LOS ANGELES • Fresh off his maiden Major win, power-hitting golfer Bryson DeChambeau finds himself in a rarest of circumstances: He is feeling relaxed.
It is a welcome reprieve for the meticulously data-driven world No. 6, who overhauled his body this year to add power to his drives and claimed the US Open crown by a six-stroke margin at a challenging Winged Foot course.
“It was certainly for me personally a win that allowed me to be comfortable with being in my own skin and what I do,” said the 27-year-old, who felt the pressure of clinching a Major title after six prior PGA Tour wins.
Getting that “monkey off my back”, said DeChambeau, was a game changer ahead of the Masters, which tees off next week.
“When I look at Augusta, I really think I’m going to be a lot more relaxed going into this tournament, I won’t be as forceful sometimes as I have been in certain Majors that have caused me not to play my best,” he said. “Obviously having a totally new game is nice… (I can) think about the golf course differently. I usually play pretty well on new golf courses so for me this feels like a new golf course and a new opportunity to do something pretty special.”
The Masters has been played at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia since 1934 but will move forward without fans in attendance this year due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
DeChambeau is not competing at this week’s Houston Open, which starts today.
Fellow American Harry Higgs has withdrawn from the tournament after testing positive for Covid-19, the PGA Tour said on Tuesday. Higgs last played at the Zozo Championship last month where he tied for 54th.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, however, will be glad to finally get back on course in Houston.
The 36-year-old makes his first appearance since finishing tied sixth in the US Open in September, having been forced to miss his planned Augusta warm-ups at the CJ Cup and Zozo Championship after testing positive for Covid-19.
Johnson has not finished outside the top 10 in his last four Masters, with a best of tied second behind Tiger Woods last year. And if he successfully shakes off the rust this week, he could put himself in great shape for a crack at a maiden green jacket.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE