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Louis Oosthuizen claims long drive title at US PGA Championship

Updated: Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 13:01 | Comments

Louis Oosthuizen won a $25,000 donation for his selected charities thanks to his massive drive
Louis Oosthuizen won a $25,000 donation for his selected charities thanks to his massive drive

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen won the long drive competition ahead of the US PGA Championship with a shot that travelled 340 yards, but it was a man who opted not to take part who made all the headlines.

All players at Valhalla were offered the opportunity to hit one tee shot from the 10th tee during practice rounds on Tuesday, with the distance measured as long as the ball finished on the fairway.

The top three received a money clip inspired by the one that Jack Nicklaus was given for the first of his two consecutive wins in 1963. That year Nicklaus, using a persimmon driver and wound golf ball, hit a winning drive of 341 yards, 17 inches.

In 2014, Oosthuizen's winning drive was measured at 340 yards, just eclipsing the previous best of 338 yards set by Australia's Jason Day.

The vast majority of players enjoyed the moment of light relief, but Masters champion Bubba Watson was not so happy and opted to hit a three iron off the tee on the 590-yard par five.

"I want to practice the game of golf," said Watson, who hit a drive measuring more than 400 yards in the Bridgestone Invitational last week.

"I want to learn this golf course. I haven't seen the 10th hole. I don't see that we should have a competition like that while we're playing a practice round and learning the golf course, trying to win a great championship.

"There's no reason to make something up in the middle of the practice round like that. That's just me. Like it or not, that's just who I am. That's just what I think."

Watson admitted he would actually hit driver on the 10th hole during the championship, adding: "Yeah, it will be driver every day. I was just trying to prove a point that nobody cared about."

In contrast, 2008 champion Padraig Harrington took his attempt 'Happy Gilmore' style with a running start, while Open champion Rory McIlroy had two attempts, missed the fairway with both, and then retreated to the clubhouse.

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