SANDWICH, England (Reuters) – Big-hitting American Bryson DeChambeau hopes his length will be an advantage around the bumpy Sandwich links course at this week’s 149th British Open but is prepared to reel himself in if conditions demand.
The 27-year-old averaged over 300 yards off the tee in his three previous Open appearances but missed the cut twice and tied for 51st. That will not deter him from taking out the driver, however, as he looks to add a second major to the 2020 U.S. Open he won by six strokes.
“Yesterday I played a little bit with Phil (Mickelson) and a couple others,” DeChambeau told reporters on Tuesday. “We had a great time out there. It’s pretty interesting, there was a certain amount of holes that you can kind of go after, and there’s a couple that you can’t.
“If you hit it in the rough, in the hay, it’s not easy to get out of. I hope I can hit it far enough to where I can wedge it out still onto the green if I get good enough lies.
“If you’re hitting it 300 off the tee and it goes into the hay, it’s not easy to get to the green from there. I hope that the length will be a little bit of an advantage. I just have to drive it well.”
Weeks of rain and cool conditions have taken the sting out of the notoriously undulating fairways at Royal St George’s but with warm weather predicted, keeping the ball on them could require a less aggressive approach.
“I look at Tiger and what he did back in the early 2000s, hitting seven and eight irons off every tee, that’s an interesting thought process that may come into play here soon, but there’s too many places out here where covering some of those bunkers is a huge advantage no matter what,” he said.
“So that’s kind of the game plan I’m going to take as of right now.”
Asked if he could adopt the Tiger approach, DeChambeau said: “A thousand percent, no doubt. I think what he showcased is an awesome ability to play it on the ground, play links on the ground, which is the way it should be played I personally think, albeit I do something completely different.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)