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Bryson DeChambeau’s warning should make Masters officials shudder – New York Post

There may be some stirring, shuffling and scurrying about taking place on the other side of the hedges and gates that surround and protect Augusta National this week after what the Masters powers that be just witnessed at the US Open.

Bryson DeChambeau dismantled Winged Foot en route to winning the US Open with a bombs-away style that has to make the Masters officials shudder at the thought of what he might do to their golf course in November, as he tries to win a second consecutive major championship.

If DeChambeau was able to win the US Open by six shots, the only player to finish under par on a golf course with suffocating fairways and strangling rough, what might he be able do at Augusta National, where the fairways are generous and there’s virtually no rough?

This is how DeChambeau described his week’s work at Winged Foot, when he was asked by the Golf Channel on Sunday night if he feels like he beat the 143 other players in the field or if he beat the golf course: “I beat the golf course. I dominated it.’’

DeChambeau, who’s constantly tinkering with his game and his body, made it clear after his US Open victory that has no plans to take his foot off the accelerator as the Masters approaches in November.

“I’m not going to stop,’’ he said. “Next week, I’m going to be trying a 48-inch driver. We’re going to be messing with some head designs and do some amazing things with Cobra to make it feasible to hit these drives maybe 360, 370, maybe even farther.’’

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeauAP

He, too, revealed that he wants to gain even more muscle weight on top of the 30 or so pounds he’s put on in the past 10 months. For the record, DeChambeau said he’s 6-foot-1, 230 to 235 right now. Asked if he wants to be bigger in time for the Masters, he said, “Yeah.’’

“I think I can get to 245,’’ he said.

Look out, Augusta.

“Length is going to be a big advantage there,’’ DeChambeau said.

It always has been at Augusta. That’s a reason why Jack Nicklaus won there six times, because he hit it longer than his peers.

After Tiger Woods burst onto the scene in 1997 and turned fabled Augusta National into a pitch-and-putt, en route to winning by 12 shots at a record 19-under par, tournament officials famously began to modify the course, lengthening it and adding trees to tighten it up as a way to “Tiger-proof’’ it.

“I don’t know what they can do really because he’s hitting it so far,’’ Louis Oosthuizen said of DeChambeau. “And, he’s probably one of the best putters out there, which in a week that he really putts well you’re going to have a lot of trouble.’’

When DeChambeau was asked after his win what he thinks USGA officials might be saying about him in their post-U.S. Open “debrief’’ he said, “He’s hitting it forever. That’s why he won.’’

“It’s tough to rein in athleticism,’’ DeChambeau said. “We’re always going to be trying to get fitter, stronger, more athletic. Tiger inspired this whole generation to do this, and we’re going to keep going after it. I don’t think it’s going to stop. Will they rein it back? I’m sure. I’m sure something might happen. But I don’t know what it will be. I just know that length is always going to be an advantage.’’

Xander Schauffele, who finished fifth at Winged Foot, said DeChambeau “is sort of trending in the new direction of golf.’’

“If you look at people that have dominated, it’s always been distance,’’ Schauffele said. “Obviously, Tiger had the mix of touch and feel and everything. If you look back, he was sort of the first guy to really hit it far with those clubs. Jack hit is really far as well. All the greats hit it pretty far for the most part. It’s no longer sort of a touchy-feely game.’’

Rory McIlroy insisted he doesn’t “shudder’’ to think of what DeChambeau might do to deflower Augusta National.

“If he can do it around here [Winged Foot] … I’m thinking of Augusta and thinking of the way you sort of play there,’’ McIlroy said. “It’s brilliant, but I think he’s taken advantage of where the game is at the minute. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, it’s just the way it is. He’s just taking advantage of what we have right now.’’

Rest assured, Augusta National is watching.

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How Bryson DeChambeau went to great lengths to win the U.S. Open – ESPN

8:19 PM ET

  • Nick PietruszkiewiczESPN.com

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    • Senior editor for college basketball
    • Joined ESPN in 2008
    • Graduate of the University of Maryland

MAMORONECK, N.Y. — As Bryson DeChambeau walked the final fairway at Winged Foot early Sunday evening, heading toward the iconic clubhouse that was about to be the backdrop for a photo opportunity with the U.S. Open trophy, there was quiet.

