LIV Golf v PGA Tour: Who’s Winning The Driving Distance Battle At The PGA Championship?

The PGA Championship, the year’s second Major, is building nicely, but are players from the PGA Tour or LIV Golf driving the ball further at Valhalla?

jake knapp bryson dechambeau driving
Jake Knapp and Bryson DeChambeau are both in the driving distance top three at the PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ahead of the 2024 PGA Championship, driving distance was frequently touted as an important attribute in the year’s second Major. Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky measures 7,609 yards, with many of the players in the lead-up labelling it a ‘big boy golf course’.

Xander Schauffele, who was blown away by Rory McIlroy in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship last week, sits atop the leaderboard after a sublime, record-breaking 62 in the first round. But who sits at the top of the driving distance leaderboard?

According to the official stats on the PGA Championship website, two of the top three players in driving distance ply their trade on the LIV Golf Tour.

Spaniard David Puig leads the way, averaging 333 yards off the tee with a longest drive of 350 yards – impressive given the inclement weather that peppered Valhalla in advance of the tournament. Impressively, he’s also hitting more than 70% of the fairways.

PGA Tour player Jake Knapp, who won the 2024 Mexican Open, sits in second place on the driving distance leaderboard. He’s averaging 331.6 yards off the tee with a longest drive of 356 yards.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, LIV Golf’s Bryson DeChambeau rounds out the top three. The American – who dedicated himself to adding speed during the coronavirus pandemic – is averaging 328.3 yards and currently boasts the longest drive of the tournament at 360 yards.

The rest of the top ten is comprised of a mixture of PGA Tour and DP World Tour professionals, with some familiar names and slightly less-known golfers jostling for position. 

The likes of Gary Woodland, Luke List and Min Woo Lee are joined by Europeans Vincent Normann, Jesper Svensson and Thorbjorn Olesen, while American Chris Gotterup – winner of last week’s Myrtle Beach Classic – is fourth on the list.  

Tiger Woods, who opened with a one-over-par 72 after three-putting his last two holes, is down in a tie for 85th at 294.3 yards. Interestingly, Rory McIlroy, who wowed Schauffele with his imperious driving at Quail Hollow, isn’t inside the top 30 for driving distance this week.

At the bottom of the driving distance leaderboard is a very surprising name, despite his age: John Daly. The Wild Thing was golf’s pre-eminent power hitter, but at the PGA Championship, he’s only averaging 244 yards off the tee (the lowest in the field by 20 yards), with a longest drive of 274 yards. 

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x