Two days after entertaining media with that amusing crack, Bryson DeChambeau showed little contrition dismantling the Donald Ross layout Thursday at the aptly named Rocket Mortgage Classic. He showed little remorse blowing so many drives over the bunkers Ross intended to defend his design.
DeChambeau filled the sky over Detroit Golf Club with one missile after another while getting into early contention.
He slammed seven drives of more than 340 yards on his way to a 6-under 66 that left him one shot behind the leaders, Kevin Kisner, Doc Redman and Scott Stallings.
DeChambeau launched a 376-yard drive at the 14th hole, setting up eagle there.
He beat that with a 377-yard drive at the 17th, where he made birdie.
He averaged a staggering 345 yards per drive on the back nine.
Still, the round of eight birdies, an eagle and four bogeys didn’t satisfy him.
It wasn’t good enough.
“I’m, again, trying to be the casino and give myself the best opportunity to win,” he said.
That’s why he called his effort a “B-game” afterward.
“It’s not 100 percent, but it’s not bad, either,” he said.
The numbers he is popping into ShotLink continue to be head spinning. His ball speed hitting driver reached 196.8 miles per hour at 14th.
He’s like a tank equipped with a Ferrari engine.
He left himself a 9-iron into more than one par 5.
He leads the field in strokes gained: putting and is second in strokes gained: off the tee.
Rocket Mortgage Classic: Full-field scores | Full coverage
Still, this 26-year-old won’t be satisfied until he has turned his grand experiment into a victory.
After putting on 40 pounds of strategic girth since last fall, and remaking his technique to harness the new-found power, he has yet to win. He has yet to claim his sixth PGA Tour title, his first since the fall of 2018, but he has been knocking hard on the door since the PGA Tour’s restart a month ago. He has racked up T-3, T-8 and T-6 finishes over the last three weeks. He has put up scores of 66 or better eight times over the last 13 rounds, but he isn’t “The Casino” yet.
That’s why missing six fairways and four greens was still bugging him when he left scoring following Thursday’s round.
“Very frustrated about some of the decisions we made and some of the shots I executed,” DeChambeau said. “I just felt like I hit really good shots that just didn't get rewarded today. Driver got a little wayward a couple holes. Need to go clean that up, like always.”
Flying the 18th green with a wedge and closing with a bogey particularly bothered him.
“That really got me a little agitated,” DeChambeau said. “It’s going to put a little fire in my belly for tomorrow. I feel like I'm in a good place. It's fun to be able to play good golf not having your A game.”
DeChambeau left the course motivated to find that next level.
“I'm always trying to find a little something to make me hit it more consistently straight, but if I can keep hitting it straight, hitting some greens and making the putts like I am, it's going to be a fun week,” he said.