It seemed fitting, really, because his performance, a four-day exhibition of strength across one of the most treacherous golf courses on the planet, silenced anyone who questioned his methods, muted those who laughed as he put on 30 pounds and started swinging for the fences, shushed people who mocked his scientific approach to golf.

“There’s always going to be people that say things,” DeChambeau said.

This way of playing — of carrying every bunker, of cutting every dogleg, of taking power over precision — could never work. Even his peers, the best players in the world, thought it.

“I sort of said, ‘OK, wait until he gets to a proper golf course. He’ll have to rein it back in,'” Rory McIlroy said. “[Winged Foot] is as proper as they come, and look what’s happened. He’s got full belief in what he’s doing, and it’s pretty impressive. It’s kind of hard to really wrap my head around it.”

To DeChambeau, this has always made sense. Where others were confused, he was clear. As the outside world failed to grasp it, the blueprint in his mind was focused, the end result a foregone conclusion. The world would see his vision.

“So many times I relied on science, and it worked every single time,” DeChambeau said.

For more than a century, there has been a formula to winning this championship. The mandate at the U.S. Open has always been accuracy. Find the fairway so you can hit the green, make par and move on with your day. Do not, under any circumstances, wander into the rough. Because that is where bogeys and doubles hide, waiting to attach themselves to the spikes of visitors. Over four days, DeChambeau hit 23 of 56 fairways, four fewer than anyone else who has won this event.

“I would have said no way,” Zach Johnson said when asked if he thought someone could win this title this way — by disregarding fairways. “No chance.”

With that in mind, let’s get this on the record: Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Open by 6 shots. He was the only player in the field to post an under-par score on Sunday, shooting a 3-under 67. In the six times Winged Foot has hosted this championship, he is only the second player to not have one score over par in four days.

“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does,” McIlroy said.

Perhaps, then, it’s best to let DeChambeau explain what others cannot. Here is how he would tell people about his victory.

“He’s hitting it forever,” DeChambeau said. “That’s why he won.”

Even before this, the results seemed to confirm the science. DeChambeau finished third at the Charles Schwab Challenge, golf’s first event back after the three-month shutdown because of the coronavirus. He added three more top-10s in a row, then won the Rocket Mortgage Challenge and contended at the PGA Championship, finishing tied for fourth. Still, not everyone was convinced.

“I thought, ‘I can see it for week in and week out [on] PGA TOUR setups that are a little more benign,'” McIlroy said.

But not here. Not at Winged Foot, with its narrow fairways and deep rough, its sloped greens and long history of inflicting punishment. DeChambeau smirked and continued down his own path.

He kept heading to the gym. He kept eating steak and downing protein shake after protein shake. He kept swinging as hard as humanly possible. He kept checking his launch monitors, running his numbers. He kept taking aggressive lines no one else in the field dared to take.

“He’s a man of his word,” said Xander Schauffele, who finished fourth.

DeChambeau isn’t shy about his plan. He is unafraid to suggest that he does, in fact, have all the answers.

“It’s a lot of validation through science, just making sure that the numbers are what they are and the result is accurate,” he said. “I know I’ve done everything I can in my brain to make my perception reality.

For months, he defended himself and his methods — at times using big words that required a dictionary, at all times using a lot of words in run-on sentences.

“I’m just trying to figure out this very complex, multivariable game and multidimensional game,” he said as he sat next to the U.S. Open trophy. “So it’s all about trying to make my perception of what I feel, what I think, what I — you know, whatever it is, turn into proper reality.”

Wait, what?

But that’s the thing: To him that all made sense. Every thought bouncing around his brain computes. If others cannot see it, too bad. If others are afraid to follow his path, that’s on them.

