From The Inbox

Bryson DeChambeau simply outsmarts his opponents

In winning the U.S. Open, DeChambeau beats his rivals in body and mind while playing a game that is inaccessible to most others

We heard seemingly nonstop, particularly over the weekend at the U.S. Open, about Bryson DeChambeau and his uninterrupted mental calculations underlying and defining his brand of golf. TV announcers and color analysts alike made it pretty clear that where DeChambeau saw issues in places, they didn’t even see places. It’s quite likely that a few of his 143 starting competitors are intelligent, but none excelled in applied intelligence as DeChambeau did (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21).

Other than extolling his relatively recent addition of a powerful 40 pounds of body weight, the talking heads made very little mention, if any, of his body IQ. I am here to do it.

Body IQ: high. If we were to look at DeChambeau as a computer, his brain would be the programming and his body the hardware. Sophisticated programming would mean nothing if the hardware fed to it were not capable of interpreting it properly.

DeChambeau has some first-rate hardware, in my opinion, clearly capable of interpreting its programming. Beyond his size and strength, he possesses excellent proprioception (e.g., perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body) and the high level of athleticism to know what to do with it. Moreover, he has learned to subdue the body parts most likely to screw up a golfer up: the hands.

He definitely applies the universal golf instruction to play using the large muscles. A simple demonstration of all of the above was the conversation late in the final round between DeChambeau and his caddie, Tim Tucker, in which they agreed on 10:30, which I took to mean that his backswing would go to 45 degrees above parallel. I’ve read that DeChambeau calibrates his wedge swings similarly, with differing angles of backswing. I have little doubt that a similar methodology applies to his putting, and others to different aspects of his game.

DeChambeau is a complete high-IQ package playing a brand of golf not accessible by many.

Ken Olshansky
Wellington, Fla.

There’s no turning back
They said it couldn't be done. Can't play golf that way; can't win a major that way. Not at Winged Foot; not with that rough. Except, I guess you can. USGA officials said they were happy and pleased to award the trophy to Bryson DeChambeau (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21).

I suspect that they were lying. I imagine that they were about as happy as Augusta National officials were at the Masters in 2018 when Patrick Reed won. DeChambeau represents everything that is anathema at USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J.: bomb and gouge as the way to play the game. His victory – at Winged Foot, no less – is the equivalent of the Antichrist accepting the trophy.

But the horse is out of the barn. Kids everywhere are working to hit it like Bryson, or runner-up Matthew Wolff or a bunch of other guys who hit it a mile, find it and hit again.

The idea that somehow things are going back to those short-hitting days of yore are a fantasy. I suggest that the blue blazers at USGA headquarters take a tip from the immortal Bart Simpson: “Don't have a cow, man.”

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Rory McIlroy should start to take ‘advantage,’ too
All golf clubs, putter included, should be held in the hands, with no part of the club touching any other part of the body. Now, where you put your hands is up to you. If you want to wield a long putter and brace your hand on your chest, be my guest. Just do not let any part of the club touch your chest.

So, I see where Rory McIlroy’s comment regarding how Bryson DeChambeau has “taken advantage of where the game is at the minute” is coming from (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21). McIlroy is my favorite player. So, if he wants to take advantage, I would say to him, stop four-putting, learn to read greens better and maybe start hitting your wedges inside 40 feet a little more often, such as in November at Augusta. Now that would be awesome.

But look out. The putter-bracing B.A.D. man won a major, and his confidence will be sky high.

So good luck at Augusta, Rory. And don’t four-whack.

Ken Drake
Albany, Ore.

A bad influence
Did you notice regarding U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau that all of his playing competitors had their worst rounds of week with him? (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21).

Dustin Johnson, 73; Tony Finau, 73 (tied); Patrick Reed, 77; and Matthew Wolff, 75.

DeChambeau would be terrible to play with. By the 14th hole, I’d walk over, grab his book and tear it up. (And be disqualified ... but worth it.)

Gordon Williams
Ellsworth, Ohio

Shazam! What a surprise, surprise, surprise from Lee Westwood
As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise.” Well, that's how I felt seeing Lee Westwood playing in the U.S. Open.

Just a few weeks ago, the brash Westwood dished on America, saying that he would not play here because Americans were not taking this pandemic seriously. Really, Lee. We banned travel from China in early February, did crash programs in building life-saving machines and put military hospital ships in California and New York Harbor.

The U.S. is not a tiny country like Britain, and we have a complex government structure. Unless the chief executive has marshal law, the president can't just dictate rules for all to follow. So, it was so surprising to see Westwood and many other players from foreign countries arrive in New York.

I did see him fist-bumping other players and having personal contact with his caddie. Was that good practice in this pandemic?

Really, Lee.

Patrick Scott
Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

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