Lahiri wins the Long Drive Competition at Whistling Straits!
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Last year the long drive competition, traditionally held during the practice rounds of the PGA Championship, got some unwelcome exposure when Bubba Watson refused to participate and intentionally hit an iron off the tee.
He got a huge amount of negative feedback because the event is to raise money for charity. This year Bubba did participate but missed the fairway with his attempt. No one would have guessed the winner – Anirban Lahiri from India who has 2 European Tour wins and 7 Asian Tour wins. Not really known as a long hitter, he ranks 79th in Driving distance at 292.3 yds. But on Tuesday at Whistling Straits, he hit it 327 yds to beat them all! Thanks to Eric Vander Voort of PGA.com for this interesting article!
KOHLER, Wis. — With many of the field’s most well-known big hitters inducing a common refrain of “missed fairway,” opportunity knocked for Anirban Lahiri.
Lahiri, a native of India and a player on the Asian and European Tours, outdistanced the field at the 2015 PGA Championship Long Drive Competition, held at Whistling Straits’ 593-yard par-5 second hole on Tuesday.
The drive from Lahiri easily bounced past the flag indicating J.B. Holmes’ lead at the time of 315 yards, rolled to the left edge of the fairway and came to a stop 327 yards from the tee.
Once the flag was moved for Lahiri, it stayed there for the rest of the day.
Lahiri will be rewarded with a gold money clip.
Like the one Jack Nicklaus won for winning the Long Drive Competition in 1963 and still uses, as well as a $25,000 donation to a charity of his choosing.
The Long Drive Competition made a comeback at last year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla, as it was held for the first time since 1984 at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama. Louis Oosthuizen surprised the field in 2014 by winning with a 340-yard drive, two yards better than Jason Day. This year, he only played the back nine, so he didn’t take the opportunity to defend his title.
“My nine holes were the opposite,” said Oosthuizen. “So I didn’t even hit that shot this year. Struggling last week with the driver, I think I probably would have just missed the fairway.”
“But it’s a great fun event. I think it’s great for the crowd, for the people to see that, to see the guys standing there and giving it a good bash.”
For the second consecutive year, a PGA Professional finished in the top three of the competition, with Matt Dobyns coming the closest to unseating Lahiri. Dobyns, who won the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship (his second title there), crushed his tee shot 323 yards. Last year, PGA professional Johan Kok finished third.
Pictures: The Bangladesh Today TBT
Thanks for watching – Lahiri wins the Long Drive Competition at Whistling Straits!
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