If you took a poll to find out who was the most athletic player on Tour, Kendra Little’s name would undoubtedly appear near the top. She played basketball and golf growing up and actually had an opportunity to play both sports at Oregon.
On Friday during the New England Charity Classic presented by PTC, Little shot a 1-under-par 71 in the first round and stood three shots off the lead.
“I got off to a pretty calm start with a couple pars and then I hit one real close on four and tapped it in for birdie and I was pretty even keel from there,” said the Eugene, Oregon native Little. “I went bogey-bogey on 15 and 16 which was kind of disappointing, but I got one back on 17.”
Little is widely recognized as one of the longest hitters on the Tour. She ranks third in average driving distance at 260.857.
“I’ve always hit it pretty far, I just attribute it to my athleticism. It’s definitely a good thing, but at times it can get me in trouble so as of late I’ve been learning to tone it down a bit and be a little bit more of a controlled player.”
Little was one of the few players that hit an iron off the tee on the first hole, a par-5.
“For me, some of the landing zones where I hit my driver are really narrow so it forces me to hit a two or four iron, whatever the case my be.”
Little says that basketball was her main sport growing up, but she saw a longer career in golf.
“Nobody in my family really played golf except for my uncle who is a really avid golfer and I idolized him so I did whatever he did. Basketball was my main thing, but I saw more of a future in golf. The two sports are very different, one is very reactive and one is very slow and drawn out.”
“I miss basketball, but I’m happy playing golf, it is what I do.”