'Holy S***!' - Young Amateur Wows With Big-Hitting Display In Masters Practice

Gordon Sargent was smashing balls beyond Max Homa and Justin Thomas during a Masters practice round

Gordon Sargent at the Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Young Gordon Sargent does not look anywhere near old enough to be competing at The Masters this week, but the world’s number one amateur has a seriously grown-up golf game and wowed during practice by smashing the ball beyond Justin Thomas and Max Homa.

The 20-year-old college sophomore is playing at Augusta National on a special invitation and despite his youthful looks, he positively annihilates the golf ball with ball speeds at around 200 mph.

Sargent impressed his PGA Tour playing partners by regularly easing the ball past theirs off the tee – including outdriving Thomas by 25 yards on the 11th.

He also hit a missile on the 17th that blew past his two playing partners by a whopping 40 yards, according to PGA Tour reporter Sean Martin.

And apart from on the 10th when he didn’t get the ball going down the hill, the longest club he had to hit into a par-four was an 8-iron – demonstrating his immense power that is sure to attract plenty of attention this week.

Sargent says he is mainly hitting driver but may hit more 3-woods off the tee if conditions firm up, which looks unlikely, but even in these softer conditions he’s not using more than an 8-iron on the par-fours when he gets the tee shot right.

“Probably 10 just because I didn't get it chasing down the hill,” Sargent said of what clubs he was using for his second shot. “But other than that, had 9-iron into 11. 

“I played 5 yesterday, I think I hit 8 maybe. It definitely just changes based on the weather and stuff. 5 might be a 3-wood hole if the wind is off the left just because I'd rather hit a cut out there and the fairway is definitely wider for that.”

And the newly lengthened 13th hole holds no fear for the big-hitting youngster, as even when leaving himself 200 yards for this second shot, that was a mere 6-iron for him.

“I hit driver today, like a pretty straight ball, just a little draw,” Sargent said of the 13th. “I think once it firms up, it could be a 3-wood, but also driver obviously gives you the best chance to get it around the corner.

“I think I had - it was a front pin, kind of had 200 in today, but yeah, like it just depends on how you're feeling. I hit 6.”

Homa’s caddie Joe Greiner perhaps summed up the thoughts of his man and Thomas best with his agricultural but effective comment on Sargent.

“Holy s***!” he was quoted as saying by the Golf Channel as the players left the course.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.