Otago Daily Times
DeChambeau may unleash his big gun
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA: Bryson DeChambeau is considering using the longest driver allowed by law at this week’s Masters, he said yesterday, a club with a 48 inch (122cm) shaft that could lead to the most ferocious display of long driving ever seen at a tournament.
Already the biggest hitter on tour by a considerable margin with his current 45.5inch weapon, DeChambeau has been tinkering with the long club with a goal of unveiling it at Augusta National tomorrow.
If he does, the game may never be the same.
‘‘I tested it yesterday for the first time,’’ he said of the 48inch driver.
‘‘And we’ve gone through at least three or four iterations of the shaft, and this is the most promising one yet. I did not expect it to work yesterday but it did, and I’m not 100% sure if I’ll put it in play yet just because of the unknown,’’ he told a press conference.
Two months removed from his sixshot demolition of the field at the US Open, DeChambeau listed the clubs he used for his second shot at the par5 holes at Augusta during a practice round on Tuesday.
These included a pitching wedge no less at the famous 13th, a hole where Nick Faldo struck a twoiron on his way to victory in the final round in 1996.
A longer shaft allows a player to generate more clubhead speed, but few players have even considered using a 48inch shaft because it is more difficult to strike consistently and accurately.
DeChambeau said that he was generating a clubhead speed of more than 230kmh on the range, a hitherto unheard of figure outside of long driving competitions.
‘‘Every day I’m trying to get faster and stronger and I’m trying to hit it as far as possible,’’ he said.
‘‘I really don’t know where the end game is on this.’’
Meanwhile, although Rory McIlroy is fairly confident of one day winning the Masters and completing the career grand slam, he has been around the block often enough to know that nothing is guaranteed in golf.
McIlroy is all too aware that
Greg Norman and Ernie Els, among others, never took the final step to a Green Jacket.
Nine long years have passed since McIlroy frittered away a fourshot final round lead at the tournament and he has competed in five Masters since first being afforded the chance to complete the career grand slam here.
With the 2011 US Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and 2014 British Open under his belt, McIlroy this week gets another chance to become the sixth player to complete the modern grand slam. So does he have a date with destiny?
‘‘There are a lot of great people that have played this game that have never won a Green Jacket,’’ the 31yearold said at a news conference yesterday.
‘‘It’s not a foregone conclusion, and I know that. I have to go out and earn it.’’
McIlroy fielded an inevitable question on his thoughts about DeChambeau, whose unprecedented power is all the talk in golf circles.
‘‘If trophies were handed out just for how far you hit it and how much ball speed you have, then I’d be worried,’’ McIlroy said.
‘‘But there’s still a lot of different aspects that you need to master in this game.’’ — Reuters