Colin Montgomerie: It is time to introduce a new tournament ball to counter Bryson DeChambeau's strength
Bryson DeChambeau - USA TODAY SPORT
Bryson DeChambeau's incredible power show at the comeback of the PGA Tour convinced Colin Montgomerie of the urgent need for governing bodies to introduce a tournament ball.
Like everyone who watched the opening rounds of the Charles Schwab Challenge, Montgomerie was amazed by the transformation of the 26-year-old American. In the three-month break of the tour, DeChambeau added so much bulk that he switched from a medium in shirts to an extra-large one.
And if anything, the distance that World No. 13 makes when hitting a ball was even more amazing. In the first round of the narrow, tree-lined Colonial Country Club, he was an average of 345 meters away. The PGA tour average in 2019 was 294 meters.
"I've gained about £ 20 [since the suspension] and about £ 45 in the past nine months," said DeChambeau after a second 65 in a row halfway down to 10 under par.
“My ultimate goal is to get as strong as possible and to put some strength and speed on the swing to see what it can do.
"I recently had to change my lofts. I have up to 5½ degrees on the driver and I'm looking for a triple stick that is about 10 degrees. I produce so much spin that I have to change the clubs myself. It's crazy."
It certainly is. It wasn't long ago to think that DeChambeau, the former physics student, was considered the ultimate golf nerd. As is well known, the former US amateur champion cut the shafts of all of his irons to exactly the same length - 37½ inches - and kept the club on the same plane throughout his swing and did not turn his wrists. Meanwhile, larger grips allowed him to hold the racket in his palms rather than his fingers.
Well, the lab coat stays on, but its seams are broken. In part, his new dedication to the gym was inspired by a back problem, but also by the realization that length is everything in this "bomb and furrow culture".
For the creaking spine, DeChambeau applied the “Muscle Activation Technique”, a systematic approach that combats the pain at its source through a series of checks and balances that lead to more stability and mobility. Bulk was the answer and the result is a player who suddenly looks striking like the biggest batsman in the game.
"The transformation was amazing, I couldn't believe what I saw when I turned it on in the first round - even Bryson's XL shirts now look tight," Montgomerie told the BBC. “Bryson played with Dustin Johnson in the first two days and gave him 25 meters before the tee - and Dustin is no fool… Exceptional. It is huge.
"It's great to see sportiness in the game, but to see him carry 330 meters in the air and jump up to 350, 360? This becomes unreal, something we haven't seen before, a whole new one Game we start to see.
“On Friday, Bryson had 10 holes on which he was within 100 yards of the green for his approach. And if you include the four par-three, it means that there were only four holes where Bryson was more than 100 meters away for his approach. The game has changed dramatically. It is now brute force and a wedge of sand. "
Montgomerie believes that the "time has come" for USGA and R&A to act.
In February, they jointly published a report that found that increasing the striking distances and running distances "affected the long-term future of the game." Neither USGA nor R&A have provided solutions, but are currently considering possible options.
"I am a supporter of what Jack Nicklaus suggests - a tournament ball for professionals that only lasts 80 to 85 percent," said Montgomerie.
"The time has come because we cannot build courses at 10,000 meters.
"We have no money or space and there are obvious ecological reasons. A tournament ball would be a huge step since this term is" bifurcation "[professionals play different rules than amateurs]. But haven't we reached this stage yet? seen that something needs to be done or these classic courses cannot be used. "
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