Jordan Spieth reveals ‘frustrating’ part of playing with red-hot Bryson DeChambeau
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Bryson DeChambeau nearly made history on Friday at the 2021 BMW Championship, missing a short birdie putt on 18 that would have given him a 59 and made him only the fifth player to go 13 under in a single round in PGA Tour history. Jordan Spieth had a front-row seat to the incredible performance.
Bryson still finished with a career-best 60, a round that featured eight birdies and two eagles. But what was it like for Spieth to watch all those birdies drop playing in Bryson’s group at Caves Valley Golf Club?
In a word, “frustrating.”
Spieth — who shot a 70 in Round 2, 10 shots higher than his playing partner — couldn’t help but feel inadequate judging his game against that of a red-hot DeChambeau.
“When you’re watching it,” Spieth said on Friday, “it can be a little bit kind of frustrating if you don’t have it going just because you’re like, ‘man, is this what everyone is doing; is everyone tearing it up?’ But yeah, what a round.”
The three-time major champion, who despite a slow start at the BMW is still in contention for the FedEx Cup title, revealed that it’s especially hard playing with Bryson when one big part of his game is firing on all cylinders: his driving. Spieth even went as far as to compare playing with DeChambeau when he’s in the groove to competing with Tiger Woods at the peak of his powers.
“I played with Bryson the first two rounds when he won at Bay Hill, and when he’s driving it that straight, it’s got to be what it was like in the early 2000s with Tiger just hitting it the furthest and the straightest,” Spieth said.
As for those drives, Bryson is averaging 341 yards with the big stick through two rounds, which is high even for him, the longest driver on Tour. On the other hand, his driving accuracy of 50% is far from ideal. But fortunately for Bryson, his problems with accuracy are limited to the tee. He’s hitting greens in regulation at the BMW at a fantastic clip of 83.33% so far.
But the real secret to Bryson’s success, as Spieth pointed out, has been his putting, a part of his game that is often overlooked.
“You’ve still got to get it in the hole,” Spieth continued, “and [DeChambeau] just drove the ball well, made a few longer putts today, and had it going.”
The stats bear that out. DeChambeau’s Strokes Gained: Putting for the week is +2.180. That’s impressive, until you see his gaudy number for the second round alone: +3.039. Surely his big drives and accurate approach shots have been setting him up for success, but, as is often the case, his performance on the greens has been the real key.