Bryson DeChambeau, the US golf ace known for his scientific approach to the game, is confident about taming the ‘beast’ – the 7,876-yard Kiawah Island Ocean Course which hosts the PGA Championship. The second golf major of the year is scheduled from May 20-23.
Speaking at a pre-event media conference on Wednesday, world number five DeChambeau said that while his length off the tee will be an advantage at the giant course, his his biggest edge on the field will be if he can hit it straight and control the flight of balls in the wind.
“This golf course is a beast. Hopefully, I can unleash the beast, but you never know,” US champion DeChambeau said.
“I’d say for the most part you have to hit it pretty straight out here, even though you hit it pretty far.”
As DeChambeau romped to a six-shot victory at the US Open, he was unbothered by narrow fairways and deep rough at Winged Foot as he pounded the layout into submission with his driver.
That out-of-the-box approach does not appear to be something DeChambeau will rely on this week as strong crosswinds could put a premium on course management and accuracy off the tee.
“It’s definitely a difficult test at hand. I think that’s what’s so unique about this golf course is that when the wind picks up, it is probably one of the hardest golf courses I’ve ever played,” said DeChambeau.
“You can’t miss it in certain areas, either. You’ve just got to have your ball-striking on the whole day, and if you don’t, you’re going to get penalized.” DeChambeau, who finished in a share of 55th place at last week’s tune-up event, also said the winner may ultimately not be the person who is playing the best.
“A lot of it is going to be dependent on luck this week. When it’s dependent on luck you have to be patient,” said DeChambeau.
“Wait for those opportunities to make birdies on the par-fives, on those short par-fours, and just hit it in the middle of the green this week. My ultimate goal is if I can hit as many greens as possible, I think I’ll do OK.”
The beefy DeChambeau comes into the major like many of his compatriots ranked in the top 10 in the world – amid a successful but hardly dominant year. He won at Bay Hill, where firm greens and thick rough played to his literal strengths much the way they did when he won last year’s US Open at Winged Foot. He contended the next week at The Players Championship but sagged to a tie for 46th at the Masters.
He’s certainly the only top-10 player to talk about a UFO sighting, as he did this week on a SiriusXM radio show, and theorize about time travel, wormholes and parallel universes.
‘‘I’ve got a lot of opinions and viewpoints on things outside of the game, and eventually that will become more public, but for the most part talking about aliens is kind of cool,’’ the science enthusiast in him said.