“It’s not something that I probably would have done at his age,” Johnson said. “That doesn’t mean it’s a wrong approach, and it doesn’t mean it’s something that couldn’t be advantageous. I’m extremely impressed because he — I’ve had talks with him. Obviously, he’s cerebral. That’s pretty generalizing there. He’s very, very strategic and always trying to get better.”

In June, DeChambeau started referring to himself as a casino, eager to take gambles. He insisted that he is the house. He isn’t finished rolling the dice.

“I’m not going to stop,” he said.

He wants to put on another 10 or 15 pounds.

“Right now, I’m 230 to 235, depending on if I’ve eaten steak or not,” he said.

Despite pummeling Winged Foot, he says he’s going to test a 48-inch driver and fiddle with different club heads. The experiment is far from over. The search to hit it farther never stops.

“It’s tough to rein in athleticism,” he said. “We’re always going to be trying to get fitter, stronger, more athletic. Tiger [Woods] inspired this whole generation to do this, and we’re going to keep going after it. I don’t think it’s going to stop. … I just know that length is always going to be an advantage.”

DeChambeau can talk about this forever if you let him. He can explain every thought, break down every decision. He can go through what he was thinking and why he was thinking it.

On Sunday at Winged Foot, with the trophy in his hands, a major champion for the first time, Bryson DeChambeau had the last word.

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PGA Championship, Bryson DeChambeau will bring golf’s distance debate to primetime – Yahoo Sports

The distance debate is golf’s version of a ‘this is going to ruin the game’ controversy.

Just like people say the surge in 3-pointers is taking the fun out of basketball and too many home runs supposedly destroying the integrity of baseball, the high-flying golf ball is seen as a problem by some.

said they’re considering new equipment rules that would dial back players’ ever-increasing range off the tee.” data-reactid=”22″ type=”text”>Traditionalists scoff at the idea that this game of skill and finesse could be dominated by sheer brute force. Golf architects say there’s not enough real estate to keep adding length to courses. Even two of golf’s top governing bodies, the USGA and the British R&A, said they’re considering new equipment rules that would dial back players’ ever-increasing range off the tee.

Lately, no one has more brute force than Bryson DeChambeau. The 26-year-old rising star brought the distance conversation back to the forefront when he returned from the PGA Tour’s three-month, COVID-19 stoppage with 20-plus pounds of added muscle and 20-plus yards of added power.

this week for the PGA Championship. Due to a pandemic re-shuffled scheduled, it’s the first major of 2020 and a chance for DeChambeau to put his muscle where his mouth is.” data-reactid=”24″ type=”text”>He brings his extreme swing to TPC Harding Park in San Francsico this week for the PGA Championship. Due to a pandemic re-shuffled scheduled, it’s the first major of 2020 and a chance for DeChambeau to put his muscle where his mouth is.

Happy Gilmore-esque drives, arguments with officials and a generally brash attitude.” data-reactid=”25″ type=”text”>So far, his increased power has translated to exceptional play. In six tournaments since golf returned, he’s rattled off four top-10 finishes, including a victory at the RBC Heritage in June. He’s vaulted to seventh in the world and made a name for himself with Happy Gilmore-esque drives, arguments with officials and a generally brash attitude.

Like him or not though, the results undeniable. And winning his first major while leading the PGA Tour in driving distance would only further ignite the argument over distance.

On paper, Harding Park doesn’t appear to be a layout fit for a power player with its listed yardage this week at 7,234 yards – not particularly long by PGA standards. But players collectively say it’ll play much longer with the coastal marine layer, cool and humid weather, and swirling winds from the adjacent Lake Merced. 

“I think this golf course suits the bomber if you can hit it straight,” DeChambeau told The Golf Channel on Tuesday.

DeChambeau isn’t fazed.

“As the rough stands right now, I think the risk is definitely worth the reward,” he said. “If you do hit it into the rough I still think you can get it to the front edge of the green.”

And it’s not as if DeChambeau is the only prominent player focused on the long ball these days.

Two-time defending PGA champion Brooks Koepka, consistently among the biggest hitters on tour, was asked Tuesday what one thing he’ll need to do to succeed this week.

