Kings of Distance: 2015 Wyndham Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 24, 2015, 9:05 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, 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 2015 Wyndham Championship.

Longest drive: Paul Casey and Steve Wheatcroft, 359 yards

This week marks the second time this year Casey has hit the furthest drive of the week. Casey posted his third top-3 finish of the season, while Wheatcroft missed the cut.

Recent leaders: Bubba Watson, 402 yards (PGA Championship); Bernd Wiesberger, 428 yards (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)

Driving distance: Brooks Koepka, 317.1 yards

Koepka is seventh on Tour in average driving distance at 309.5 yards. Dustin Johnson continues to lead at 318.5 yards.

Recent leaders: Dustin Johnson, 311.3 yards (PGA Championship); Bubba Watson, 362.1 yards (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)

Carry distance: Brooks Koepka, 310.3 yards

Koepka's long driving helped him hit 87.5 percent of his greens at Sedgefield en route to a T-6 finish. Dustin Johnson also leads this category at 307.1 yards.

Recent leaders: Bubba Watson, 303.8 yards (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational); Jason Kokrak, 317.1 yards (Quicken Loans National)

Clubhead speed: Brooks Koepka, 124.06 mph

Koepka's clubhead speed proved one-hundredth of a mile-per-hour faster than Tony's Finau Tour-leading average of 124.05 mph.

Recent leaders: Bubba Watson, 123.63 mph (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational); Tony Finau, 124.08 mph (Quicken Loans National)

Ball speed: Brooks Koepka, 182.37 mph

And, just like in the last three metrics, Koepka led here. Bubba Watson continues to lead the Tour at 184.75 mph.

Recent leaders: Bubba Watson, 185.58 (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational); Ollie Schniederjans, 183.17 mph (Quicken Loans National)

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.