It says so much about the staggering impact Bryson DeChambeau is making on his profession that while the rest of the world’s best are competing for £6.2m on the PGA Tour, the recently minted US Open champion can steal at least a portion of the limelight with details of a practice session.
But then, not many players can hit the ball 403 yards - on the fly.
Citius, Altius, Fortius… with a dollop of Amplius for incredible measure. The 27-year-old, so dominant in winning his first major at Winged Foot five weeks ago, has taken a month off before the Masters with one objective in mind - to hit it further than any Augusta entrant before. And his revelations from the range in Dallas, suggest that with two weeks remaining before he arrives in Georgia, this one-man revolutionary is already corking the cork as well as he talks the talk.
“First time over 400 yards. Carry…” So DeChambeau posted on social media, complete with the evidence of a snapshot of his TrackMan monitor. That it also showed an 8.2 second hang time (close your eyes count to eight seconds and imagine your golf ball remaining in the air for that period) and, of course, the lightning ball speed of 211mph.
Yes, DeChambeau was assisted by gutsy gusts, but as he indicated, that will make sense in his exhaustive calculations, because in Mission Greenjacket, the Californian has not reached maximum velocity yet. “Not even the 48in driver,” he wrote.
DeChambeau intends to put that monster in the bag come Thurs, Nov 12. The rulebook allows for a club to measure no more than 48in, although nobody has ever before sought to go all the way. Until now.
A post shared by Bryson DeChambeau (@brysondechambeau) on Oct 22, 2020 at 7:43pm PDT
When he set on this schedule, DeChambeau vowed "to go upwards of over 1,000 to probably around 2,000 drives the next four weeks trying to get my speed up”. With ground to spare - although perhaps not on his driving range - he appears to be already there.
At his last event, the Shriners Hospitals Open a fortnight ago, DeChambeau became the first player in Tour history to reach the 200mph mark in ball speed. Whatever else comes to pass between those cathedral pines - and the purists have their hankies ready - it seems inevitable he will smash that mark. And it is just as predictable that he will flex his muscles after doing so. No, he is not what one would refer to as a modest trailblazer.
On Wednesday, just as his rivals were fine-tuning their motions for the challenge of Sherwood Country Club, DeChambeau released a video of him getting out of his private jet and into his convertible Bentley. With the Kings Of Leon’s "Use Somebody” as the soundtrack, the montage closes with the words: “The journey to 215 begins.”
The first hole at Augusta is 445 yards long. Already the question resounds: will he merely have a 35-yard flick for his second?
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, world No 3 Justin Thomas is re-emphasising his more human-like qualities that many believe could transport him into the Butler Cabin. A second 65 took Thomas to 14-under at the plush LA layout, one ahead of another American in Lanto Griffin and South African Dylan Frittelli.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton continues his excellent form on 11-under, following a second-round 68, with countrymen Justin Rose (67) and Matt Fitzpatrick (65) on 10-under. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both enjoyed better days with a 67 and 66, but as they stand 10 and 12 shots off the pace respectively they need something remarkable to afford themselves the winning feel on the road to the final major of 2020.