Meet The Monster Hitter Playing On The PGA Tour This Week

Brandon Matthews hits the ball so far he played without a driver in his last Korn Ferry Tour event

Brandon Matthews hits a shot at the 2022 Lake Charles Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When the Wells Fargo Championship takes place at TPC Potomac this week, one player's incredible driving distances are likely to leave a big impression.

Brandon Matthews qualifies for the tournament thanks to a sponsor’s exemption, and the American, who usually competes on the Korn Ferry Tour, boasts a truly enormous drive. His average driving distance on the Tour was 331.3 yards in 2019. That's sure to grab the attention of spectators this week, particularly as the PGA Tour’s most well-known big hitter, Bryson DeChambeau, is currently out injured.

Matthews even played without a driver at last week's Huntsville Championship, and still managed distances of 320 yards with his 3-wood. Standing at 6ft 4in, Matthews partially attributes his driving ability to his height. Speaking on a PGA Tour video in 2020, the Pennsylvanian said: “Obviously being 6ft 4in helps a little bit. What that does is it creates a little bit more arc for myself." He then explained that “the more arc you have, the more power you can create on the downswing.” 

 

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As impressive as Matthews’ monster driving distances is his ball speed, which tops out at around 200mph off the tee. Of course, navigating any course isn’t just about speed and distance. With Matthews setting his sights on PGA Tour membership later this year, he’ll see this week’s tournament as an opportunity to make his mark on the Tour with an impressive all-round game. 

For the 27-year-old, the signs are good. Matthews won February’s Astara Golf Championship and recorded his lowest ever round of 63 in the following month's Lake Charles Championship, so he heads into the week with some good recent form. As for the course, Matthews will undoubtedly have the opportunity to showcase his driving ability. While TPC Potomac only has two par 5s, they are both long, with the 619-yard 2nd particularly suited to distance players.

Matthews follows in the footsteps of another mega hitter, James Hart Du Preez, who also had a sponsor's exemption that allowed him to play in January’s American Express. However, the South African, who averaged an incredible 373.07 yards on the Sunshine Tour last year, missed the cut at the event, which Hudson Swafford won.

Currently, Cameron Champ is leading the way in the PGA Tour's average driving distances in 2022, with 323.5 yards. DeChambeau finished on top last year, with 323.7 yards. 

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.