Firm, fast Augusta plays into DeChambeau's Masters plan

Augusta (United States) (AFP) –


Reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau says firm and fast conditions such as those expected at this week's Masters will perfectly play into his long-driving style.

When the 85th Masters tees off Thursday at Augusta National, the 27-year-old American is confident he has the game to deliver a green jacket.

"Making it firmer and faster has for some reason helped me play a little bit better," DeChambeau said Tuesday. "I think that plays into my hand nicely for what I'm comfortable with."

DeChambeau's focus on science and bulking up physically brought him a major title last September at Winged Foot, bashing balls for distance and coping with whatever location he found.

"Hitting as far as I am, having wedges into greens with firm greens, I'm going to be able to stop it on the greens a lot easier," DeChambeau said.

"Somebody could go out and hit a golf ball more consistently with more control than me and they will beat me.

"But for the most part it has played well in numerous situations for me."

Fifth-ranked DeChambeau won last month at Bay Hill, edging England's Lee Westwood by a stroke.

"He's one of the top players in the world," Westwood said. "And he's on form right now."

DeChambeau arrived at the Masters last November talking of Augusta National playing as a par-67 to him because of his length, only to suffer dizziness and stomach issues in a week where wet conditions limited his distance edge.

"It's a lot better, way better," said DeChambeau. "Took about four or five months to figure out what it was."

After a battery of tests found no problems, DeChambeau had his head examined to find oxygen levels diminished and changed the way he breathes.

"It literally just went away," he said.

But the pressure to produce has not vanished on DeChambeau at Augusta National, a course he admits sets up well for him.

"I certainly believe that to be the case. I think I have a good chance to play well here," he said. "There are certain holes out here where length does help tremendously. There's a lot of advantages to be had with length."

DeChambeau also calls some of the pin positions "very diabolical" and knows his approaches will be key this week.

"What's so special about here is that you have to have every facet of your game working really well," he said. "Now that I've accomplished winning the US Open, this is the next goal for me."

- Down the rabbit holes -

His method will continue to be a scientific one.

"I'm still going down numerous rabbit holes and I will never stop," said DeChambeau. "I will not stop my pursuit of knowledge of the game, knowledge of the body, knowledge of the golf swing to give myself the best opportunity to win."

DeChambeau says his evolution in body, mind and strategy could leave him obsolete as a golfer someday.

"As time goes on, there's not much more to gain from technology side," DeChambeau said. "Where the massive gains will be is in athletes.

"Once you get somebody out here that's a 7-foot-tall human being and they're able to swing a golf club 145mph effortlessly, that's when things get a little interesting. That's when I'm going to become obsolete potentially even."

"From a driving aspect, that's where the gains will be had, with these athletes coming out in the future. And it won't stop. There's just no way it will stop.

"Athletes are the ones that are going to in the end move the needle in any sport and that's pretty amazing."