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The Telegraph

Bryson DeChambeau’s party tricks at Augusta may not be pretty – but they will be novel

Bryson DeChambeau’s scorched-earth assault on Augusta National will extend to using its opening drive as his own private virility test. When he takes aim on the first tee with his newly-acquired Cobra RadSpeed Prototype driver – in his hands a glorified mallet, with its 5.5 degrees of loft – he will be plotting a route undreamt of in the days of Bobby Jones. Forget the local caddies’ counsel to keep safely to the left, the game’s great disruptor intends to fly his ball clean over the trees on the right, leaving just a short chip to a hole measuring 445 yards. A course that supposedly rewards subtlety is about to be bombarded with heavy artillery. Sometimes, the sense is that DeChambeau is concerned less than winning the tournament than with conjuring flourishes that reduce his observers to helpless awe. That much was evident on the practice range, where Vijay Singh watched on bewildered as this confounding character uncoiled himself into drives with the ferocity of Popeye playing ring-the-bell at the fairground. Analysis: How Bryson DeChambeau is built to hit hard – and very, very long While DeChambeau is far more than a mere circus act, there is a cartoonish quality to how he treats one of golf’s most glorious canvases as a shooting gallery. He described with relish on Tuesday how he would drive the 350-yard third, clear the far fairway bunkers on the fifth, launch over the left-hand trees at the ninth, and boom it so far at the water-guarded 11th that he could eliminate all danger for his second shot. At one stage, he spoke of his plan to impart the ball with 2,000 revolutions per minute. At another, drawing even deeper from the well of his physicist’s training, he described the notion of talent as a “co-variable”. To his fellow numbers obsessives, this is the part of his persona that captivates. At 27, he revels in his status as a revolutionary. “I’ve had numerous college kids DM me on Instagram and ask me, ‘How do I get stronger? How do I get faster?’” he said. “So, you’re already starting to see the effect, from collegiate level all the way down to junior golf.” But equally, there is evidence to suggest that the pursuit of power for its own sake is not the healthiest addiction. No sooner did Rory McIlroy start trying to copy DeChambeau than he ended up ruining his swing.