Bryson DeChambeau chases more speed after bowing out in quarterfinals at Long Drive World Championships
October 01, 2021
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Bryson DeChambeau’s best drives of 2020-21 season
MESQUITE, NV – PGA TOUR star Bryson DeChambeau will push to get bigger, faster and stronger after his ultra-impressive run at the Professional Long Drivers of America World Championships came to an end in the quarterfinals.
The eight-time PGA TOUR winner had the crowds at the Mesquite Regional Sports and Event Complex in raptures with each thunderbolt he delivered into the grid, but ultimately had to settle for a place in the final eight on his first foray into the competition.
The former U.S. Open winner fell just six yards short of a place in the final four on Friday evening with his mentor in the sport, Kyle Berkshire, going back-to-back for the title. But in the adrenalin fueled aftermath DeChambeau vowed to get stronger and faster as he takes a break from the PGA TOUR until December’s Hero World Club Challenge.
Having come directly from winning U.S. team Ryder Cup efforts at Whistling Straits most thought DeChambeau would be an early week exit but the 28-year-old pushed from the original 80, to the final 64, 32 and then 16 over the first three days.
On Friday he looked set to fall out in the round of 16 before he unleashed a 394-yard monster shot to win his fifth and final set – enough to get him through to the final eight on the bubble. His best drive of the day came in the first set of the round of 16 when he topped out at 406-yards and recorded an incredible 219 mph ball speed.
“I was super excited to get to the final eight. I never expected that in my first competition. I think I have shown the world that I can perform at these high speeds and still go play golf on the PGA TOUR,” DeChambeau said.
“It’s crazy. 220 is the next barrier. I am going to give myself a little bit of a break, I need to rest the body because I am shot beyond belief, but it was the best speed training session I could have ever had and competing against these guys was the best motivation I could have had. I am going to improve my strength and my body. I am nowhere near as big as these guys, and I’ve got to get up there.”
DeChambeau’s confidence reached fever pitch throughout the afternoon as he imagined taking his game on the PGA TOUR to consistent speeds that break the 200mph ball speed barrier. His accuracy in the Long Drive competition has only fueled that desire and he confirmed his goal was “over 200 ball speed every time I tee it up.”
He was second on TOUR last season averaging 190.72 mph ball speed, behind only Cameron Champ (190.94) but DeChambeau’s top mark was 199.55mph, ahead of Champ’s 198.25.
DeChambeau also led the TOUR in driving distance in 2020 (322.1) and 2021 (323.7) and he will seek further improvement in 2022.
“Getting to 219 ball speed out here was a dream come true. I never thought I’d get to that speed – I broke the barrier by three miles an hour faster than I’d ever gone in my entire life,” DeChambeau beamed.
“I learned I can control the ball at these higher speeds. I think I hit the most balls in the grid this week and my swing felt really good at the speeds so hopefully that translates to the TOUR.”
He expects he won’t be the only one hitting new barriers on the TOUR.
“There will be a lot of PGA TOUR players seeing the benefit of what I’m doing and implementing it into their practice as well, but I hope to be over 200 consistently this season. That’s my goal.”
Berkshire added to his 2019 title with his win over Justin James coming thanks to a 422-yard rocket in the final. But while he got the championship belt, he had high praise for DeChambeau’s efforts.
“I am so proud of Bryson. To come out of his domain and hold his own against the absolute best and make the final eight in his first try after coming straight from the Ryder Cup, that is phenomenal,” Berkshire said.
“That is one of the greatest sporting achievements I’ve ever seen. To go from golf at that level to long drive final 8, that’s an athlete that is very close to once in a generation.”