October 22, 2014
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
- Shawn Stefani, who ranked 31st in driving distance last season, hit a 401-yard drive at the Frys.com Open. (Warren Little/Getty Images)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Shawn Stefani's 401-yard drive at the Frys.com Open did in fact get an assist from the cart path.
"There's no way I could have hit one of those without the help of concrete," Stefani said Wednesday at The McGladrey Classic. "But it was a pretty neat experience."
Stefani's drive remains the longest of the young 2014-15 PGA TOUR season. It would have been the second-longest for all of last season (Bubba Watson, 424).
Stefani said his drive came to rest near pin-high on the 417-yard par-4 13th hole in the final round at Silverado Country Club in Napa, California on Oct. 11. He had an opening for his approach, but hit a marginal shot that landed 22 feet, 1 inch from the hole.
"'You know, they say Drive for Show, Putt for Dough,' and I hit a 401-yard drive on a 410-yard hole, and I made par," Stefani said. "So it is what it is."
Stefani said it was the second time he's hit a drive of 400-plus yards. The other came as a junior player at age 16 or 17 at a tournament in Texas. That drive was also aided by the cart path -- but it's not like he needs one.
Stefani ranked 31st on TOUR in driving distance at 297.7 yards last season and says he can rip it 320 without wind or abnormal roll. Of course, he'll never turn down a friendly assist.
"Kind of cool to have a chip shot into a par 4 on a 420-yard hole," Stefani said.
Watson's drive of 424 yards at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was the only 400-plus yard drive of 2013-14, the fewest number of 400-plus yard drives on TOUR since 2001.
Here's a look at the longest drives on TOUR in the past few seasons.
|Season||Drives of 400+
|2010||16||Steve Stricker||Hyundai TOC||424|
|2009||47||Charley Hoffman||Valero Texas Open
|2006||30||Jason Gore||Hyundai TOC||427|
|2004||83||Davis Love III||Hyundai TOC