With five birdies in his last six holes, Cameron Champ closed out his maiden PGA Tour victory in just his seventh start as a professional.
But perhaps more telling than was not just that he won, but the stats behind it, with many people – including Gary Player and Brandel Chamblee – believing that there has been no one on tour like the 23-year-old Californian.
The tour has never seen anything like Cameron Champ who averaged 349 yards last year on the @WebDotComTour.— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) October 25, 2018
How does he he create such speed?
First: With a deep turn into his right hip, no attempt at keeping the flex in rt. leg and high hands, with his head turned to the right. pic.twitter.com/U2RXZ8JOpi
Why? Well, in achieving victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship, he averaged 334 yards off the tee – 20 yards more than the player in second place in driving distance.
Then, there’s the case of his driving accuracy. He averaged just 35.71% in that category for the final round and less than 50% for the tournament to prove, if ever there was any doubt, that sheer power is valued considerably more than accuracy in the modern game.
Hit it far, wedge it close & putt. Modern technology has created a template for success, Cameron Champ type players will become the norm over the next decade. Big time player and talent. pic.twitter.com/8rgu3wg297— the fried egg (@the_fried_egg) October 28, 2018
The manner of Champ’s victory also made fellow tour pros sit up and take notice, with some critical of how the PGA Tour sets up its courses to mean that there is such a disparity between the rewarding of distance and accuracy.
Huge credit to him for getting W and playing so well down the stretch but at the same time sad driving accuracy GIR just shows that hitting it long, good putters are just more prevalent. Overpower a course https://t.co/zQOl3S7Jdr— Richie Ramsay (@RamsayGolf) October 28, 2018
But he bombs it, which statistics prove anymore, that accuracy doesn’t mean much. When your drive it that far, and pretty straight, meaning in play, you’ve got a great chance in the modern game. Cam 1 putted the final 6 today to win. He’ll do great https://t.co/SWVgsH8OJh— InTheFlesch (@Steve_Flesch) October 29, 2018
He hit just 50% of the faiways at Safeway and led in strokes gained off the tee. His immense length, ( he averaged 334 this week, 2nd in driving Distance this week was 314) and the lack of any significant penalty for missing a fairway on tour means he will go almost unchecked. https://t.co/V1VS5Z52xS— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) October 29, 2018
Yes. Not enough rough anymore except for a few events. Birdies sell. Bogeys don’t. Distance is King. Drivers now sell for what an entire set of irons used to. You still have to make putts in the end but everyone wants more distance.— InTheFlesch (@Steve_Flesch) October 29, 2018
Think we’ll be seeing this fella win quite a lot over the next few decades...insane speed combined with a lot of skill 👌— Chris Paisley (@ChrisPaisley86) October 28, 2018
Come on @RandA@USGA let’s tighten and shorten these courses up please 😂😂😂 https://t.co/URCFOjE2DF
What do you think?
What do you make of the manner of Cameron Champ's victory, the skills he possesses and the increasing movement in the game towards valuing big-hitting over accuracy? Let us know in the 'Comments' section below.