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Rory McIlroy baffled by 'impressive' Bryson DeChambeau's ability to tame Winged Foot

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What does Bryson DeChambeau's comfortable victory at Winged Foot mean for the future of golf?

What does Bryson DeChambeau's comfortable victory at Winged Foot mean for the future of golf?

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What does Bryson DeChambeau's comfortable victory at Winged Foot mean for the future of golf?

Rory McIlroy was at a loss to explain how Bryson DeChambeau overpowered one of the world's most notorious golf courses to win the US Open by a landslide.

The champion was the only player to break par on the final day at Winged Foot as he carded a three under par 67 to finish six under for the tournament and claim a six-shot win over Matthew Wolff.

He hit just 23 of 56 fairways - the fewest of any US Open champ since David Graham in 1981 - during a tournament that is famed for its requirement of accuracy with penalising rough usually taking care of the wayward hitters.

McIlroy, who ended up 12 shots back in a tie for eighth after a five over par final round 75, hit eight more fairways across the week and was at a loss to explain how DeChambeau's statistics matched up with his astounding winning score.

"I don't really know what to say because that's just the complete opposite of what you think a US Open champion does," he admitted.

"Look, he's found a way to do it. Whether that's good or bad for the game, I don't know, but it's just... it's not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played.

"It's kind of hard to really wrap my head around it."

DeChambeau famously piled on 40lbs of muscle - half of it during lockdown - with the theory that a lack of accuracy could be countered by being closer to the green.

He returned from the spell away in top form with four successive top ten finishes culminating in a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Doing it on run-of-the-mill tour courses is one thing. But at Winged Foot?

"I played with him at Colonial the first week back out, but I sort of said, okay, wait until he gets to a proper golf course, he'll have to rein it back in," admitted McIlroy.

"This is as proper as they come, and look what's happened. Yeah, he's got full belief in what he's doing, and it's pretty impressive."

Whatever about the powerful swing that can generate over 140mph clubhead speed - 30mph above tour average - it's arguably DeChambeau's shortgame that has been most impressive as he's managed to maintain his feel despite the bulked up body frame.

"I think he's taken advantage of where the game is at the minute," said McIlroy.

"With the way he approaches it, with the arm-lock putting, with everything, it's just where the game's at right now. I'm not saying that's right or wrong. He's just taking advantage of what we have right now."

There's still another major championship to come this year with the Masters scheduled for November 12-15.

The good news for Bryson is that Augusta should be much more accessible for his attacking style than the Winged Foot.

Belfast Telegraph