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A talent worth paying to see

Bryson DeChambeau, like Bo Jackson and LeBron James, is such a ‘freak of nature’ that he has become the top draw on the PGA Tour

Every so often, professional sports provides a freak of nature ... someone with size, speed, strength and loads of talent. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, baseball and football were treated to Bo Jackson. In 2003, LeBron James came onto the basketball scene. If Aaron Judge can stay healthy, he might be the show in baseball.

Maybe Bryson DeChambeau is professional golf’s freak of nature (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21). He now has size, ridiculous clubhead speed, strength and lots of talent in all phases of the game. Three years ago, the PGA Tour thought it had him when officials declared his sidesaddle putter to be illegal. Two years ago, the Tour went after him again and banned his use of a drawing compass to help him on the greens. Neither of those attempts worked. He has worked around both, and now an argument can be made that he’s one of, if not the, best player in the world today.

He’s shown that he can overcome any roadblocks that the Tour sets up. So why not let Bryson be Bryson? If he continues to obliterate the field, so be it. Records are made to be broken.

He’s the new face of the marketing-happy PGA Tour. I’d pay to see him if his show came to town. I can’t honestly say that about anyone else.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

A smart way to play
So, Tiger Woods revolutionized the physical fitness of golf decades ago, and many followed him (including David Duval and Rory McIlroy, among others).

Woods was searching for that edge that made him way above the norm when he entered a tournament. All professional golfers should be strategically analyzing how to gain an edge against their fellow competitors. This is what separates the truly great from the average.

Bryson DeChambeau has developed his own methods and appears to be backing his efforts with winning (“Should Bryson DeChambeau be favored to win Masters?” Sept. 25). I think his putting with different wind speeds to determine how well and far his ball rolls is just smart. How often do tournaments play with no wind? Will his methodology work in any kind of wind? Probably not in 25-plus-mph winds, but at some point, the PGA Tour stops tournaments due to bad conditions, including wind. DeChambeau might do his analysis up to this wind strength.

Smart, and it appears (at least for the U.S. Open) that he stood as an outlier in the results.

Bill Martin
Quitman, Texas

What if we’ve been wrong all along?
What if the solution to the Bryson DeChambeau longest drive/winner quandary actually is the opposite of what everyone thinks? (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21).

How about taking out a lot more rough, firming the fairways even more, and letting the ball roll out more – into creeks, bunkers, boundaries, deeper rough, trees and the like?

It is pretty clear that DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff utilized the rough during the U.S. Open at Winged Foot more as a backstop than an area to be avoided.

There are examples. The setup at Royal Melbourne comes to mind as a classic that stands up to time.

Dave Curley
Sacramento, Calif.

The book on DeChambeau: It’s a slow read
How many books are you allowed to carry for a tour event? (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21).

Bryson DeChambeau sure seemed to have very precise info on everything about the golf course. Way too much time was taken between shots. The telecast was in slow motion when it was his turn to hit.

The PGA Tour needs to eliminate all those books and yardage data. Play like the average weekend golfer does every time he plays. It would be more interesting how many of these pros can make puts or hit greens in regulation.

Bill Michalski
Munster, Ind.

Forced-carry approaches would force bombers to think
If you have mixed feelings about the longball that Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff used to defang Winged Foot in the U.S. Open, here’s a consideration: Morning Read contributor Joe Passov, on Phoenix-area radio over the weekend, mentioned Phil Mickelson’s observation that Winged Foot was doable for long hitters because virtually every green complex has an open front. None was fronted by water, and few by bunkering, which allowed run-ups from rough, or even a targeted front apron with good chances for up-and-down for par or birdie (“2020 U.S. Open: It’s Bryson DeChambeau, by a long shot,” Sept. 21).

A penalty area (preferably some water) fronting the green surely would catch some of the bombers with their wedge approaches, forcing a less-lofted, more difficult escape to achieve a longer carry, probably to a spot above the hole, not below. Fairway short grass would become essential for good scoring.

The USGA must give this consideration, because DeChambeau is not the only one. Wolff, the tournament runner-up, actually led the week in driving distance, and there are a thousand bombers coming up through the ranks now. Extreme length will be an issue, just as the USGA seems ready to commit to a quasi-rota featuring many tracks with accessible greens such as Winged Foot, Bethpage, Oakmont, Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Pinehurst … with hardly a pond to be found fronting greens there, nor many water penalties anywhere else, if memory serves.

Another consideration is if Winged Foot rough this summer would have played as easily as it did this fall, distorting this whole conversation.

Gary Stauffenberg
Phoenix

Show some respect for the spike mark
Good one, but Gary Van Sickle forgot one important detail: how many times did a spike mark re-direct a ball into the hole vs. away from it? (“These 2 revised rules could use another ruling,” Sept. 25).

I always believed these poor things were discriminated against for assuming they were always a problem when probably at least half the time they might have been helpful.

Robert Cote
Ridgetown, Ontario

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