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Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

14:17 11 Nov 2020


The return of the US Open to Winged Foot this year was meant to spell carnage for those foolish enough to hit big and play aggressively.

While the length of the course's punishing rough was hyped up, analysts predicted that any player would struggle to score under par for the tournament.

The eventual winner, Bryson DeChambeau, however, was a conspicuous exception.

The big-hitting American defied the pundits (our own Golf Weekly didn't give him much of a chance) with a 6-under par finish to win his first major, largely thanks to his aggressive strategy of playing driver off nearly every tee.

Joining Golf Weekly to preview this weekend's Masters, Paul McGinley detailed why he believes DeChambeau won't have it so easy at Augusta National.

"I'm a great believer in horses for courses," the 2014 Ryder Cup captain explained.

"And if you look at Winged Foot – and I played a US Open there – a lot of those holes, 17 of the 18 holes, you could bounce the ball in from the front of the green."

"There was no bunker, no water short of the green and you can bounce the ball in from the front.

"And certainly, Bryson did that a number of times, when he was out of position, and in the rough, he was able to chase the ball in from the front of the green.

"And also a lot of the greens sloped from back to front so the camber was actually holding the ball into it as well."

While DeChambeau played to his strengths to win at Winged Foot, McGinley believes it won't be as easy for the 27-year-old facing Augusta this weekend.

"That's not the case at Augusta National where there are only one or two holes you can bounce the ball in on the green.

"The rest of them are all covered at the front whether it be by a bunker, by water, or that the green is elevated. If you do get it out of position here it is going to be a lot more difficult than it was at Winged Foot."

Big-hitting DeChambeau isn't a new phenomenon

Asked by Nathan Murphy whether there was too much of a frenzy being built up over DeChambeau's unorthodox big-hitting, McGinley argued that DeChambeau's style was nothing new in golf.

"I've been going on about it for 10 years and nobody has really listened or really paid that much attention, but all of a sudden – because Bryson has put on this massive amount of bulk – all of a sudden, that spotlight is on big-hitting.

"Particularly because he's won the US Open and the brazen approach he took to it.

"But this has been a part of the game for the past 10 years. Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, John Rahm, Dustin Johnson, they have all been playing this game for the past 10 years.

"Bryson is not hitting the ball 40 yards past where they are hitting it. He's up with them, he's joined the party and maybe he's slightly ahead.

"But remember he was the 7th biggest hitter when he won the US Open. Matt Wolff hit it further than him, Rory McIlroy hit it further than him that week.

"He won that US Open first of all with a very aggressive strategy which nobody else wanted to take on, which was driver off every tee. And secondly, he won it with a really good short game and that was where he got the strokes gained over the rest of the field."

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Augusta National Bryson DeChambeau Golf Weekly Masters Paul McGinley Rory McIlroy The Masters

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