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Champ's college coach had to talk him into hitting driver

Cameron Champ at the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship
Getty Images

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – When the conversation turns to Cameron Champ – and this fall there have been plenty of conversations about the PGA Tour rookie – discucssions normally begin and end with how far he hits the golf ball.

When he won last month’s Sanderson Farms Championship, he led the field in driving distance with a 308-yard average. This season on Tour, he’s first in driving distance at 335.2 yards.

“Obviously everyone likes to talk about my distance, so I think that's one thing I've really blocked out,” Champ said Tuesday at the RSM Classic. “I just try to focus on other aspects of my game, just my game in general, so I feel like I've handled that pretty well so far.”

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Champ’s power is getting plenty of attention, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, when he arrived at Texas A&M to play college golf, he rarely hit driver.

“He really liked to hit 3-wood [and] long irons off the tee because he figured he hit those clubs as long as most players hit drivers,” explained J.T. Higgins, the Aggies men’s golf coach.

Higgins described Champ as having “uncommon power” made even more impressive by how relatively straight he’s able to hit his driver. The coach convinced the prodigy that he was giving away his greatest advantage on the field by not hitting driver more.

“He became more and more aggressive during his time at school and you see that now,” Higgins said.