Bryson DeChambeau kisses the boo-boys on a wild ride in St Andrews | The Open

Ffrom ridiculous to sublime, it was just another day in the life of Bryson DeChambeau. ‘You know me – lots of fireworks,’ the tall American said, almost apologetically, as if the only way to get around St Andrews was to snuggle up in an R&A suit, tie and blazer .

This is of course not really DeChambeau’s style. The 28-year-old has a habit of going against the grain, whether joining the LIV tour or stepping into the research and development lab to work on his latest driver amendments.

Surgery to fix a dodgy wrist earlier this year has reduced his power lately, but DeChambeau reckons he’s back “to 97-98% now. There are times when my hand is tired, still tired. I’m going to start speed training again here. I’m like around a bullet speed of 190 mph. I can take it to 200 mph, but it’s not worth it here.

His length off the tee is well documented and just like watching Chris Gayle throw a six into the stands or Julian Dicks take a penalty, there’s something to admire in the man’s raw athleticism, especially when he’s seen in the flesh. Some St Andrews fans have even started booing DeChambeau when he (noticeably) doesn’t take a driver, apparently unaware that it’s not a driving range.

“Look, I’m trying to win a major, so I try to play where I can get the best opportunity to birdie,” DeChambeau said. “It’s funny. I know I’m going to get booed. I have no problem with that. If anything, these are good jokes.

For all DeChambeau’s power, there is also subtlety, a touch of denial that sometimes comes to the fore. Despite his putting action having all the fluidity of C-3PO cradling a newborn, DeChambeau can be dangerous with the short stick, as he was (mostly) here, rolling in a 32-footer for the eagle on the turn. He went bogey-free until he reached 16th.

Bryson DeChambeau throws his ball to a young spectator on the 18th green. Photograph: Hugo Philpott/UPI/Shutterstock

From there, every shot either veered wildly into danger or snuggled beautifully next to the hole. The first was certainly true in the 16th, a double bogey caused by a wild and wayward tee shot and four disastrous putts.

Immediate and unlikely redemption lay at the Road Hole at 17. The toughest hole at St Andrews was made more difficult on Saturday by a pesky wind from the right, blowing the Old Course Hotel to the rough, and the placement of toughest pin of the week, horribly hidden behind the infamous pot bunker at the front left of the green.

DeChambeau repeated the 16-hook round wildly, but went so far left that he flew into a deep bush. Basically it was behind a TV tower and a dashboard. A lucky free drop then, but more trouble awaited us. DeChambeau crushed his approach to the bunker, green and road, setting up perhaps his toughest shot of the week.

But from the asphalt, DeChambeau found magic, tossing his ball against the bank and sinking it perfectly onto the green.

“I was trying to get some loft, but I’m still bouncing it in the bank and hoping to hit it in a good spot where it doesn’t hit dead or hit a hot spot either,” he said. -he explains. “I did it perfectly. Rebounded and rolled beautifully. I was very lucky.”

Another combination of fortune and outrageous touch followed in the 18th. A wild tee shot with a 4-iron — taken because DeChambeau was worried about crossing the green with something bigger — crossed the 1st fairway into a fence, giving the California-born hitter another generous drop. “The out of bounds stakes were beyond that,” DeChambeau said with a smile. “Pretty nice.

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    From there, DeChambeau took the opportunity, driving an expert corner within a foot for his birdie. At six under par, he’s unlikely to bring the Claret Jug back to Texas, but a story of Final Day Open heroism shouldn’t be completely ignored.

    “I want to be one of the best golfers in the world, if not the best, at some point in my career, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully play on this golf course,” admitted DeChambeau. “Every day is different. It presents a unique golf course whenever the wind picks up. You can never truly conquer it. You can never really control it.