FORT WORTH, Texas – On Thursday Jon Rahm caused some to double take when he explained that he hit driver a dozen times on Day 1 at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Colonial is widely considered a ball-striker’s golf course, which is code for a course that doesn’t allow bombers to swing as freely as they would at many PGA Tour events.
Rahm’s aggressive approach, however, is not shared by all, as evidenced by Paul Casey’s choice to hit just two drivers on Friday on his way to a second-round 66 that left him a stroke off the early lead.
“It's one of the reasons why I love this golf course, because you can smash it round here, but you don't have to. A lot of thinking goes on and positioning into the greens,” Casey said. “It's just such a wonderful classic golf course, which is why myself and a lot of players love playing it.”
Instead, Casey said he depended more on his 5-wood and 3-iron off the tee the last two days in an attempt to find fairways and keep the ball out of the wind, which gusted to 25 mph.
Casey’s distinctly conservative approach has worked, with the Englishman ranked 28th in fairways hit (17 of 28) and 76th in driving distance (272-yard average).
“I've always loved hitting long irons off the tees,” he said. “It's not the longest 3-iron I've ever hit, but I've got great control with it. It put me in wonderful position numerous times today, or really didn't get me into trouble, because there is a lot of trouble round there.”