US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau has brought in a new, scientific approach to golf and Anirban Lahiri feels it takes attention away from his incredible talent.
Bryson DeChambeau is a name that divides opinion in the golf world like no other.
A physics major from the Southern Methodist University, Texas, the 27-year-old DeChambeau has earned the moniker of ‘The Scientist’ on Tour for his calculative approach to the game. The 'Mad' in between is probably implied.
The American golfer pays special attention to aspects like driver angles and put on almost 40 pounds during the off-season to add more power to his drives. It did pay off as DeChambeau recently became the longest driver on the PGA Tour, even posting about an incredible 400-yard drive - on his Instagram story - last month.
It is a way of approaching golf that has never been done before and while some feel it is a revolutionary method, many others seem sceptical.
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri belongs to the former category. “I feel what Bryson has done is really commendable and I don’t begrudge it because no one has gifted it to him,” Lahiri told the Olympic Channel.
“He has worked really hard, be it on his technique or equipment, to figure out what works for him. He is working within the rules of the game and is not doing anything that gives him an undue advantage."
Bryson DeChambeau also won his first major, the US Open in September at Winged Foot, one of the most notoriously tough courses with its heavy rough and dependency on accuracy.
He drove, on average, an unheard-of 325 yards, the longest for a US Open champion while only hitting 23 fairways through the week, the lowest by a US Open winner.
DeChambeau has also won six other titles on the PGA Tour to go with one on the European Tour and that success is why Anirban Lahiri feels sceptics are missing the point about ‘The Scientist’.
“Let’s not make any bones about it – you win tournaments not by driving the golf ball the longest, you win by taking the fewest number of shots. People who are not happy with him are losing sight of the fact that he has putted, wedged or chipped and controlled the ball really well,” Lahiri pointed out.
“And golf, like any other sport, has evolved through the years. The physique, or athletic profile, of a pro golfer from the ‘80s and ‘90s has completely transformed. I think all of us need to evolve with the sport.”
Bryson DeChambeau now arrives for The Masters on Thursday as one of the favourites for the title.
The layout of the famous Augusta National course favours his style of play and if he does win his second major at arguably the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, it will send yet another strong message to his detractors.
Fans can watch the broadcast of the PGA Tour on the Eurosport and Eurosport HD channels in India.