clearn.png
Sunday May 9th, 2021 12:08AM

DeChambeau carves up US Open one divot-sized slice at a time

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Golfers like to say they win when it’s their week, when a swing adjustment suddenly clicks or because they’re driving the ball and putting it just that little better than everyone else. Bryson DeChambeau has a different take: He thinks every week belongs to him.

Over the course of four days, DeChambeau unnerved the folks who run the U.S. Open and carved up Winged Foot’s unyielding reputation one divot-sized slice at a time. By the end, he was the only player to beat par, which also happened to be enough to beat his closest pursuer, Matthew Wolff, by a whopping six shots. In the bargain, DeChambeau turned one of the golf’s foundational myths — the game is about how many, not how — inside out.

“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” said Rory McIlroy, who counts the 2011 U.S. Open among his four major championship wins. “Look, he’s found a way to do it. Whether that’s good or bad for the game, I don’t know, but it’s just not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played.”

The big debate in golf at the moment is about the merits of distance vs. accuracy. Most weeks, a younger, fitter generation of players inspired by Tiger Woods tries to drive the ball as far from the tee as possible, figuring a second shot with a wedge — even from the rough — is easier than say, a 6-iron from the middle of the fairway. It’s called the “bomb and gouge” strategy and DeChambeau has become both its loudest and most successful advocate.

He’s already tinkered with every other facet of the game, from equipment (single-length irons) to how he reads putts (factoring in the rotation of the planet). Last October, with five PGA Tour wins already under his belt, DeChambeau doubled down on the distance side of the argument, announcing he would pack on 40 pounds of muscle in a bid to hit the ball even farther.

“I’m going to come back next year,” he vowed, “and look like a different person.”

Yet even at the start of the week, few people believed he resembled a U.S. Open champion. No tournament in golf places a higher premium on par, or rewards accuracy while punishing wayward shots with rough several times gnarlier than anything encountered at a routine tour event. But when the U.S. Golf Association set up Winged Foot, it’s risk-reward calculations ended yards behind where many of DeChambeau’s tee shots landed.

None of that would matter, however, if he couldn’t putt, or if DeChambeau didn’t have a work ethic that saw him back out on the practice range for several hours after he’d completed his round Saturday, pounding drive after drive into the distance and well beyond the reach of a few scattered spotlights.

Tiger Woods had that same drive though the prime of his career and for a while, he hit the ball farther than just about all of his major rivals, too. There’s no way to know how long DeChambeau will have that same advantage nor whether he’ll hold up over the long run.

But either way, the powers-that-be in golf are going to have decide how much distance is too much, and whether to throttle back the ball, sooner than they planned. On Sunday, No. 16 at Winged Foot stretched to 508 yards, a par-5 dogleg converted to a par-4. DeChambeau shredded that defense by cutting the corner with a tee shot that measured 365 yards.

“I don’t know what they can do really, because he’s hitting it so far,” said Louis Oosthuizen, who finished third.

The more immediate concern, though, is how many of the golf courses on the schedule will be able to contain him.

“If he can do it around here,” McIlroy said. “I’m thinking of Augusta and thinking of the way you play there.”

Late into the U.S. Open broadcast, someone got even more specific, speculating that DeChambeau could blow his tee shot over — instead of having to maneuver around — the stand of trees that guard the corner at Augusta National’s 13th.

That would leave him holding a wedge for his approach shot into the iconic par -5, a prospect that almost certainly caused the green jackets at the Masters to reach for a bottle of antacids with one hand and Google “emergency landscaping services” with the other.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
India, China commanders again talk to end border standoff
Senior Indian and Chinese military commanders are holding talks to find ways to resolve a monthslong tense standoff between soldiers along their disputed mountain border in mountainous Ladakh region
3:04AM ( 3 minutes ago )
DeChambeau carves up US Open one divot-sized slice at a time
Bryson DeChambeau's runaway win at the U.S. Open settled the big debate in golf about distance vs
2:58AM ( 9 minutes ago )
At least 10 dead in residential building collapse in India
A residential building that was due for repairs has collapsed in central India, killing at least 10 people
2:51AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Seahawks stuff Newton on final play, beat Patriots 35-30
Cam Newton was stopped at the 1-yard line on the final play of the game, and the Seattle Seahawks held on for a 35-30 win over the New England Patriots
1:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
Davis hits 3 at buzzer, Lakers edge Nuggets for 2-0 lead
Anthony Davis made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 105-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals
11:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
Butker good from 58 in OT, Chiefs survive Herbert's LA debut
Harrison Butker kicked a 58-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining in overtime, and the Kansas City Chiefs survived a superlative first start by rookie Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert to beat Los Angeles 23-20
11:32PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Johnson unable to keep momentum going at U.S. Open
Dustin Johnson arrived at Winged Foot playing better golf than arguably anyone in the world
6:42PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: DeChambeau bombs away, pulls away to win US Open
Bryson DeChambeau has won the U.S. Open -- the first major championship for golf’s long-hitting mad scientist
6:04PM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: DeChambeau, Wolff match eagles on 9th at US Open
Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff matched eagles on the ninth hole in the U.S. Open to separate themselves from the rest of the field as they made the turn
3:58PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Golf
The Latest: A tale of two 9s for Paul Casey's round of 69
The scoreboard at the U.S. Open shows a 69 for Paul Casey
3:26PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Noren shoots 67 early in 3rd round at US Open
Alex Noren has showed the leaders that low scores can be had at Winged Foot in the third round of the U.S. Open
2:12PM ( 1 day ago )
Even without hostile NY crowds, this US Open is tough enough
Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau, two of the more polarizing figures in golf, are holding down the top two spots midway through a US Open where only a half-dozen players are still in red numbers
9:11AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - PGA
India, China commanders again talk to end border standoff
Senior Indian and Chinese military commanders are holding talks to find ways to resolve a monthslong tense standoff between soldiers along their disputed mountain border in mountainous Ladakh region
3:04AM ( 3 minutes ago )
A sweep for ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Succession’ tops Emmy Awards
“Schitt’s Creek” has capped a huge night at the Emmy Awards — completing a historic sweep of the show's comedy categories
2:31AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Column: Another grim chapter for Atlanta's sports history
As the ball spun slowly along the turf at Jerry’s World, the black-clad players backing away like it was a live grenade, Atlanta’s grim sports history flooded the consciousness
2:22AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Column: Another grim chapter for Atlanta's sports history
As the ball spun slowly along the turf at Jerry’s World, the black-clad players backing away like it was a live grenade, Atlanta’s grim sports history flooded the consciousness
2:22AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Column: Another grim chapter for Atlanta's sports history
As the ball spun slowly along the turf at Jerry’s World, the black-clad players backing away like it was a live grenade, Atlanta’s grim sports history flooded the consciousness
2:22AM ( 45 minutes ago )