Bryson DeChambeau: Kiawah Island will be ‘diabolical’ test

Bryson says he is excited for the challenge of playing Kiawah Island.

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — The tournament hadn’t even started yet, but Kiawah Island had fired a shot across the bow. The wind gusted on Tuesday more than it’s projected to all week, and for players trying to figure out how the course will play, today was more an insight into how the course could play.

Bryson DeChambeau hadn’t played Kiawah’s Ocean Course before today. His few hours playing the front nine were an eye-opening experience — and a challenge the reigning U.S. Open champ says he’ll relish.

“It’s going to be a diabolical test,” he said. “There are a lot of good holes out here.”

Here’s what else GOLF Magazine’s Playing Editor had to say when we caught up with him after his first practice around:

On the wind…

“I hope this is the most wind we have out here all week, I hope and pray. It’s going to be a diabolical test.”

On the key to victory…

“You have to be ball-striking really well, you have to be putting really well; numerous putts out there you’d read it to break three inches left, and it breaks two inches to the right because of the wind.”

On his strategy for the week…

“It’s about hitting a lot of greens, not going at flags. Par is your friend out here. If you can do that and birdie the par fives, you’ll be in good shape. Not a lot of guys are going to hit it close this week.”

On the importance of driving distance…

“Having a lot of length is always an advantage, but I hit 3-wood, 5-iron into the 4th hole. Some guys are hitting Driver, hybrid, it’s just not easy. There’s going to be a lot of diabolical shots out here, you’re going to need to step up.”

On Kiawah’s pro-Bryson crowd…

“I love it. They’re amped up. They want to see the distance, I can’t bomb it everywhere around here, but they enjoy it.”

On his swing thought this week…

“A little more protraction of the left shoulder, keeping the arm more out so I can swing more in-to-out.”

On how many drivers he’ll hit…

“I hit 6 drivers on the front nine. I hit driver the whole front nine except 4. I haven’t played the back nine yet, I’ll play tomorrow.”

On the rough…

“It’s not like Winged Foot, I’ll tell you that. There’s not much of it out there. Most of it is sand dunes and hazards for rough.

On the waste bunkers…

“The sand is very fine grain. I’ve got to practice some shots from the sand to see how it’s going to affect the ball.”

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.