BOSTON, Mass – The first time Jack Nicklaus played with Ben Hogan, Hogan was quoted as saying, “He plays a game with which I am unfamiliar.” Fat Jack crushed tee shots that hung in the air that flew well past most of his competitors.
Now we have another unfamiliar type of guy with Bryson DeChambeau. While smacking tee shots at the Augusta practice range, former Masters champion Vijay Singh looked on and had to laugh at the sheer absurdity of Bryson’ s swing.
The average swing of the typical tour player is 114 mph. Big bad Bryson swing was measured at 140mph. He was swinging so hard that he almost fell over in his follow-through. But 355-yard drives do not guarantee a win at Augusta. Last year DeChambeau and his bulging biceps finished tied at 34th.
Will he score better this year?
DeChambeau is playing well this year having won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, but he looks like he is ready for a touch of the yips. Watch him line up a six-foot putt, he will clean the ball, check the greens notebook, re-mark the ball and check the book again. He does this even in the final round, despite the fact that he has played that green for three days plus a practice round. It looks like he is second guessing himself on every green.
With The Masters back to playing in April in the warm weather and slick greens, it will be interesting when Bryson studies his putts. When he is on he has a beautiful putting stroke. The same putting stroke that won him the U.S. Open last year, may help him bag his second major.
And I will be watching to see how much confidence he has on the roller coaster greens that exist in Augusta.