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DeChambeau breaks his driver at PGA Championship

Posted August. 08, 2020 07:42,   

Updated August. 08, 2020 07:42


A tee shot by Bryson DeChambeau flew 296 yards, making a loud sound at the seventh hole. After the ball came to rest in the fairway, DeChambeau bent over to pick up his tee. That was when the head broke off from his driver shaft. DeChambeau looked perplexed watching his broken driver.

The 27-year-old American golfer stole the spotlight in the opening round of the PGA Championship, the first major tournament of the season held at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco on last Friday. Bulking up to make long drives, DeChambeau proved that he has become stronger enough to break his driver during a tournament.

With an average driving distance at 324.4 yards, DeChambeau makes big drives, hitting over 400 yards at times. DeChambeau, who is 185 centimeters in height, put on 20 kilograms to weigh 110 kilograms in order to boom long drives. To gain weight, DeChambeau had between 5,000-6,000 calories per day, eating four eggs, five strips of bacon, toasts, and six protein shakes for breakfast. His strength coach Greg Roskopf, who also works with the NFL team Denver Broncos, said he has not seen the type of changes on an athlete that DeChambeau has made in the last six months.

It is not clear if it was DeChambeau’s weight or the tee shot that caused the break of the driver. But there is a high chance that the impact of his strong and fast swings has caused his driver to break with his ball speed approaching 200 mph. After finishing the round, DeChambeau said he had been using the driver for more than a year so it was bound to break off at any time.

Although players are not allowed to change a club damaged during a round, DeChambeau was allowed to replace his broken club under a Local Rule (Rule G-9) that “allowing players to replace a broken or significantly damaged club, except in the case of abuse.” He finished playing the round with a backup driver in his car.

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com