FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)He wanted to get bigger and stronger, and Bryson DeChambeau delivered on his pledge.
DeChambeau had plenty of time to work on his physique during the COVID-19 pandemic, a project that began late last year during his first break. Now he’s so big that DeChambeau figures he’s nearly 40 pounds heavier than when he left college and has gone up two sizes in his apparel.
His approach to the three months away?
”I felt like it was time to not only just sit back and enjoy life but attack life,” he said.
DeChambeau heard from the grandstand built at a house behind the 16th tee, which he said welcomed him by saying he weighed 350 pounds.
”They were quite a bit off,” he said. ”I’m only 235 to 240 right now. I think when I play these next three weeks, I’ll get down to 230, but my ultimate goal is to get as strong as I can, and I don’t know what that weight is. I’m just going to keep proportionally making everything stronger and applying some force and speed to the golf swing to see what it can handle.”
The change has caused him to adjust the lofts in some of his clubs — he said he’s down to a 5.5-degree driver and he’s looking to get down to 10 degrees on his 3-wood.
”I’m producing so much spin I have to change the clubs,” he said. ”It’s crazy.”
As for the clothes, DeChambeau says he has gone from a medium at the end of last year to an extra large.
In what has been a long road back, Jordan Spieth has been more concerned with how his swing feels that the scores on his card.
It’s starting to feel better.
And the scoring isn’t too bad, either.
Spieth, winless in his last 62 events worldwide since the 2017 British Open, returned from the three-month shutdown by taking five shots to reach the green on the par-5 opening hole at Colonial and made bogey. Since then, it has been mostly smooth sailing.
He opened with a pair of 65s for his lowest 36-hole score on the PGA Tour since the AT&T Byron Nelson four years ago.
Is it enough for him to get overly excited?
”I actually wasn’t looking at scores like everybody else would be,” Spieth said. ”To me it’s about feels, so I know how the club feels when I’m starting to really gain control of it. There’s certain shots that I really haven’t been able to hit when I was off that when I hit them in competition, whether it’s just a cut 3-iron off the tee or it’s even a high, draw wedge that stays right, I’m looking for the feels. And I was giving myself grace on the outcome.
”As long as I stay focused on doing that this weekend, that keeps me progressing forward.”
Spieth described his progress as improved, but not quite where he wants to be. He the swing he takes from the range to the course is at about 90%.
”It’s that last bit that some of the shots that I hit that weren’t so great,” he said. ”It’s not that I won’t hit bad shots; obviously, I will. But it’s just that full control of the club that I know I’ve had in the past and leads to consistency more than anything else.”
There wasn’t any wild shots that cost him big numbers. Is one double bogey, which cost him a two-shot lead at the time, was from his putter, of all clubs. He had a 3-footer for par on the third hole that turned into a four-putt double bogey.
Rory McIlroy spent the last month getting ready for a charity match at at Seminole and then the Charles Schwab Challenge, so he had plenty of practice.
He wasn’t expecting a little extra work away from the golf course.
Turns out the rental home he has at Colonail has a golf simulator in the basement, and McIlroy put it to use after his opening round of 68.
”It’s hot here. You don’t want to take too much energy out of yourself,” McIlroy said. ”But the fact that where we’re staying has a simulator and you can hit some shots … I guess get some numbers, I just needed to sort of dial them in a little bit. Did that last night, and seemed to help this morning.”
All but one of his six birdies was inside 10 feet, while he made a 25-foot eagle on the first hole, his 10th of the round. With a bogey from a poor tee shot on his final hole at No. 9, he still shot 63 and was two shots behind.
It’s too early to be overly concerned with Dustin Johnson, and missing the cut in his first event back in three months is not a sure measure. Even so, the former No. 1 player in the world has been struggling since his runner-up finish in the PGA Championship last year at Bethpage Black.
Some of that was due to a balky knee that required surgery at the end of last season and kept Johnson out until the Presidents Cup.
But he has only two top 10s this year, tying for seventh at the Sentry Tournament of Championship and tying for 10th at Riviera. He had a pair of 71s at Colonial and missed the cut by four shots. It was his first weekend off since the Rocket Mortgage last summer.
Johnson had company. Also missing the cut was Jon Rahm, who came into the week with a mathematical chance of reaching No. 1 in the world.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, missed the cut for the sixth time in 10 starts this season. Mickelson is headed home next week to celebrate his 50th birthday.