DETROIT – There were plenty of eye-popping stats from Bryson DeChambeau’s three-shot victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but one in particular seemed especially awry. While leading the field in driving distance and multiple strokes-gained categories, he ranked 70th out of the 70 players who made the cut in proximity to the hole.
As it turned out, that was in part because DeChambeau essentially broke the PGA Tour’s ShotLink measurements with his length off the tee.
DeChambeau averaged 329.8 yards per tee shot this week at Detroit Golf Club, and he reached a 350.6 average on the two holes the Tour used to officially measure driving distance. The latter total is the longest achieved by a tournament winner since ShotLink began tracking in 2003, surpassing Tiger Woods’ mark of 341.5 yards at the 2005 Open at St. Andrews. On multiple occasions he attempted to drive the green on a par-4, including Sunday when he opted to let playing partner Troy Merritt hit first on the 399-yard 13th hole as he waited for the green to clear.
“I couldn’t believe I had to do that today on 13. I really could have gotten there, I just pulled it unfortunately,” DeChambeau said. “I don’t do that very often. Hopefully I can have that going on a lot more down the road. That would be a lot of fun.”
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But the Tour confirmed that ShotLink data considers any shot within 30 yards of the green as an approach shot, meaning that several of DeChambeau’s drives this week that got within a few club lengths of the green actually counted, statistically, as an approach – thereby skewing his proximity stats.
But the stat minutiae wasn’t top of mind for DeChambeau as he held the trophy after his first win since 2018. Buoyed by a hot putter that led the field and complemented his distance advantage, he ended his week as he started it: by apologizing to noted course architect Donald Ross for his aggressive (and successful) approach.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Ross. I didn’t mean to hit it over those bunkers all the time,” DeChambeau said. “But it just happened.”