Bryson DeChambeau claims he can play the four par-fives as par-fours and reach the green in two shots each time… so can the big-hitting American break Augusta?
- Jack Nicklaus believes the American could even drive the 445-yard first
- He must have a good week with the putter in his hands, says Lee Westwood
- Paul McGinley feels the Masters is a totally different test to the US Open
Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau believes the par-72 Augusta National is just a par-67 for him, so far does he whack the ball.
The American claims he can play the four par-fives (holes two, eight, 13 and 15, which are all 500+ yards) as par-fours, reaching the green in two shots each time.
He also says he can reach the green at the 350-yard par-four third hole in one with his three-wood, making it a par three.
So can the American break Augusta?
Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau believes the par-72 Augusta National is just a par-67 for him
What Bryson has done is amazing. He took a chance doing what he did to build himself up and I give the guy great kudos. You develop skills to give yourself an advantage and that is what he has done. He drove it to places I couldn’t believe at my tournament at Muirfield Village and I think he will do the same at Augusta. He will have a little pitching wedge at the par-five 15th, for example, he could even drive the 445-yard first. He has developed the ability to overpower the course.
Brandel Chamblee (American TV golf analyst)
People who thought Bryson just drove it as far as he could at the US Open and then took it from there, were not paying attention to the dispersal pattern of his drives. Sure, he missed fairways but they were so narrow. In reality, his drives were amazingly straight relative to the distance he was hitting the ball and, of course, the fairways are much wider at Augusta. If he drives it this week like he drove it at Winged Foot, it will be game over.
I’m a big admirer of what Bryson’s done and all the interest he has brought to the game. But I don’t care how far you hit it at Augusta, I still believe that the greens remain its main defence. He can hit every fairway, but if he doesn’t have a good week with the putter in his hands, he will not win. It’s as simple as that.
This is a totally different test to the US Open, where he could drive the ball in the rough and still run it on to the greens because 17 of them tilted from back to front. There is none of that at Augusta, it requires a totally different skill set.
Derek Lawrenson’s verdict…
He is going to command all the attention on day one, driving the ball to places we never imagined when the course was lengthened by 500 yards following Tiger Woods’ similar act of savagery in 1997. It will give DeChambeau a huge advantage, but Westwood is right. Unless Bryson’s wedges — not his best club — are working, and he has figured out the greens he will not be wearing the Green Jacket come Sunday.