Sorry, Bryson. You're nowhere to be found on our list of the PGA Tour's pound-for-pound longest hitters
The legend of Bryson DeChambeau, like the man himself, seems to be growing by the day. This week at the RBC Heritage, the bulked-up bomber reportedly had to move to the back of the Harbour Town driving range so as not to endanger the houses that sit on the far end of the practice area. Then came Rory McIlroy’s cover-your-ears honesty about being paired with DeChambeau over the weekend at Colonial and seeing fireworks in person
“Holy s&*#, that was unbelievable,” McIlroy said. (To which we would say the same thing about McIlroy’s response.)
Admittedly impressed by DeChambeau’s added length, McIlroy stopped short, however, of saying he’s ready to follow the Bryson path to added yardage. Asked specifically if he could add 20 miles per hour of ball speed by gaining 30 pound, would he do it, McIlroy quickly indicated he wouldn’t.
“I actually feel my best when I’m lighter,” McIlroy said "I was probably at my lightest at the start of the season, sort of that California swing, at Torrey Pines. I remember weighing myself at Torrey on the Sunday morning before going out to the final round, and I was like 155. I think that's half of Bryson now.”
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Indeed, mass, muscle or otherwise, does not always translate to more distance off the tee. Confirmation of this comes with a simple look at the top 15 on tour in average driving distance and appreciating that most of them don’t even crack 200 pounds.
It got us thinking: Who, pound-for-pound, hits it farthest on the PGA Tour? E. Michael Johnson tracked down players weights (from the PGA Tour media guide or Google searches where there were blanks) and ShotLink distance data to help us do the math.
NAME, AVG. DISTANCE (Rank), WEIGHT, YARDS/POUND
Jazz Janewattanond, 306.3 (33), 150, 2.042
Carlos Ortiz, 302.7 (56), 150, 2.018
Rory McIlroy, 319.2 (3), 160, 1.995
C.T. Pan, 285.5 (194), 145, 1.969
Rickie Fowler, 293.7 (143), 150, 1.958
Charles Howell III, 303.4 (50), 155, 1.957
Brian Harman, 293.6 (144(, 150, 19.573
Francesco Molinari, 303.2 (52), 155, 1.956
Brandon Hagy, 311.7 (11), 160, 1.948
Joaquin Niemann, 298.3 (103), 154, 1.935
Jazz Janewattananond tees at the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions.
Mind you, none of these guys weighs more than 160 pounds, lending themselves to inflated yardage per pound metrics.
As you gain weight, the yard/pound number naturally decreases. Which is why Bubba Watson’s 1.773 mark, while the best among tour pros who weight 180 pounds or more, only ranks 44th overall.
Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, tops the players at 190 pounds or more, hitting it 1.627 yards per pound, putting him 127th best on tour in yards/pound. For players 200 or more, Grayson Murray is tops at 1.577.
And where does DeChambeau shake out now with the added weight? Suffice it to say, not very high by this measure. At 240 pounds‚ which is where DeChambeau says he’s risen, he would be hitting his drives 1.349 yards/pounds, or 217th out of 223 players measured.