5 Biggest Hitters At The US Open

Pinehurst No.2 is proving to be devilishly difficult in the early stages of the US Open, but that hasn't stopped some players from crushing it off the tee...

Bryson DeChambeau after hitting a driver at the US Open, with an inset image of Gordon Sargent who ranked first for driving distance in round one
Bryson DeChambeau led the field in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, but was outdriven by four surprising names...
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When a course is playing long and difficult, having the ability to crush it off the tee is game-changing. This year's US Open host venue, Pinehurst No.2, is set-up to test every facet of the game, but there is still the opportunity to fight back with a few booming drives.

If given one prediction for who is hitting the ball the furthest off the tee at the US Open this week, many golf fans would probably give the same response - Bryson DeChambeau.

The former US Open Champion kicked off his tournament in style on Thursday, shooting a three-under-par 67 at Pinehurst No.2 to sit in tied-fourth. While you could argue that he is best known for his methodical approach or innovative 3D-printed irons, his incredible length off the tee is often what makes him stand out. 

Despite his usual dominance in this area, however, you might be surprised to see where Bryson ranks in relation the biggest hitters...

1. Gordon Sargent (AM)

Perhaps the most recognisable of the four names on this list, amateur Gordon Sargent led the field in Driving Distance after measuring an insanely good 346.9 yard tee shot.

Sargent actually ranked second in the field for distance coming into the week, with his performances off the tee in the last twelve months putting him up there with the longest in the game.

He made a great start to this US Open campaign, turning in two-under-par after birdies on his seventh and ninth holes of the day. A tough stretch saw him fall back through the pack to sit tied-65th after the first round, demonstrating that driving the golf ball a long way isn't the only thing you need to do well to win around Pinehurst No.2.

Gordon Sargent hitting a tee shot at the US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Luke Clanton (AM)

The top-2 spots on the list both go to amateur golfers, but Luke Clanton can certainly hold his own off the tee. At just over ten yards shorter than Sargent, the fifth-ranked amateur in the world smashed an impressive 336.7 yard drive to nab second spot.

Three wins in three collegiate starts recently will have given Clanton plenty of confidence entering the week, as will the meteoric rise that has seen him rise over 550 places in the amateur rankings since January 2022.

Unfortunately, the driver could not save Clanton during a gruelling opening round at Pinehurst, shooting 76 for a six-over-par start. That has him currently in a tie for 120th, and fighting to make the weekend.

Luke Clanton on a practice round in preparation for the US Open

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3. Chris Naegel

Chris Naegal currently plays predominantly on the Korn Ferry Tour, but he can mix it with the world's best in the driving distance standings. He gained marginally off the tee (+0.02) in the first round, while losing ground in every other area, but his length was the real talking point.

Naegel drove the ball a whopping 336.2 yards on Thursday, making him the third longest in the field. Naegel has struggled to find any sort of form this season on the Korn Ferry, which may go some way to explaining a pretty catastrophic opening round 81.

Chris Naegel after hitting an iron shot at the US Open

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Nine bogeys and a double-bogey saw him practically play his way out of this Major Championship on the first days play, but irrespective of scoring I can imagine his group was a fun one to watch for those who like a big hitter... as his playing partner occupies the next spot on this list!

4. Joey Vrzich

It turns out smashing the ball miles off the tee is contagious, as Joey Vrzich followed his playing partners lead and sent his golf ball into orbit. An impressive drive of 366.2 yards matched the effort of Chris Naegel, but the World No.884 managed to utilise the big stick with much more conviction.

Joey Vrzich after hitting a driver at the US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the first round, Vrzich ranked 8th in the field for SG: Off The Tee, outperforming players like co-leader Rory McIlroy and World No.1 Scottie Scheffler. Vrzich actually gained almost two strokes on Scottie Scheffler off the tee, and despite a disappointing opening round of 76, he will likely believe that he has an outside chance of making the weekend if he can pull together another strong driving performance.

5. Bryson DeChambeau

Here he is, coming in at No.5, Bryson DeChambeau. With his longest drive measuring 336.1 yards, he once again ranks towards the top of the board for driving distance at a Major.

Bryson DeChambeau hitting a tee shot at the US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

DeChambeau ranked second in that category at The Masters, behind Rory McIlroy, and ranked first at the PGA Championship. With many of the contenders listed above unlikely to make the weekend, he could be about to ascend towards the summit again this week.

With 12 out of 14 fairways hit in his first round, Bryson is able to balance distance with accuracy off the tee, which ultimately sets him apart as one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world right now.

Barry Plummer
Staff Writer

Barry Plummer is our Staff Writer, joining in January 2024 after seven years as a PE Teacher. He now writes about instruction, working closely with Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches to provide hints and tips about all aspects of the game. As someone who came into golf at a later age, Barry is very passionate about supporting the growth of the game and creating opportunities for everyone to access it. A member at Sand Moor Golf Club in Leeds, he looks forward to getting out on the course at least once a week and making up for lost time in the pursuit of a respectable handicap.

Barry is currently playing:

Driver: Ping G425

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 4 Hybrid

Irons: Mizuno JPX 921 4-PW

Wedges: TaylorMade RAC 60, Callaway Jaws MD5 54

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour