Happy Gilmore lives!
The 1996 Adam Sandler movie about a long-driving hockey reject who plays the PGA Tour to save his grandmother’s home gave more to golf than great quotes (“the price is wrong, b----”), it also created a new way to swing.
Padraig Harrington has been known to break out his Happy Gilmore-style driver swing (sort of a combination of a hockey slap shot and a shot-put throw) for laughs and he saw a perfect stage at the PGA Championship’s Long Drive Competition on Tuesday. Take a look:
However, Harrington wasn’t able to get enough Happy-like distance to win Tuesday’s event. Louis Oosthuizen took first prize with a 340-yard drive.
The long-dormant contest, which the PGA of America revived this year, took place on PGA Championship host course Valhalla Golf Club’s 595-yard par-5 10th hole Tuesday.
Contestants got only one drive and it had to land in the fairway. The top-three finishers received $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 in charity donations, respectively.
The champ Oosthuizen also got a money clip that looks like the one Jack Nicklaus won at the 1963 PGA Long Drive Competition and that Nicklaus still uses today [see photo below].
Oosthuizen might have a talent for these pre-tournament competitions. He won the Masters Par-3 Contest in 2010. No Par-3 Contest winner has ever gone onto win that year's Masters, but Oosthuizen wasn't too bothered by the famous "curse": he won the British Open three months later.
Bubba Watson, who leads the Tour in driving distance, declined to participate and hit a 3-iron off the 10th tee on Tuesday.
Here are the Top 10 finishers:
1. Louis Oosthuizen, 340 yards.
2. Jason Day, 338 yards.
3. Johan Kok, 337 yards.
4. Gary Woodland, 330 yards.
5. Rickie Fowler, 328 yards.
6. Keegan Bradley 326 yards.
7. Danny Willett 322 yards.
8. Adam Scott 320 yards.
9. Sergio Garcia 320 yards.
10. Scott Piercy 320 yards.