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It’s time to put some respect on the name of Bryson DeChambeau.
Over the past couple of years, the former US Open champion has been roundly ridiculed for his attempts to substantially increase his driving distance.
Last night, all the hard work very nearly paid off.
The 29-year-old made it all the way to the head-to-head final of the PLDA Long Drive World Championship in Nevada where he finished a valiant – and narrow – second to Germany’s Martin Borgmeier.
To put DeChambeau’s efforts into context, 128 of the world’s biggest hitters started the event. After sailing through the Open Division, the LIV man qualified from the top-32 round-robin session with his very last ball before steering his way into the final.
He did so at the expense of some of the circuit’s biggest names, too. Two-time champion Kyle Berkshire – a close friend of DeChambeau – was eliminated in the round of 16, with last year’s winner Justin James was eliminated at the last four stage.
In the final, DeChambeau found the grid – or scoring area – with three of his six drives, maxing out at 406 yards. However, Borgmeier had just too much in the tank, pounding his fourth ball 426 yards to seal the win.
Afterwards, the German paid tribute to DeChambeau for raising the profile of the long drive scene.
“None of us would be here if one guy wouldn’t have come in a year ago to make the sport what it is right now, and that guy is Bryson DeChambeau,” he said.
“That guy is a professional golfer and he’s putting up these ball speed numbers. He then lights it up in the final, hitting 400 plus. No-one has ever done that before. People don’t realise how crazy that is.”
DeChambeau declined to speak on the YouTube broadcast afterwards.
As Borgmeier pointed out, this is the second time that DeChambeau has participated in the event. He finished an impressive seventh on his debut last year, just days after helping the US to win the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
He now travels to Bangkok to play in the latest LIV Golf event this week.
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