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I won't follow McIlroy path and try to compete with DeChambeau's power, reveals World No.1 Johnson



Different thinking: Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson

Different thinking: Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson

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Different thinking: Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson has insisted he will not follow Rory McIlroy and try to compete with US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau in a battle of the long hitters on the PGA Tour.

The World No.1 has constantly said he will not be trying to change his game to try to keep up with DeChambeau, who continues to push the boundaries by accelerating his swing speed and body muscle to maximise the distance he can hit the ball.

Last week, McIlroy confessed that he had been sucked into trying to up his own speed after watching DeChambeau dominate at Winged Foot last September, the World No.5 defying the normal way of winning a US Open by driving it as far as he could and then using his incredible strength to gouge it out of the ankle-deep rough, eventually winning by six shots.

That has led to a downturn in McIlroy's form, with the Ulsterman having not won since November 2019, while he has since dropped out of the world's top 10 for the first time since March 2018 and missed the cut at last week's Players Championship in Florida.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't anything to do with what Bryson did at the US Open," said McIlroy of his swing changes. "A lot of people saw that and were like, 'Whoa'. If this is the way they're going to set courses up in the future, it helps. It really helps."

But while Johnson admitted he had flirted with some aspects of his approach to try and boost his yardages off the tee in the past, he's ultimately come to the conclusion that his game is better than DeChambeau's as it is.

"I messed around a little bit with (my swing) back in October and, yeah, if I want to, I could hit it further. I had a driver that I could definitely hit it a lot further with than the one I'm playing," said Johnson in his Masters champion press conference.

"But, to me, the little bit of the extra distance that came with it, obviously the harder you swing the bigger your misses are. For me, it just didn't help.

"Until I feel like when at my best that I can't beat someone, then I'll try and change something. But, as of right now, I feel like if I play my best golf, I can beat whoever I'm playing against."

Meanwhile, Darren Clarke has been named captain of Team Europe at the new World Champions Cup on the PGA Tour Champions.

The event will see three teams of six players each - Clarke's Team Europe, Jim Furyk's Team USA and Ernie Els' Team World - square off for three days in a match play event at a yet-to-be named course in the USA.

In a unique format, teams will face each other in nine-hole team and individual matches with points on offer for each hole won, with the team with the most points at the end of the three days being crowned champions.

"I am extremely proud to be named captain of Team Europe for the inaugural playing of the World Champions Cup," said former Open champion and Ryder Cup captain Clarke.

"To be selected along with Jim and Ernie, two of golf's all-time great players, is an honour. I have been fortunate to compete in many global team events, but I am as excited about captaining and playing in the World Champions Cup as I ever have been throughout my career."

Belfast Telegraph

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