Whatever way he looks at it, it mainly works well for Bryson DeChambeau

American Ryder Cup rookie Bryson DeChambeau says his goosebumps got goosebumps every time Tiger Woods texted him this season to see if he wants to play a practice round together. This unlikely couple is fast becoming one of golf’s bromances, and they could be paired together in either foursomes or fourballs tomorrow or Saturday at Le Golf National.

Whatever way he looks at it, it mainly works well for Bryson DeChambeau

By Adam Schupak

American Ryder Cup rookie Bryson DeChambeau says his goosebumps got goosebumps every time Tiger Woods texted him this season to see if he wants to play a practice round together. This unlikely couple is fast becoming one of golf’s bromances, and they could be paired together in either foursomes or fourballs tomorrow or Saturday at Le Golf National.

“He and I playing together would be fantastic,” Woods said in the lead up to the 42nd Ryder Cup. “I know that we think about the game completely differently. I’m very much a feel-oriented guy, and he’s very much a numbers guy, but for some reason we get along great and we work.”

DeChambeau, 25, qualified for the US team as a captain’s pick and made the decision easy for captain Jim Furyk by winning the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship, the first two legs of the FedEx Cup, to become, other than Woods, the hottest American player coming into this week.

DeChambeau turned pro in 2016 after winning the NCAA men’s individual title and the US Amateur, joining the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, who had achieve that rare double.

However, during his PGA Tour rookie season in 2017, DeChambeau struggled to live up to the hype. He missed eight straight cuts and questioned whether he belonged out here. He heard the whispers in the locker room and on the driving range that he couldn’t cut it. They’d be playing benefits for him.

A few weeks later, DeChambeau won his first title, the John Deere Classic and he validated that win by claiming The Memorial in May.

DeChambeau is the definition of unconventional. At the Tour Championship last week, he set up on the range with two launch monitors and had someone spray his golf balls with water to simulate morning dew and he scrubbed his irons between shots with a brush attached to his right-front belt buckle because he likes clean grooves when he practices.

They don’t call DeChambeau “The Mad Scientist” for nothing. A physics major when he attended Southern Methodist University, he said he wished he could’ve met Albert Einstein. He soaks his Bridgestone golf balls in Epsom salts to determine their centre of gravity, and he plays with a set of Cobra irons that are all 37.5 inches, the length of a standard 6-iron.

I was never that special growing up in regards to the talent that I had,” explained DeChambeau. “So I was trying to always find a little edge on the competition in other ways.

Count Woods, the quintessential golf geek, among the players who find DeChambeau’s outside-the-box thinking refreshing.

“He has figured out a way to play this game his own way,” said Woods. “If you look at all the great players of all time, they’ve figured out their own way and kind of understood how they need to become better.”

If DeChambeau is the Mad Scientist, then fellow Ryder Cup team-mate Bubba Watson is at the opposite end of the artist-scientist spectrum. On Wednesday, Watson and DeChambeau played together during a practice round and it turns out they share more in common than one thought, even if they seemingly speak a different language.

“I know it’s not going to sound right, but we actually go about it the same way,” Watson said. “He’s looking at something and looking at the numbers, trying to get the exact numbers, how to create a shot.

“He’s very feel-oriented, it’s just he’s talking about the numbers and he’s looking at the numbers. It gets to the same point. It’s just he uses a lot bigger words than me. I couldn’t tell you the definitions of any of these words he was using.”

To that end, Watson is not alone. At The Memorial, DeChambeau dropped this doozy on the media when asked what swing theory technique he was still questioning: “Oh, it’s end range of motion work,” he said. “I’m not going to give too much away, but it’s got to do with anatomical limits of your body and how you can best utilise them for your proprioception. How about that?”

Woods, who attended Stanford University before he turned pro may be one of the few pros who can keep up with DeChambeau, the deep thinker.

I understand what he’s saying and he understands what I’m saying,” said Woods. “That’s been fun.

However, not all the time, according to DeChambeau.

“Every once in a while he tells me, ‘dude, what are you doing?’ I’m just like I’m trying to short-change that learning curve,” said DeChambeau.

While it technically will be DeChambeau’s Ryder Cup debut, he paid his own way to attend the biennial competition at Hazeltine in Minnesota two years ago as a spectator. When US Captain Davis Love III recognised him in the gallery, he invited the newly-minted Tour grad to meet the team.

“I wanted to experience it,” explained DeChambeau prior to earning his place on the team. “I wanted to be a part of that atmosphere and get comfortable with that. So, hopefully... I’d be more comfortable when I got there. That was really the reason why I went there.”

Here he is, two years later buying a new for the ping pong in the team room this week.

“I’ve got to beat the heck out of these guys,” he said.

Don’t be surprised if DeChambeau hooks up his launch monitors to figure out the aerodynamics of his bat.

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