will mark the first time in the history of the award that the Player of the Year hasn't ranked among the Tour’s top 100 in driving distance in back-to-back years.

Somewhere in the beyond, Paul “Little Poison” Runyan is beaming. Short is beautiful in today’s game. Short hitters, that is.

OK, Donald isn’t that short off the tee, but he isn’t long, either. He’s ranked 147th on the PGA Tour in driving distance this season at 284.1 yards per drive. J.B. Holmes, who leads the category, hits his tee shots, on average, a whopping 34 yards longer than Donald.

Donald is the second shortest hitter – as measured by driving distance rank – to win the PGA Tour POY award since the award was established in 1990.

And you know who was the shortest hitting POY? Jim Furyk, last year’s winner. Furyk ranked 179th in driving distance.

Of the 21 PGA Tour Players of the Year, Wayne Levi (1990) and Mark O’Meara (1998) are the only other winners who were not among the top 100 in driving distance.

By the way, this marks the second consecutive year a player outside the top 100 in driving distance has won the PGA Tour money title. Donald won the money title this year, Matt Kuchar last year, with Kuchar ranking 105th in driving distance.