By Andrew Both
(Reuters) – Bryson DeChambeau is poised to take his aggressive go-for-broke style to the Masters at Augusta National next week and says golf fans are in for a surprise watching him tackle the famous Georgia course.
After bludgeoning Winged Foot and its long rough into submission en route to winning the U.S. Open by six strokes in September, DeChambeau has flagged his intention to use a similar gameplan in search of a Green Jacket.
He should be able to reach the Augusta greens in two shots at the par-fives, often with a very short iron, effectively turning the par-72 layout into a par-68, no matter what the card officially says.
Rumours are swirling that DeChambeau is even planning to smash his drive at the 13th hole into the distant 14th fairway, in order to have a better angle of attack for his second shot to the green.
Such an unprecedented and radical scenario would have Augusta co-founder Bobby Jones turning in his grave.
DeChambeau has mapped out his plan of attack with his usual meticulous attention to detail.
“For the most part, it’s going to be definitely trying to hit as far out there as possible and give (myself) the best chance to have a wedge into the green… especially on the par fives,” he told Reuters.
“I can reach all of them and I look at the golf course in a completely different way than I used to.”
DeChambeau has a surprisingly average record at the Masters, a tie for 21st in his final appearance as an amateur in 2016 his best result in three starts.
But those performances were before he beefed up by some 20 pounds (nine kilograms) and started hitting the ball with a rarely matched ferocity.
“You can watch (DeChambeau) on TV but until you’re standing next to him and actually watch the violence that he’s creating and how the golf ball leaves the club head, you can’t believe it,” said twice U.S. Open champion Andy North, now an ESPN analyst.
“It is absolutely astounding. It sure changes how you can attack the golf course if you can drive over every single bunker and you can start taking shortcuts and hit it up over corners that no one’s ever done before.”
DeChambeau hardly disputed North’s observation.
“The clubs I’m using are substantially less than last year — substantially — and it’ll make it feel a little bit easier this year,” said the 27-year-old.
“I don’t know how else to say it without giving the full deal away. I want it to be kind of a little bit of a surprise.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)