HAVEN, Wisc. — When Bryson DeChambeau hit the range Friday to warm up for his opening match at this 43rd Ryder Cup, balls were rocketing off his driver head at nearly 200 mph. That any good? Yes, very good, even by DeChambeau’s Herculean standards.
In the run-up to Whistling Straits, DeChambeau had been conducting intensive speed training sessions in preparation for the World Long Drive event next week. Whether he was overdoing his training was a hot-button topic heading into this week, after DeChambeau said he had “wrecked” his hands in his pursuit of more speed. But with one swing of his driver in his fourball match with Scottie Scheffler on Friday, all those questions seemed to dissipate.
The mighty blow came on the daunting double-dogleg par-5 5th, where DeChambeau, thanks to favorable conditions, went where no golfer had gone before him.
“I knew if it was a little downwind, I could take a unique line, and I luckily was able to have that wind today,” he said. “It was 20-plus, and I said to myself, All right, I have to aim at the green, so I did. I just aimed at the green and bombs away.”
DeChambeau later told GOLF.com’s Dylan Dethier, “I caught it high off the face with no spin, and said, ‘See you later.’”
When the ball shot of his driver like a fighter jet, DeChambeau tip-toed after it, aware that he had just unleashed something special. When the ball finally touched down and came to rest, it was 417 yards from its starting point.
Watching in awe from the wings was Scheffler.
“I think he pushed it a little bit, but he smashed it,” Scheffler said. “So thankfully he pushed it just a touch. If he pulls that ball at all, it’s weird, there are two towers behind the green, I can’t even describe to you — they are like 250 or 200 yards right of where I’m trying to hit my drive, and it’s crazy for him to be able to commit to that shot.”
But commit he did, and the result thew a charge into DeChambeau, Scheffler, the U.S. fans and, soon after that, slack-jawed observers on social media.
“That was probably the most excited he’s ever been on a golf course,” Scheffler said of his partner. “That wind, we had it on one of our practice days, and we figured out what he needed to do, so to have an opportunity to do that in competition was amazing. I was jacked up for him as well.”
You can add the rest of DeChambeau’s teammates to that list, too. When Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay finished their Friday afternoon match — a hard-fought tie with Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland — Thomas said he was “still amped up.” From his match? Sure, but also from the shot that everyone was buzzing about.
“Still got a lot of adrenaline,” he added. “Just now seeing the video of Bryson hitting on the front green on 5.”