Bryson DeChambeau refutes claim he’s making a mockery of the game
LAS VEGAS - Bryson DeChambeau was disappointed with some of the shots he scored during the second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Friday.
However, he estimated a shot from across the pond, fired by colleague Matt Fitzpatrick.
After Fitzpatrick took part of the lead at the BMW Championship in England, the flagship of the European Tour, he had a few words about what DeChambeau, with his breathtaking power, is doing with the game.
Fitzpatrick urged golf governing bodies to reduce the distance gains DeChambeau has made since modifying his swing and body after adding nearly 50 pounds of mass. Fitzpatrick said DeChambeau was making a "mockery" of the game, the only thing he could rival DeChambeau was putting, and "that's just ridiculous."
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"In my opinion, it's not an ability to hit the ball far," Fitzpatrick told reporters. “I could put on 40 pounds. I could see a biomechanic and win 40 meters; that is actually a fact.
“I could give my driver an extra two centimeters. I could win this, but the ability in my opinion is to hit the ball straight. That's the ability, it just takes out the ability in my opinion. I am sure that many will disagree. It's just stupid. "
After DeChambeau added a 4-under-par 67 to his opening round of 62 on Friday at TPC Summerlin to get a shot from the 36-hole lead, he hit the country lane bringing up Fitzpatrick's comments.
"It's honestly a compliment to me," DeChambeau said after Fitzpatrick's words were read to him. "A year ago I didn't get anywhere near as far as I do now. It took a lot of work, hours of working through the night to find out a lot of this stuff.
"I would say it actually takes more skill to do what I do. I still believe that with the distances I hit then, I can make it closer than last year. I really appreciate those comments. "
DeChambeau said he thinks Fitzpatrick is looking for a specific group of players, but DeChambeau will not change his behavior. In fact, he's working to get longer and could slip a 48-inch shaft driver for the Masters in his pocket.
"My whole goal is to play the best golf possible and this game has given me the opportunity to present something very special," he said. "I feel like I took a path that allowed me to have an advantage over everyone and I think that's a skill when you look at it.
“For me out there today, I could still hit many fairways at a distance of 360 meters. It's hard to do with drivers. If anything, it's harder to hit more fairways the way I do with the rules as it is today. It's more intended for players like Matthew Fitzpatrick and his distances and players like that.
"From my point of view, it takes a little more skill to do what I do and that's why there are few people out here who do that."
And DeChambeau has other skills to fall back on too - he's betting very well and has improved his short iron game. And DeChambeau is more than ready to help should Fitzpatrick look for it.
“I'd like to have a conversation with him about it and say, 'Hey man, I'd like to help. Why can't you do that too? "You can see Rory (McIlroy) and DJ (Dustin Johnson) doing the same thing. You see this distinct advantage and I think it's great for the game of golf."
As for his own game of golf with the Shriners, DeChambeau got off to a boring start but hit the ball again, sending 10 tees above 300 yards, including seven from at least 350 yards.
On the first round, he was the first player to hit the green in the par-4 seventh when he hit his tee 361 yards to 14 feet and made the putt for Eagle. In the second round he drove the green again, this time he hit his tee 373 yards to 26 and made the putt for Eagle.
His was also impressive on the par-5-16 course, hitting a 367-yard drive and then a 152-yard wedge at 10 feet and then doing the putt for Eagle.
He's a shot back from Patrick Cantlay (65), Martin Laird (63), Brian Harman (63), Peter Malnati (62) and Austin Cook (65).
"I definitely got some shots and got some great shots," he said. "So I can't be too dissatisfied with that and look forward to doing a few better strokes and some putts that I need to keep me out of the middle of the round." Clean up tomorrow and hopefully I can go further down. "
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