Most golfers would have taken at least a few days off after playing a key role in the US’ historic Ryder Cup victory.
Not Bryson DeChambeau though.
Nicknamed ‘The Scientist’ for his dedication to trialing and utilizing new techniques and technologies, the 28-year-old participated in the Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship on Tuesday, just two days after Team US’ historic 19-9 win over Europe at Whistling Straits.
In the opening round in Mesquite, Nevada, DeChambeau averaged a massive 406.2 yards on his five longest tee shots, with drives of 412, 408, 407, 403 and 401 yards.
With his score of 800 points over the five sets he competed in, DeChambeau qualified for the next round of the 80-man Open Division.
The opening round is broken up into five 16-man groups. Within those groups, there were sets during which players could earn 200 points for winning a set, 100 points for finishing second in the set and 50 points for finishing third.
In his group, he finished second with the top 12 in each group advancing to the next stage. Of those 64 players, 32 advance to the third stage on Thursday. The final 16 make it to Friday, when the surviving eight are cut down to the final four and then a head-to-head match for the world title.
“I felt like I just won something today, I won a big PGA tournament, even though I just qualified for the next day because it’s my first time,” DeChambeau said afterwards.
“It’s so exciting, it’s a bit of, I guess you could relate it to more of like a shot-putting exhibition or something, I think Olympics, where you’re just as hyped up as you possibly can be. So being out there the first set was a little nerve wracking for me, I wasn’t comfortable. But going through the second, third, fourth, fifth, I just got more comfortable as time went on.”
Despite his huge 412-yard drive, there were 13 drivers longer than DeChambeau, including nine who hit multiple drives further than him.
Top-ranked Kyle Berkshire, who hit 11 drives of 413 yards or more, hit the biggest attempt of the day: a 455-yard bomb.
Before the start of the Ryder Cup, the 2020 US Open champion said he had “wrecked” his hands preparing for the long drive contest.
DeChambeau transformed his body during the coronavirus pandemic golf shutdown, adding approximately 40 pounds of muscle and becoming the longest driver on the PGA Tour.
He wowed crowds consistently over the three days in Wisconsin for the Ryder Cup, even producing an extraordinary 417-yard drive on the par-five fifth hole to leave him just 72 yards to the pin.
He eventually finished the hole with an eagle on the way to helping the US to their romp of a Ryder Cup victory, the largest winning margin in the competition’s 94-year history.