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A 6-foot-10(!) golfer is making his PGA Tour debut this week—and you won't believe how far he hits it

January 19, 2022

Richard Heathcote

You'd forgive fans watching this week's American Express and thinking an NBA center is part of the pro-am. That's because one player making his PGA Tour debut is 6-foot-10 James Hart du Preez.

The 26-year-old South African received a sponsor's exemption into the second full-field PGA Tour event of 2022. And although we're unsure about the nearly seven-footer's ability to protect the rim, we know he can hit a golf ball a really long way. A really, really long way.

Du Preez led the Sunshine Tour in driving distance with an eye-popping 373.07-yard (!) average. Altitude plays a factor in that figure, but consider that du Preez was 15 yards longer than anyone else on that tour. And next on the list was fellow countryman Wilco Nienaber, who has already displayed his prodigious driving length on the PGA Tour. So, yeah, this dude can absolutely bomb it off the tee.

Jon Thomson, a 6-foot-9 Englishman who made an ace at last year's Open Championship, was the previous tallest golfer to tee it up in a PGA Tour event.

There aren't any photos of du Preez hitting drivers on Getty Images, but perhaps that's because he doesn't need to hit driver much. Anyway, here's a look at his swing that produces the type of speed that you'd see at a long-drive contest—despite not appearing to take much effort:

So how's his game? A variety of injuries have held du Preez back, but he has four career top-10s on the Sunshine Tour, including a runner-up at the 2019 Sibaya Challenge. He's currently No. 1,319 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Of course, just making the cut in Palm Springs would give him a huge boost in the ranking. Regardless of his finish, though, expect to see him taking some mighty cuts out there this week.