Bryson DeChambeau’s game is improving – and so, apparently, is his pace of play.
After gaining about 20 pounds over the past few months, DeChambeau has powered his way into contention at the Dubai Desert Classic, sitting just one shot off the lead through 36 holes. Just as notable has been his quicker pace of play, both last week in Abu Dhabi (where he missed the cut) and again this week in Dubai. Earlier this month the European Tour began its crackdown on slow play, assessing a one-shot penalty if a player receives two bad times in a tournament.
In a post-round interview with DeChambeau, Sky Sports reporter Tim Barter noted that the notoriously methodical player needed only 17 seconds to hit his approach into the 13th hole Friday. That follows comments last week from Matt Fitzpatrick, who was grouped with DeChambeau in Abu Dhabi and reported that the pace was noticeably quicker. “Playing with the slow guys in the past I had time to think,” Fitzpatrick told reporters, “but now that they seem to have their act together, it probably feels a lot quicker to me than to them.”
When asked about his improved pace Friday, DeChambeau said: “I’d say it’s getting more comfortable on the golf course, recognizing the fact that I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes in the past.
“That’s my whole goal for the game of golf – it’s not only to make myself a better player, but to have people have a more enjoyable experience when I’m around. That’s really what I’m trying to do and provide people with so I don’t bother anybody on the golf course. That’s the last thing I want to do, so I’ve made it a point to work on it, I’ve gotten a little bit better and I think it shows.”
DeChambeau will be back in the spotlight over the weekend, as he’ll play in the penultimate group in Dubai. Through two rounds the defending champion is at 7-under 137, one shot behind Eddie Pepperell.