Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau headline The Slam as Alex Perry wraps up the week's talking points from the tour world
Bryson DeChambeau didn’t even play at the Zozo Championship and he’s the most talked about PGA Tour player of the week.
I can’t face another row about how far the golf ball goes. Whatever your views, what you read in black and white on this page won’t change your mind.
But what can’t be ignored is DeChambeau’s ability to get us talking – however tedious the debate – and he’s over the moon that he’s finally achieved a target that’s been a dream of his since at least this time last year.
Here’s the photo he shared on Instagram on Friday…
Yes, you are reading that correctly. DeChambeau – who says he is preparing for the Masters by hitting “about 2,000 drives” and testing a 48-inch big stick – recorded a carry distance of 403.1 (four hundred and three point one) yards. Or a mid-length par 4 to you and me.
The ball speed? Just the 211 (two hundred and eleven) miles-per-hour. That’s pushing the top speed of a Formula 1 car. And more than twice as quick as it takes to time travel.
His Bridgestone was in the air for 8.2 (eight point two) seconds. OK, that doesn’t sound like a long time. But imagine you’re hitting a ball now, then count to eight. Suddenly it feels like an eternity.
And I don’t know what 1,957rpm of spin means, but I know all of the above is remarkable.
But – and this is a huge but – let’s not get too excited just yet. If you squint you’ll see at the top of his screen it says the US Open champion had a 20mph wind behind him. So that probably helped a bit.
Still, it’s some effort. And to think we all laughed at him when he said he wanted to carry the ball 400 yards.
And with the Masters just two weeks away…
In a week that Tiger Woods returned to action to defend his Zozo Championship crown, DeChambeau was the one making the headlines. The Bryson Era has well and truly begun.
- RELATED: What’s in DeChambeau’s bag?
The hoodie’s back!
Speaking of the Zozo Championship – and golf’s most tedious debates – here’s Rory McIlroy’s choice of outfit after Nike’s PR department were told they needed to shift some hoodies…
We’ve already done this – way too much, in fact – and we can’t imagine too many minds have been changed in three weeks.
But what I wouldn’t give to see Rory pulling the Green Jacket over that in 21 days’ time…
While we’re on Rory, he made 29 birdies this week – the most he’s ever made in his 186 PGA Tour starts. Which is a stat I just learned and now you have.
The battle for No 1
It was some ending at Sherwood, and it had huge repercussions on the world rankings, too.
Dustin Johnson – who last week became just the fourth player to spend 100 weeks as World No 1, along with Woods, McIlroy, and Greg Norman – was about to be knocked off top spot by Jon Rahm when Justin Thomas rolled in a six-footer at 18 to move into a tie for 2nd with the Spaniard and deny him the glory.
So DJ will move onto 101 – just five behind Rory in third now.
Ryder and Solheim Cups to go back to back
In case you somehow missed it, the postponement of this year’s Ryder Cup means it will now be played in the same years as the Solheim Cup going forward. There is a couple of weeks between the two in 2021, but two years later they will be played in back to back weeks in what they’re calling a “two week festival of golf”.
The 2023 Solheim Cup will be played in Spain for the first time, with Finca Cortesin hosting from September 22-24 before the Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Country Club in Italy from September 29-October 1.
Could this be the first step to having the two tournaments at the same venue over the space of eight or nine days? I’m in.
So who’s in the winners’ circle this week?
Thomas and Rahm were so busy concentrating on each other they forgot to keep an eye on Patrick Cantlay.
The Californian, playing a couple of groups ahead of our glorious leaders, rolled in nine birdies in a 7-under 65 to win by one at 23-under.
- RELATED: What’s in Cantlay’s winning bag?
Across the pond, Ross McGowan has had a rollercoaster career. After winning the 2009 Madrid Masters the Englishman lost his European Tour card two years later and has only played one season at the top level since.
A Challenge Tour win in 2019 earned him a number of European Tour starts this year – one of which was the Italian Open – and he made it count.
The prize money for this win is more than what he’s earned in his previous four seasons combined.
This is what it meant to him…
On the LPGA Tour it was another first-time winner as Ally McDonald took the LPGA Drive on Championship.
That’s enough from me. You can follow me on Twitter if that’s your thing.
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