GOLF NEWS - US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau brings his big-hitting game back to TPC Summerlin this week, aiming to add a second victory in Las Vegas to his resume as he looks toward next months' Masters.
It was a year ago in Las Vegas - after a tie for fourth in his defense of his 2019 title - that DeChambeau confided his plan to bulk up his body in a quest for greater distance.
"You're going to see some pretty big changes in my body, which is going to be a good thing," he said. "Going to be hitting it a lot further."
His approach has yielded dividends, most notably an impressive first major title at last month's pandemic-delayed US Open at Winged Foot, where he tossed convention out the window with booming drives and used his strength to muscle his way out of trouble.
A win this week might bear little resemblance to his 2019 victory, with DeChambeau saying he could reach as many as four of the course's par-fours off the tee and can certainly reach all of the par-fives in two.
"There will be holes where I'm going to try and drive them, get it up as close to the green as possible," DeChambeau said Wednesday. "There will be holes where I had to hit three-wood and now I'm hitting four-iron off the tees."
DeChambeau gave onlookers a taste of what to expect on the driving range. The PGA Tour posted video on Twitter of DeChambeau bombing practice drives from 40 yards behind his rivals.
He is paired in the first two rounds with Cameron Champ, the player DeChambeau supplanted atop the tour's driving distance rankings, and big-hitting Matthew Wolff, who was runner-up to DeChambeau at the US Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic last July.
But even though DeChambeau has made distance a priority, he said it's not the only key to his game.
"At the same point in time it's about putting, chipping, wedging," he said. "You've still got to do everything else really well.
"So if I play well, ball strike it well, and putt well, I think I'll have a good chance again. Love this golf course."
The player nicknamed "The Professor" has been busy experimenting since his US Open victory, notably with a longer, 48-inch driver that he hopes to unveil at Augusta National.
"Still need to get some things worked out, but so far it's been pretty amazing," he said.