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Gary Woodland wins PGA Championship long-drive competition

Wed., Aug. 6, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There were lots of jokes, some big swings, few surprises and zero injuries – unless you count bruised egos.

That’s how the scorecard read from Tuesday’s long-drive competition at the PGA Championship.

But the real takeaway: Jack Nicklaus still rules.

Once a fixture during practice week of the season’s final major, the long-driving contest had been on hiatus for a half-century.

It returned to mixed reviews, with the victory going to Gary Woodland.

He smacked his tee shot at the par-5 10th hole, an impressive mark of 330 yards.

But it seems a lot less impressive when you consider that Nicklaus, who won the competition the last two years it was staged previously (1963-64), captured the first of those with a drive of 341 yards, 17 inches – and he was using a small, persimmon-headed driver and wound balata golf ball at the time.

“Incredible,” marveled Jordan Spieth, one of the longer-hitting pros. “He must have had a nice little wind behind him.”

But when all was said and done, Spieth acknowledged with a smile that “the goal is just try not to hurt yourself.”

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