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‘Holy...': Amateur Gordon Sargent powers it past Max Homa, Justin Thomas in practice round

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Gordon Sargent was walking around the grounds at Augusta National on Sunday morning when he decided to stop by player dining for a quick bite. He wasn’t wearing his badge, though, and was immediately stopped by security, which not only questioned whether he was a player but also if he was really 20 years old.

“I think they thought I was in the Drive, Chip and Putt,” Sargent said.

They clearly had never seen Sargent drive a golf ball.

Sargent, the Vanderbilt sophomore and world’s top-ranked amateur who is competing this week on a special invitation, destroys the golf ball with an ability to get his ball speed past 200 mph.

In Monday’s practice round, Sargent didn’t just routinely drive it past his playing competitors, Justin Thomas and Max Homa. It was dang near every time.

“I don’t know, I stopped counting,” Homa said.

Added Homa’s caddie, Joe Greiner, who was trailing his player as they headed toward the parking lot: “Holy s---!”

Sargent said he hit driver on every hole but Nos. 7 and 10, where he hit 3-wood. He had a mid-iron into No. 10, but only because he failed to get his ball chasing down the hill. From the new back tee box at the par-5 13th, Sargent had just 200 yards in and hit 6-iron.

As for the other par 4s, the longest clubs Sargent had in was an 8-iron on No. 5 and 9-iron at No. 11, where he was 25 yards past Thomas.

“I couldn’t let them just hit it past me,” Sargent said with a grin. “JT said something about how far I hit it by him on 11, but yeah, I guess they got used to it or something.”

Sargent, one of seven amateurs in the field, is planning on staying in the Crow’s Nest on Monday night. He’ll look to get some rest before gearing up for another practice round on Tuesday, this time alongside Rory McIlroy.

“Hopefully, he’s real,” Sargent said.

And hopefully Rory doesn’t mind a college kid hitting it by him.