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The 149th Open Royal St George's
Bryson DeChambeau
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Big-hitter may modify approach with Tiger in mind
Bryson DeChambeau enjoys a practice round at Royal St George

Bryson DeChambeau’s booming drives have become his trademark but the American is willing to adopt a more subtle approach if it helps him enjoy success at Royal St George’s this week.

The 27-year-old is determined to improve on an Open record which has seen him miss the cut on two of his three visits, with a best finish of T51 at Carnoustie in 2018.

DeChambeau’s power game has served him well on home soil, most notably in cruising to the US Open title with a six-shot winning margin last year, but he is now taking inspiration from the way Tiger Woods negotiated links courses on these shores.

Using irons off the tee helped his compatriot in tricky conditions during his dominant heyday and the world no.6 refused to rule out adopting similar tactics if his usual thunderous tee shots begin meeting ominous rough on the Sandwich course.

“There’s certain holes you can go after and others you can’t,” said the world no.6 after his practice round on Tuesday.

“I hope I can hit it far enough that I can wedge it out on to the green if I get good enough lies but certain lies out there will be a pitch out to the fairway. That’s the same for everyone.

“This is the first time I’ve taken my length to links golf and we’ll see how it plays. I look at Tiger and what he did in the early 2000s, irons off every tee, and it’s an interesting thought.

“He showcased an awesome ability to play links on the ground, which is the way it should be played – albeit I do something completely different. 

“There are advantages to hitting it long in places but not everywhere. Keeping it low and on the ground if it gets firm is definitely something I would utilise.

“I hope the length will be an advantage but I’ll have to drive well. If I don’t three-putt, I’ll have a pretty good chance going into Sunday.”

DeChambeau has a new right-hand man to discuss his approach with over the coming days having appointed Brian Ziegler as his caddy earlier this week.

Ziegler replaces Tim Tucker, who had been on the bag for the bulk of DeChambeau’s professional career, and the American is looking forward to seeing how the fledgling relationship fares on the big stage.

“It’s certainly throwing him in at the deep end,” he said.

“But he’s ok with it, he loves it. It’s provided me an opportunity to be in a different state of mind. 

“He’s a very hard worker. He’s still running the ropes a little bit, which is to be expected, but I wanted someone on the bag who I trusted as much as Tim. 

“It’s going to take a few weeks but so far he’s done super well and I’m super proud of him for taking this on.”
Bryson DeChambeau with new caddie Brian Ziegler
DeChambeau is yet to finish in the top 25 of a major in 2021, with a back-nine 44 costing him the chance of defending his US Open crown having been well placed on the final day.

And despite a modest links record as a professional, he hopes to summon the spirit of strong amateur performances in the UK in his bid for glory this time around.

“I played well in the [2015] Walker Cup over here, I played really great golf,” he said.

“Maybe the conditions were favourable, not as windy and firmer ground, but in The Opens [I’ve played] it’s been a little bit wet and windy. 

“Hopefully if we get a dry week and I can get the wind under control in my brain, I can have a good week. 

“I love links golf and I’ve shot good numbers over here before. I’ve just got to put it together over four rounds.”

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