The tension is starting to build, ahead of the Masters, and it’s set to be a very different tournament this year – with colder, damper conditions, and no spectators in attendance. However, that’s not all. For the first time, we could witness a professional completely destroy the prestigious Augusta National course, and that man is U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.
DeChambeau, who is market favorite in the latest US Masters odds, has bulked up massively over the last 12 months and powered his way to a six-shot victory at the U.S. Open at New York’s Winged Foot back in September.
It was the 27-year-old’s first major title, and pros, along with golf fans alike, are concerned that the California-native is going to make the illustrious Augusta National course look easy, come next week’s tournament. And, even more, worrying for the rest of the field, is the fact that DeChambeau has spent the last month bulking up even further.
The U.S. Open champion recently revealed that, since he finished tied-eighth at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, on October 11th, he has been heavily focused on piling on the pounds.
“Just pushing the limits, I’ve been working and grinding as hard as I can for the Masters,” DeChambeau exclusively told Golfweek when asked what he had been focusing on since the Sin City-based tournament.
“I have put on a little bit of weight since Las Vegas, I’m at 240 and I’ll be pushing to get up a little bit more. And I’ve gained some strength. I’m more interested in gaining strength than gaining weight.”
In his three Masters appearances to date, DeChambeau was T21st as an amateur in 2016, T38th in 2018, and T29th in 2019, but this year, it is feared that he’ll go on to crush the famous course and his fellow professionals.
He boasts enough power to hit the par-five greens in two, whilst he can, undoubtedly, hit the par-four greens with a three wood – with the exception of a driver on the 14th. And, he has also been working to improve his strength and speed, as well as his weight.
“I was speed training, there was a lot of electricity in the air, a lot of music going on. I’m up there for 45 minutes swinging my butt off and the numbers go up and they go down and they go up and they go down,” he said.
“And all of a sudden, I swung as hard as I could and caught one really good in the middle of the face.
“I turned around and saw 211 and I just went, ‘Oh, my god.’ I was jumping up and down and then I saw the carry distance over 400 and I went, ‘Oh, my god.’ I was going crazy. That was moving it. It was a bit of a draw but it was really good.”
Of course, DeChambeau will need to be spot on with his irons, wedges, and putter, but, as he showed at Winged Foot, he can chip and putt just as elegantly as he can smash his drivers and woods.
With two rounds around Augusta already in the bag, which he claimed proved that the course now plays shorter for him, DeChambeau is definitely the one to watch come the opening round on November 12th.