“Drive the ball well,” Koepka said.

Tony Finau, another power player, said distance will be important this week and said he won’t be afraid to stay aggressive on the tee.

“If I am going to miss a fairway, I want to miss it as far up as I can to give myself a chance to still hit the green,” he said

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Bryson DeChambeau’s awkward compliment puts Tiger Woods in the past – New York Post

DUBLIN, Ohio — Everyone wants a glimpse.

Even Tiger Woods.

Wednesday was Tiger’s turn to take an up-close-and-personal look at the phenomenon that is Bryson DeChambeau, he of the 25 pounds of added muscle and otherworldly length.

Until his arrival this week, Woods had been away from the PGA Tour since its COVID-19 re-start, so he’d been reduced to watching the new Bryson the same way most of the world has: on television.

Woods and DeChambeau played together in a practice round Wednesday morning at Muirfield Village Golf Club in advance of Thursday’s opening round of the Memorial. DeChambeau revealed that he was the one who actually initiated the pairing, which lasted for the front nine.

As you might expect, it was fun theater.

And then, after it was over, DeChambeau, while heaping praise on Woods, unwittingly went to a place where few have dared to go with a couple comments.

“Back in the day, he was it,’’ DeChambeau said. “He was the golden star. He was the one everybody looked up to.’’

While DeChambeau meant nothing but to be complimentary of Woods, it was impossible not to notice the past tense in his sentences.

Then there was this:

“Even now, he’s hitting it pretty long,’’ DeChambeau said. “There were a couple holes he hit 320, 325 [yards]. I’m like, that’s pretty good for his age. It’s amazing for his age.’’

Yes, DeChambeau went there: “For his age.’’ Though intending nothing but reverence and not an ounce of disrespect, his words dripped with unintended patronization.

Woods, 44, didn’t hit his first driver of the round until the sixth hole, and DeChambeau’s drive landed 50 yards past Woods’.

“I never imagined that I’d be even hitting it this far,’’ DeChambeau, 26, said.

Woods, in a brief interview after the practice round, said DeChambeau “hit a couple good [drives], but nothing that he stepped on because the front nine doesn’t really allow it.’’

On Tuesday, Woods praised DeChambeau’s transformation.

“What Bryson has done is no easy task,’’ Woods said. “He’s put in the time and has put in the reps and he’s figured it out. He’s gotten stronger, faster, bigger, and has created more speed. But more importantly, he’s hitting it further. But let’s look at the fact that he’s hitting it as straight as he is. That’s part of the most difficult thing to do.’’

DeChambeau has been the talk of the PGA Tour since its restart and he has become a lightning rod.

Most competitors have been complimentary, but some have tweaked him.

“I feel like if I’m playing my game, he can hit it as far as he wants to and I don’t think he’s going to beat me,’’ Dustin Johnson said Tuesday.

“I went from kind of being a little skeptical about it to maybe saying some things to realizing he was beating me every week and I should probably shut up and just start playing better for myself,’’ Justin Thomas said last week. “People don’t understand how hard it is to hit it that straight at that high speed. It’s pretty unbelievable.”

Patrick Cantlay, the defending Memorial champion who’s paired with DeChambeau for the first two rounds, joked, “I’ll expect to play at least second most of the time coming in from the fairway. I’m expecting [DeChambeau] to hit it really far.’’

He will.

“I don’t know if guys that are currently on Tour will go to the lengths that he’s gone to try and get the distance, but I do think that there’s a lot of young kids watching that are maybe in high school or even in college or junior golf that are thinking to themselves, ‘Well, if I can hit it really, really far, there’s a definite advantage,’ ’’ Cantlay said. “So, we might see distance be even more of a factor in five or 10 years just because of the influence that [DeChambeau] may have on the younger generation.’’

That would be fine with DeChambeau.

“I really am about human progress and how much good I can do for the world,’’ he said. “It would be amazing to win however many tournaments, [but] I think being a proponent of change in a good way would be something that hopefully I would be proud about more than winning all the tournaments.’’

At the moment, he’s doing both.

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