Bryson did exactly what he said he was going to do. No not win a major, but that was a direct result of it. He told us he’d come back this season bigger, faster, stronger, and longer…and he did. People said he was too analytical and technical and needed to play more by feel. But he has 7 PGA Tour wins. People, myself included, said his short game will struggle with certain shots when is wedges are all 6 iron length. I think he has proven that is not the case. He finished 4th in sand saves in 2019. People said you can’t win on tour let alone a major by swinging like a long drive competitor. Also false. DeChambeau gets a bad rap for being a slow player, but he took note and worked on that and has much improved. And for awhile there it seemed like every week he was among a strange ruling or drop controversy. But all he ever really did was try and use the complex rules of golf to his advantage while in the heat of competition against the world’s best players on the grandest of stages. Wouldn’t you? Sometimes the rules are there to help you, not always present to hurt your score. He caught a lot of heat for the fire ant situation at the FedEx St. Jude back in July. See what I did there? The rules state that a player receives a free drop from any ground damaged by a burrowing animal or rodent. It looked and sounded a lot worse than it was because the mic picked him up shouting “look, there’s an ant!”
Golf purists and grumpy old fashioned haters alike, are calling for the powers to be to once and for all crack down on the distance issue or deliver their heads and turn over their credentials. They can’t believe Bryson turned our nation’s major championship into a bomb-and-gouge fest on the historically brutal Winged Foot. He hit 6 fairways during Sunday’s final round. But this is nothing new. Phil Mickelson hit just 2 fairways in the final round in 2006 and stood on the 72nd hole with a one-shot lead on the same golf course…14 years ago. Sure Bryson didn’t care where he hit it because not only is he strong enough, but he would also have a shorter club in his hands on approach shots from the rough. Besides, didn’t Winged Foot do what it was supposed to do? Sure it played anything but brutal on day 1, but after 72 holes one player finished under par…1. If bomb-and-gouge is what Bryson did, he wasn’t the only one. He just happened to get up and down more often, putt better, and make more birdies and less bogies than everyone else in the field. That equates to winning your first major, no matter how you look at it. Here are some interesting stats from the week and Open history…
DeChambeau averaged 325.6 yards off the tee, the longest by a US Open champion in history, but he was actually ranked 7th in driving distance for the week.
He hit the least amount of fairways for the week by a champion, just 23 giving him a 41% accuracy rate, yet he ranked 26th place for the week. Since 1981 no US Open winner had hit fewer than 27 fairways for the event. Here are some notable winners with the least amount of fairways hit in the last 40 years: Angel Cabrera 2007 – Oakmont, 27. Tiger Woods 2008 – Torrey Pines, 30. Webb Simpson 2012 – Olympic Club, 31. Scott Simpson 1987 – Olympic Club, 31.
Most strokes gained total in the final round of the US Open since 1960: Johnny Miller 1973 – 10.77, Arnold Palmer 1960 – 9.29, Jack Nicklaus 1967 – 8.19, Bryson DeChambeau 2020 – 7.90.
In relation to the Masters, if Bryson figures out the greens like he did at Winged Foot, he will no doubt dismantle Augusta National by hitting it off the tee like he does, with zero rough to boot. I think we will then see a crack down on distance at the pro level by the governing bodies. We may even see another Augusta overhaul like we saw after Tiger dominated in 1997. Cue up the hash tag #brysonproofing.
Fantasy picks With the top players licking their wounds from Winged Foot, the tour heads to the Dominican Republic for the Corales Puntacana Championship. This field will feature a lot of youth and experienced journeymen looking for their first tour win. Winner Pat Perez P squared plays well on resort style courses with 2 of his 3 tour wins being on one. Will contend Emiliano Grillo I have no stats to back this up, just a hunch for one of the more known names in the field. Sleeper Adam Long Finished t-13 last week at US Open. Ride that high and make some birdies!
Enjoy the game and each other,
Written by Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional
Design and Published by Craig Michael