Bryson DeChambeau intends to bomb and gouge his way to US Open glory, despite scenes of long, juicy rough swallowing anything offline this week at Winged Foot.
The big-hitting American, who’s yet to win on golf’s Major stage, outlined his plans to tackle arguably golf’s toughest examination, believing short irons from the rough trump mid irons from the fairway, even given the dreaded lies being dished out by the silage in New York.
“I’m hitting it as far as I possibly can up there,” said DeChambeau “Even if it’s in the rough, I can still get it to the front edge or the middle of the greens with pitching wedges or nine-irons. That’s the beauty of my length and that advantage.
“Now, obviously, if it’s into the wind and there’s some of those situations going on, it’s going to be different. There are certain holes I might lay up on just because of the situation, but for the most part I’m going to be trying to go after it as much as I possibly can
“Even if I hit it in the rough, I still feel like I can make birdies out here. I still feel like I can run it up the middle of the green and make a 20-footer. I’ll give myself opportunities to still make birdie, whereas most people are laying back, short of a bunker, hit it in the rough even.
“It’s not guaranteed if you lay up you’re in the fairway, right? So there are going to be times that people hit it in the rough, and I think the person that’s going to win is going to hit the most fairways and going to make the most putts and also hit it on the greens.
“It’s a simple formula, obviously. But again, you have to execute it. That’s the whole point of a US Open, is it’s supposed to be tough.
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“Hopefully it works out for me. You never know. I could be in the rough and get bad lies and not be able to execute out of the rough, or I could hit it in the fairways all day and not hit great iron shots and then not make anything.
“So there’s a bunch of things that could happen. That’s golf and that’s the beauty of golf, and that’s why we’re all trying to get better to make more putts and play better golf each and every day. You just never know.”
DeChambeau may not be vocalising it but there’s undoubtedly a premium on hitting fairways this week, and he’ll know that. That’s why the current world number nine has been putting a lot more work into his driving accuracy since the Tour Championship in a bid to combine his astonishing swing speed with finding fairways.
“It’s a combination of being able to hit your driver consistent, more consistent, and if you do err, it’s not going to go out of bounds, it’s not going to go in the water,” he added.
“Yeah, you take on that risk because you can gain so much off the tee from a strokes gained perspective.
“I couldn’t do things in previous times past. There were times where I had to lay up short of bunkers because it was too penalising to be in that bunker compared to hitting it short and in the fairway. I’d gain more there.
“But now I can fly the bunker and have a pitching-wedge in, that’s more of the play for me, where I feel like I can play out of the rough all day long. And especially on these greens where you can run it up, I can play golf.
“It’s about hitting it straighter with a driver and trying to add speed while still hitting it straighter. I felt like I got some stuff taken care of, but again, it’s a never-ending journey. I hit this one good and then I feel like I make the same motion and it doesn’t do the same thing, and I’m like ‘why is that?’.
“So we’re working through some stuff to try and understand how to make it less sensitive when I’m swinging at these high speeds because obviously when you’re swinging 15 miles an hour faster than what they test, than what anybody tests, it’s going to affect how the ball performs a little differently. We’re working on how to optimise what I’m doing.”
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