As I write we’re all waiting for Matthew Wolff to begin his second round at the Phoenix Open. He’s -4 after a 67 yesterday that caused huge excitement. The 19 year old Oklahoma State sophomore played round one alongside Cameron Champ, the longest driver on the PGA tour, and regularly out drove him by four yards.
Looking at the stats Wolff’s drives were from 318 to 353 yards, averaging 328! He hit 10 out of 14 fairways and 16 out of 18 greens. This is why he’s no 1 amateur in the world and National Freshman of the Year last season. This season he has won all three of his first three events. And all with a crazy looking swing, which he’s had repeated offers to fix. “I’ve proved them all wrong…it motivates me a little” he says.
The swing may be taken back vertically, crosses the line at the top and have a high right elbow and left foot balanced with his toes but on the downswing he pivots and goes back under slots the club into position repeatedly and consistently. He creates a huge torque and force. He gets into an open shoulders and hips position at impact and hits the ball very hard. Although it’s an unorthodox looking swing it is natural and athletic looking and creates clubhead speed measured at 134 mph on TrackMan. Most of all it looks like a consistent, repetitive movement from which he sets up a lot of birdies.
This week so far at Phoenix his statistics are
2nd in Putts (GIR)
• 2nd in Driving Accuracy
• T3 in Proximity
• 5th in Driving Distance
• T10 on the leaderboard
He seems to approach the game like Oklahoma State alumnus Rickie Fowler, a little bit showmanlike. At Phoenix this week the galleries have loved him, he’s fresh and exciting. It could be just the start of the next generation.