Patience over power, DeChambeau's Green Jacket plan

golf11 April 2024 23:00| © Reuters
article image
Bryson DeChambeau © Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau's game plan to win a Masters was to bludgeon Augusta National into submission but on Thursday he went with patience and respect and came away with his career low round at the iconic course and the first-round clubhouse lead.

Tee Times | Course Guide

After a storm delayed the start of the year's first major DeChambeau took advantage of soft conditions, mixing eight birdies with a single bogey to return a sparkling seven-under 65 and a one-shot lead over world No 1 Scottie Scheffler.

It was an unexpectedly nuanced effort from the big-hitting American powerhouse who once infamously bragged he would turn Augusta National into a par 67 because he could reach all the par fives in two.

"Regarding the 67 comment, you know, you mess up," DeChambeau said. "I'm not a perfect person. Everybody messes up.

"You learn from your mistakes, and that was definitely one. I have a level of respect for this golf course that's a little bit different than a couple years ago, and clearly today was a great test of golf.

"I was able to conquer a very difficult golf course today."

Augusta National seemed to take Dechambeau's slights personally.

Although he has produced solid results at the other three majors, including victory in the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot, he is without top-20 finish at Augusta and missed the cut the last two years.

Known at one time as golf's "mad scientist" for his unorthodox training methods and experimenting with equipment, DeChambeau, a physics major who previously used a since-banned compass to read greens, is now focused on the theory that if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

"I'm not trying new things, not doing new things," said DeChambeau, who was one of the big names to jump from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf. "I'm just doing more of the same.

"That's what's been different from a couple years ago to now.

"I'm just doing the same thing every single day, day-in and day-out."

While DeChambeau's 65 was only the fourth time in 25 rounds at Augusta he had shot under 70, the 30-year-old has shown he is capable of going very low.

DeChambeau last year became just the fourth player on a top-level tour to shoot 58 at the Greenbrier to help claim his first LIV Golf title.

"I know this works, I shot 58 with it," DeChambeau said. "I know this game is ever-changing and it's always moving. It's a moving target.

"For me, it's going back to that day, those few days I played shooting 61, 58 on the weekend and going, all right, what did I do there that was so good, and how do I keep doing it?"