The jury will be out for Bryson regardless of performance this week. If he wins or contends, he can begin the narrative that he’s ready to overcome his major championship woes.
The decorated player famously lacks a top-10 in 14 tries. Another poor showing may prove he’s built more for the bomb-and-gouge style predominating the PGA Tour.
I think this is the week golf’s most well-known scientist finds the formula.
DeChambeau’s been one of the best since competition resumed in June. He finished T-3rd, T-8th, T-6th and 1st in consecutive weeks with the win coming at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s first on the PGA Tour in scoring average this season (68.996) and the only player sub-69.
It will be interesting to see if he can regain his rhythm after some lackluster showings at the Memorial and WGC-FedEx St. Jude. His trepidations with rules officials, fences and fire ants were bigger stories than his performance.
DeChambeau has made six of his last nine starts at majors. He also has six career PGA Tour wins and one on the European Tour.
The pressure will be on this week, but I think golf’s new villain will give viewers something to watch in the Bay Area.
The SMU product ranks first on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee (1.12) and is sixth in putting (.808). The key will be controlling his irons to hold TPC Harding Park’s firm greens in what will be his debut at the course.
A lack of water on the course is big for Bryson, but he’ll still have to rein in his booming drives to have a chance.