'Another way to play', European Tour return: Talking points in golf


Paris (AFP)

Bryson DeChambeau claimed his first PGA Tour title since his remarkable weight gain at the weekend, while the European Tour is set to restart on Thursday in Austria.

Here, AFP Sport looks at four talking points in golf this week:

Big-hitting Bryson's 'new way' pays off

-- DeChambeau's weight gain of 45 lbs (20.4 kg) over the last nine months paid off in style as he claimed his first PGA Tour win of the season in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

The 26-year-old averaged over 350 yards off the tee as he completely overpowered the golf course in the final round.

His added strength also helped him when in trouble too, with one incredible eight iron from over 200 yards out of a tough lie finding the front of the green.

"I changed my body, I changed my mindset in the game, and was able to accomplish a win while playing a completely different style of golf," said DeChambeau, who climbed to seventh in the world rankings on Monday.

"I've shown people that there's another way to do it."

Tiger says DeChambeau going where no one has 'gone before'

-- Tiger Woods was arguably the last man to change how golf was played when he burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, but even he admitted that DeChambeau's power game was blazing a new trail.

"He's going out on a limb where no one's ever gone before and he's proven that it works and he wins," Woods told GolfTV.

DeChambeau's driving average of 350.6 yards en route to victory broke Woods' 15-year-old record for a PGA Tour event -- 341.5 yards at the 2005 British Open.

Wolff set for bright future

-- Youngster Matthew Wolff ultimately paid for a poor start as DeChambeau overturned the 21-year-old's three-shot lead heading into the fourth round.

But Wolff, who also boasts prodigious length off the tee, rallied impressively on the back nine with four birdies in the final seven holes, only denied a possible comeback victory by a string of close missed putts.

He was bidding to become the youngest two-time PGA Tour winner since Woods in 1996.

"I have that firepower that I can rattle off so many birdies in a row," said Wolff, who won his maiden title at the 3M Open last year when he eagled the final hole to beat DeChambeau by one shot.

If 350-yard drives become the 'new normal', Wolff may be one of the up-and-coming players able to take advantage.

European Tour returns

-- While the PGA Tour continues this week in Ohio, the European Tour will make a low-key return after a four-month absence at the Austrian Open.

The event will be co-sanctioned with the second-tier Challenge Tour and is the first of back-to-back tournaments at Atzenbrugg, near Vienna.

Several European Tour regulars have signed up to take part, although most of the top players will not return until the start of the UK 'swing' at the British Masters on July 22.


World top 20

1. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 8.89 average points

2. Jon Rahm (ESP) 8.07

3. Dustin Johnson (USA) 7.63

4. Webb Simpson (USA) 7.23 (+2)

5. Justin Thomas (USA) 7.17 (-1)

6. Brooks Koepka (USA) 7.05 (-1)

7. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 6.34 (+3)

8. Patrick Cantlay (USA) 5.88 (+1)

9. Patrick Reed (USA) 5.87 (-2)

10. Adam Scott (AUS) 5.78 (-2)

11. Xander Schauffele (USA) 5.44

12. Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 5.22

13. Justin Rose (ENG) 4.99

14. Tiger Woods (USA) 4.98

15. Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 4.86

16. Marc Leishman (AUS) 4.64

17. Tony Finau (USA) 4.36

18. Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.29 (+1)

19. Gary Woodland (USA) 4.21 (-1)

20. Abraham Ancer (MEX) 4.04 (+1)