Bryson DeChambeau Makes Headlines at Long Drive Championship
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU reached the final of the Professional Longest Drive Association World Championship but bowed out after reaching the last eight.
The 28-year-old American was eliminated with a top distance of 391 yards, although did manage a ball speed of 218 miles per hour in Nevada.
Compatriot Kyle Berkshire won the event with a 422-yard drive.
DeChambeau, fresh from helping the USA to win the Ryder Cup, had survived three days of elimination rounds to make the final eight competitors from a field of 128.
The 2020 US Open winner secured a final place after hitting a 416-yard drive, just a yard short of his monster effort in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
DeChambeau, who has bulked up during the past couple of years as he pursues more ball speed and distance off the tee, is the first full-time PGA Tour professional to tackle the long drive challenge.
He had blisters and said his hands were wrecked while practicing for the championship before the Ryder Cup.
But he vowed to be back for more. "I am definitely hungry to come back," said DeChambeau. "I hope it fits in the schedule and we can work it out with the Tour to make sure it works right. I think if we're smart about it, this thing will be bigger, better and badder next year.
"I really believe this is something that the world needs to see every single year because it's pushing the game of golf in a really positive, fun, enjoyable way that nobody's seen before to this level. I mean, having four guys up there, then two guys who go battle it out in the final. I think that type of format is unbelievable. Hopefully we can get pyrotechnics and fireworks blowing up everywhere after whoever wins (next year). I'm very excited to see what the future holds. I am not sure what it's going to be like, but we're going to do our best to pump it up."
DeChambeau's accuracy proved a huge asset in the tournament, although he also managed to post a personal-best ball speed of 219mph.
"Getting the 219 mph ball speed out here was a dream come true," he added. "I never thought I would get to that type of speed. I broke the barrier by three miles an hour faster than I've ever gone in my entire life. This week, I learned I can control the ball at these high speeds. Obviously, I think I hit the most balls in the grid this week and I used my golf skills to do that. Yesterday, I didn't hit it very well, but I learned how to hit it better today, so I was able to get my swing back in tune and rhythm.
"It felt really good to be able to fix my golf swing at these highest speeds because that is something I've never done before. I've always just been bashing balls, trying to go as hard as possible, not really caring how the swing was, but hitting it in the grid at those speeds, that's a new level. I hope that translates (to the PGA Tour)."
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