Bryson DeChambeau is ‘guiding the driver,’ but he’s close


Bryson DeChambeau keeps insisting he’s the blackjack dealer, one who occasionally loses because he’s mandated to hit on 16. The single hand might be lost, but the odds are stacked in his favor.

DeChambeau’s monster drives continue to put him in advantageous positions, not just this week at the Travelers Championship, but in each of the three weeks since the PGA Tour restarted its season.

He lost a little length off the tee during Saturday’s third round, but that hardly kept the enigmatic DeChambeau from scoring — his 65 put him at 13-under for the tournament and within five shots of leader Brendon Todd heading into Sunday.

“What I have to do is imagine that I’m like the casino and just keep playing,” he said after Saturday’s third round. “Just keep playing and giving myself the best chance to win out here, and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve been doing that for the past few weeks, and I hope to continue to do so.”

DeChambeau’s driving distance dropped from a high of 323.7 during Friday’s action to 305.7 yards on Saturday, but his strokes gained off the tee improved from 0.350 to 1.391.

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“My iron play wasn’t as on as it should have been I felt like today, and the driving just was not on, as well. I’ve slowed down a little bit because I’m guiding it with the driver right now, not 100 percent confident with it, but I’m working hard to figure out what I had at Colonial and RBC,” he said. “It’s not bad, obviously; it’s just not exactly where I want it where I can get up on the tee box and let it go and know it’s going straight. If I can get that down by tomorrow and make some putts and have some good wedging around the greens, hopefully I can go low.”

Although he insists he was a bit tentative with the driver, DeChambeau got through Saturday without a bogey, posting an eerily familiar card to the one he finished with during Thursday’s opening-round 65. Again, DeChambeau played the front in 33 and again he birdied both 13 and 18 to finish with a 62 on the back.

He also still seems easily miffed by errant shots that don’t seem to miss by much, furthering his mad scientist image.

“Yeah, like today there was plenty of shots where I had these massive jumpers and I don’t understand them one bit. We don’t understand, they come out randomly, and those are things that kind of dumbfound me, and that’s golf. If I could figure that out, I’d be that much closer to figuring out the game. That will never happen,” he said.

Still, DeChambeau is feeling confident that the work he did during the respite is paying major dividends. Webb Simpson recently joked that he put his “hands on (Bryson’s) shoulders, just because he looks like a different person.”

The weight gain and muscle mass have continued to add distance to DeChambeau’s game without sacrificing other facets.

“I think I already am feeling the rewards of it. I’m plus-33 strokes gained off the tee since February 10th. That’s pretty good. Iron play has been good, putting has been decent,” he said. “Chipping around the greens is something I need to improve on. I don’t feel like it’s that bad, it just isn’t great.

I’ve had a chance to shoot 63 every single day out here and haven’t done it. So I think that’s in play tomorrow, and if I go out and birdie the first couple holes and give myself a chance on 3 and 4, it’s watch out.”



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