Is DeChambeau ready for Augusta?
There was talk of a 48-inch driver, which never materialised, and a Bryson par of 67 which also never happened. He was going to leave himself 60 yards into the 1st and have wedges to most par 4s and short irons to the par 5s. In the end it was Dustin Johnson who blew the Masters apart, leaving DeChambeau trailing by 18.
His playing partner on Sunday, Bernhard Langer, who is 36 years his senior took him down by two shots and we all came away comforting ourselves that the game itself was intact.
Whatever you think of DeChambeau he’s pretty open and, on the Sunday night, he explained that this was a chance gone begging but that he just felt ‘weird’.
“I’ve got to fix whatever is going on up here. I have no idea. Just dizziness. It's only when I go from down to up, so I can't even like think and talk right now. My brain gets all disoriented. I've got to fix that, and once I fix it I'll be even better than now. I'm 60 per cent right now. Every time I get up I'm winded and I just don't feel great,” he explained.
“Shoot, I made enough birdies this week and eagles to have a chance to win. There's no doubt about that. I made way too many mistakes that I've got to talk about with my caddie and go, hey, how do we not make these mistakes anymore, how can we work better as a team to have that not happen.
"We’re going to try and work on a golf ball that will fit it a little better with my wedges. I can't hit anything less than what I did. It was a 110‑yard shot and I took it back halfway and through and went through and it spun back 30 feet.”
You’re never left wondering with DeChambeau.
Five months on and we’re back at Augusta National and, while there will be plenty of hype around him, it won’t be on the same scale as before. We’ve all seen at Bay Hill quite how far he can launch it without the need to get as carried away with himself. To be fair he gets asked the questions and he gives the answers but he’ll likely play things down a little this week. If only for the sake of his own health.
“I actually went to multiple doctors, multiple people, trying to figure out what this was,” DeChambeau explained in January. “I got a couple MRIs. Went to an inner ear doctor, eye tests, eye pressure, ear pressure, even did ultrasound on my heart, ultrasounds on my neck to see the blood flow and how things were moving through the different areas of my body, and everything came back really, really well. The frontal lobe of my brain was working really, really hard and that’s kind of what gave me some weird symptoms, like crazy overworking."
Now he’s focusing as much on a good sleep routine and his breathing as he is trying to get it out there 400 yards and he’s even lost 10 pounds in a bid to help with some stomach inflammation.
Or, then again, he won’t be able to help himself, both with his driver in hand or in front of the media.
“I'm definitely hitting it a lot further than I was in November,” he said. “So there are some places that I will look at taking that are going to be a little different than last time probably. My goal is to have a driver in hand that can support the 200 mile-an-hour ball speeds and if I'm able to do that, that's going to be a good sign to play well. Just got to get my wedging dialled in.”
For the record he’s the joint second favourite with Justin Thomas at 11-1 which may well prove to be some brilliant value come Sunday night.
For how to join Club Bunker and enjoy a day's golf at Woburn click here