Tale of the tape: Vegas vs. Woodland

Jhonattan Vegas and Gary Woodland

Jhonattan Vegas and Gary Woodland

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Your co-leaders at the Bob Hope Classic are two big, athletic youngsters with raw talent and an incredible ability to crush a golf ball. Jhonattan Vegas and Gary Woodland won’t play together Saturday, but here’s a tale of the tape for what could be a good, old-fashioned slugfest in the final group Sunday.

One of Vegas’ instructors, Kevin Kirk, estimates he’s seen Vegas play 100 rounds.

“Twenty-five or 30 of those rounds, I’ve seen him hit a ball more than 400 yards,” Kirk said, adding that the first time Kirk saw Vegas play, he reached a 540-yard par 5 with a driver and a 9-iron. 

Kirk remembers a time his students were hitting balls with a Trackman launch monitor. Kirk asked the students to make a normal swing, then swing as hard as possible.

“All the other kids could move the club 2-3 mph faster,” Kirk said. “He moved it 10-15 mph. That’s God-given.” 

Vegas’ stock swing is around 125 mph. He was clocked at the ’07 U.S. Amateur, where he advanced to the semifinals, at 138.

Woodland played a year of college basketball at Division II Washburn. One of his highlights was a game against Kansas in famed Allen Fieldhouse. Woodland’s team lost by 30 points. The blowout helped steer him toward golf. 

“I realized there’s not many 6-foot white guys in the NBA,” Woodland said. “We were No. 2 in Division II, they were No. 1 in Division I. And after that game, I had a blast, and it was time for me to start realizing what I was going to do after school. 

“I made the decision to transfer (to Kansas) and start working at this full-time.”

• • •

HEIGHT

Vegas: 6-foot-2

Woodland: 6-foot-1

WEIGHT

Vegas: 230 pounds

Woodland: 200 pounds

AGE

Vegas: 26

Woodland: 26

BIRTHPLACE

Vegas: Maturin, Venezuela

Woodland: Topeka, Kansas

DRIVING DISTANCE (this week)

Vegas: 311.4 (4)

Woodland: 315.1 (3)

Average PGA Tour player: 283.2

DRIVING DISTANCE (2010 Nationwide Tour)

Vegas: 312.9 yards (3)

Woodland: 315.1 (2)

Average: 295.3

CARRY DISTANCE

Vegas: 313.1 yards (1)

Woodland: 283.0 (29)

Average PGA Tour player: 271.8

CLUBHEAD SPEED

Vegas: 125.3 mph (2)

Woodland: 120.2 mph (8)

Average PGA Tour player: 112.2

BALL SPEED

Vegas: 183.3 mph (3)

Woodland: 175.7 mph (11)

Average PGA Tour player: 165.8 mph

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