AUGUSTA, Ga. – The scene was straight out of the World Long Drive Championship spectacle. Bryson DeChambeau would consider that a compliment.
He took a slow practice swing, then the next one at full force. Eyes focused, deep breath, chest fully expanded, exhale. Another violent practice swing. And another. Just then, a leaf blew in front of his ball. He stooped over to flick it away, and started the routine over until he was ready to smash his tee shot at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
DeChambeau walked over to his bag, removed a wrench and tightened the screws on the bottom of his driver.
Joaquin Niemann couldn’t suppress a smile as he watched this unfold. It was worth the wait. The golf ball came off the club at 198 mph. It hit a small tree right of the fairway, dropping straight down and robbing DeChambeau of what he figured would have been a 400-yard drive.
“I killed it,” he said.
Moments like these are why DeChambeau is the talk of golf going into the Masters.
It has been this way since golf returned in June from the COVID-19 pandemic and DeChambeau showed up with his incredible bulk, more than 40 pounds of muscle and mass, all to support a swing that his producing prodigious shots. He has driven into groups on the green on a par 4. He powered (and putted) his way to the lowest score ever at Winged Foot to win the U.S. Open by six shots.