Bryson DeChambeau reached in his bag at the par-5, sixth hole and grabbed an iron.
Yes, an iron. That’s not a typo. There was a moan and then a groan because the fans – yes, there are fans this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational – had come to see the reigning U.S. Open let the big dog eat.
DeChambeau laughed, as if saying, “Just messing with you,” and switched to his driver. In many ways, this moment encapsulated DeChambeau’s game since winning the U.S. Open in September. Golf’s strong man has been toying with us, recording just two top-10 finishes in his last six starts and missing the cut two weeks ago at the Genesis Invitational. He shot 77-64 in the first two rounds last week at the WGC-Workday Championship. The Incredible Bulk has been incredibly ordinary of late.
DeChambeau already validated his unorthodox efforts to beef up and chase distance, but the question remains: Will it be sustainable and will continued success lead to a generation of shake-chugging, iron-pumping golfers following his example? Too soon to say, but a slightly slimmed-down DeChambeau delivered the type of performance in Thursday’s opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational…