Bryson DeChambeau’s practice sessions are already the thing of legend — who could forget him having a team member spritz a ball with water or work on his putting under a spotlight — but what he did ahead of this week’s Masters Tournament is next-level stuff.
Feeling as if his irons and wedges weren’t as sharp as he’d like them to be, DeChambeau spent 14 hours on the range at Dallas National last week to figure out what was going wrong.
Over the course of the marathon session, DeChambeau only hit about 125 balls using five different shafts in hopes of getting on the right side of what he called the “loft spin curve.”
“After careful observation and some really deep, deep thinking about what’s happening with some cool depictions of how the club was moving through the ball, we started to realize it was something we could do with the shafts,” DeChambeau explained. “We went the other way with the way I was previously thinking, and it actually started to work.”
“If I get driven enough to where it’s been a long enough time to where we haven’t figured something out, I will exhaust every resource until I figure it out,” DeChambeau said. “I become almost a little, in a positive way, OCD about trying to complete something. …”
“But why not? (I’m) just trying to get good.”
Whatever he found to get on the right side of that curve with new shafts in his irons worked wonders around Augusta National on Thursday. DeChambeau made nine birdies against just three bogeys to shoot an opening round 6-under par 66 to tie Brooks Koepka for the first-round lead.
He nearly shot 7-under par 65 thanks to a near-perfect approach shot into the 18th hole that, ironically and cruelly, hit the flagstick and bounced out of the hole. The most outspoken member of the PGA Tour had some fun with it after seeing the shot hit dead center on the flagstick and pop out, saying, “Should have pulled the flagstick out.”
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 11, 2019
DeChambeau tees off in the second round at 10:42 a.m. on Friday alongside Dustin Johnson and Jason Day.