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Cameron Champ cracked his driver right before teeing off on Sunday

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Golf’s new sensation, Cameron Champ, triumphed at the Sanderson Farms Championship over the weekend, and he did so without the ideal preparation on Sunday afternoon. The 23-year old arrived on the range ahead of Sunday’s final round with a four-shot lead attempting to land his maiden PGA Tour title, and 30 minutes before his tee time the American cracked the head of his PING G400 Max driver.

Champ may have just a handful of appearances on the PGA Tour so far, but he has already made a name for himself with his incredible raw power. At his opening event of the season at the Safeway Open, Champ lead the field in both average club head speed (129.66 mph), and ball speed (192.67 mph). To put those numbers into perspective, the top average in both categories for the 2017/18 season was 124.67 mph from Keith Mitchell for club head speed and 182.22 from Trey Mullinax for ball speed.

The Californian, by all accounts, dealt with the adversity excellently. According to Golf Channel’s Justin Leonard, Champ calmly asked his father to retrieve a backup club from his car, casually saying, “Don’t worry, not a rush, I’m not going to hit it until the third hole.”

Champ lead the field in two of his opening three rounds for strokes gained off the tee, and cracking the head of his trusty driver just before the off on Sunday looked to be far more costly than Champ had imagined, as he saw his four-shot lead evaporate over the front nine in Mississippi.

However, Champ kept his head and rattled off five birdies in his last six holes to take the title by four. Speaking after his round, Champ commented on his shock at the incident, and the difficulties he faced because of it.

“It was very unexpected. Then my backup is my old one I have that week. I didn’t bring a new driver head. It was an older one from my previous driver. I know the weighting was just a little bit off, so just tried to hit as many balls as I could on the range with it just to get used to it a little bit. I tried to manage it. Obviously I knew mostly today was probably mixed with nerves and adrenaline and just trying to find my tempo and my swing and whatnot.”

Manage it he did, with Champ leading the final round in driving distance and proving that he is not just a sensation with the driver, but also very adept at dealing with adversity.

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. The dude

    Oct 30, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    How do you crack the top??

  2. Tom

    Oct 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Crown suffered structural failure? Sounds like a design flaw or QC issue!

    • geohogan

      Nov 9, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Jamie Sadlowski had to have specially made clubheads with less COR. He cracked off the shelf clubheads after a few shots. At those speeds shaft tips (0.335 inch diameter) will also break relatively quickly.

  3. dat

    Oct 29, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    typical WRX’r

  4. Tom54

    Oct 29, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    At nearly 130 mph swing speed he may need to have several drivers on hand. Wonder what the max speed is when these drivers are put through their tests. Glad to see him get his first win.

  5. ~j~

    Oct 29, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Happens to the best of us. ????

  6. Rick

    Oct 29, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    “F#$%K”!!!!!!!!!

    -Ping

  7. Peter

    Oct 29, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Isn’t this exactly why tour trucks are there?

    • Tim

      Oct 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Tour trucks usually pull out wed or thurs. Some stay around longer especially at majors and it also depends on the length of drive to next event.

    • Chris

      Oct 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      The tour trucks usually leave after Wednesday.

    • mlb

      Oct 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      A tour truck would have made no difference. The kid is strong

  8. Greg V

    Oct 29, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    So, what was his old driver?

    and if you are Cameron Champ, why not travel with a spare head.

    • Johnny Penso

      Oct 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Probably an old McGregor persimmon driver because, according to some here at WRX, it’s almost as long as a modern driver, it’s the ball that made all the difference back in the day.

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