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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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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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