Bryson DeChambeau smashes monster 417-yard drive as he bids to overpower Whistling Straits
You knew Bryson DeChambeau had some devilish sorcery planned when he lined up his body at a 45-degree angle from where the markers on the fifth tee were pointing.
A couple of seconds later, golf’s destructive genius was launching perhaps the most blistering Exocet of his career, a 417-yard drive that left him just a short pitch into Whistling Straits’ second-longest par-five. Even for a man who has made the ridiculous look routine, it was a flourish of stunning audacity.
As a measure of the shot’s rarity, DeChambeau was 202 yards further up the fairway than fourballs partner Scottie Scheffler, himself one of the longer hitters on the PGA Tour.
This extraordinary disparity owed much to the aerial route he had chosen across the lake, more treacherous than anyone else would dare attempt. But it also reflected his ferocious power.
The 27-year-old is in training for next month’s long driving world championship in Nevada, a title that on this evidence he is sure to collect.
While DeChambeau’s physique invites caricatures of Popeye-esque absurdity, his bulking-up has not been without purpose. As he illustrated here, he has developed the distance to pound courses such as this into submission. Yes, the Wisconsin crowds went wild, but his mighty heave was not just some extravagant party trick.
By shortening the hole so dramatically, he could stick his second shot within a foot of the flag, walking off with an eagle and a vital advantage in the US pair’s duel with Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton.
DeChambeau has conjured similar feats before, not least when carving up Bay Hill’s iconic sixth hole earlier this year, with another 400-yard drive that sent the Florida fans into raptures. But this was prodigious even by his standards.
The ball had flown so far, into a place normally intended as a lay-up area for second shots, that the cameras initially had trouble finding it. When finally spectators understood what he had done, the sound was one of incredulous laughter.