DeChambeau feeling very much at home in new irons

Peter Finnan

Bryson DeChambeau hoisting a signpost on 13 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Peter Finnan

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Bryson DeChambeau is not your average golfer and is never likely to be mistaken for one. But he’s leading the Masters and doing so with a set of irons that he’s co-created; surely a first for the Tradition unlike any other.

“Well, I designed them with someone from back home,” he explained after a second-round one-over 73 that is likely to be co-leading by the end of day two, “and they have just got a different curvature on the face than other equipment. Most equipment is flat. These have a different curvature on the face that allows me to have my mis-hits to go a little straighter sometimes.”

And the equipment junkie faced a race against time to have his new-iron set meet the USGA conforming standards, only getting final approval earlier this week. Very much an 11th hour situation in comparison to standard golf equipement.

“I have to say, it was pretty close,” he said. “I’d say Monday, we — well, early Tuesday is when I finally got the full set approved and conforming. And I started practicing from then on out and felt comfortable with them Tuesday and Wednesday, had no issue.

“But I had been practicing with them quite a while before that. Last week I found out that they were, unfortunately — we didn’t really think it was going to be non-conforming, but they were, just the groove edge was just too sharp. Carter Rich was super helpful, and I have to thank him for getting those approved and going through the right process.

“But last week, we found out literally Thursday afternoon that they were non-conforming from the USGA. And then we worked on them all over the weekend, and finally Tuesday morning we got them to where they were in a place where they were conforming and was ready to go.”

As the irons are a basic prototype, he has no backup alternates, but will have to rely on his standard set should anything happen between now and Sunday.

“I have got some PING i330s or something like that,” he said. “I’ve been using them since July — no, no, early last year. I shot 58 with them. So they do pretty well.

“The set I’m using are great. They are fantastic. Not having any issues with them, and looking forward to a good weekend.”

DeChambeau’s tally is likely to see him in the final group with Max Homa unless Scottie Scheffler gets in at -7 or better, and the 2020 US Open champion is always good value entertainment, even going so far as to shoulder a Masters signpost when he went wayward on 13 and the sign was blocking his only escape path. And in true DeChambeau fashion, he’d go on to make birdie.

“Yeah, I picked up the signpost,” he explained. “I was trying to direct people. Trying to get people to go to the restrooms or (chuckling) — I don’t know, I mean, look, for me, it was the only option, pretty much the only option. I was looking at an opportunity to hit it back into the 13th fairway, and look, it would have only led me 200 — a hundred yards in probably, something like that, and I knew I could hit one around the corner down 14 fairway and have 140 to 150-yard shot in.

“So I decided to do that, and the Patrons were nice enough to move over to the side to make sure it was wide enough so if I hit one errant, nobody would get hit by the ball. I hit a great shot around the corner and was able to take advantage of a pretty open entrance to the green at that back right flag and made a nice birdie putt.”

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