LAWRENCE, Kan. – The longest driver on the PGA Tour returned home on Monday afternoon. Topeka-native Gary Woodland was at Alvamar County Club in Lawrence hosting the first ‘AJGA Gary Woodland Championship’.
“There’s no place like home,” said Woodland. “My family is all still here, my friends are still here, so I love coming home and I love being back. It’s the greatest place on earth to me.”
While answering questions the AJGA golfers had, Woodland dazzled eyes by teeing off from the driving range. He’s also continuing to improve his game.
“My expectations are to get better, and hopefully get a win in,” said Woodland. “I’d like to make that Ryder Cup team, so I’ve got some work to do, but I think if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m moving in the right direction. I’m starting to trend, and play pretty good golf.”
Four lucky golfers also had a chance to have a 100-yard, closest to the pin contest against the seven year profession (Woodland was the closest at 5ft. from the hole).
“I learned that no matter what you shoot, you can always get better,” said Seaman senior Jalen Heald. “Just practice as much as you can, and get better every day.”
Woodland has this week off so he can enjoy his time here at home before he heads to one of his favorite courses next week, Congressional, in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I love congressional,” said Woodland. “I’ve played in a U.S. Open there, and three times outside of that. Hopefully I enjoy the golf course, and play well next week.”
In 16 tournaments so far this year, Woodland has had four top 10’s, including a 2nd place finish in Malaysia. He’s currently 22nd in the FedEx Cup standings.
“This is a great opportunity for me to be able to give back,” said Woodland. “Hopefully some of the kids here can get some recognition on the national stage, get some experience, and for me to be a part of it is pretty cool.”