Friday, May 27, 2022

Bryson DeChambeau smashes five 400-plus yard drives in first round long drive world championship


Most PGA golfers don’t regularly hit the ball with enough power to compete in the Professional Long Drivers Association World Championships. Bryson DeChambeau, however, isn’t most PGA golfers. The 28-year-old advanced to the PLDA World Championship’s second round on Tuesday, only two days after he led the U.S. to a Ryder Cup win. 

On Day 1 of the PLDA Championship in Mesquite, Nev., DeChambeau sent five of his 30 drives 400 yards or longer to place second among his 16-man group. His longest shot went 412 yards, only one yard shy of groupmate Scottie Pearman’s long of 413 and Josh Cassaday’s field-leading 417. DeChambeau accounted for four of his group’s 11 400-plus yard drives. 

“I felt like I just won something today, I won a big PGA tournament, even though I just qualified for the next day, because it’s my first time,” DeChambeau told ESPN. “Being out there the first set was a little nerve-wracking for me, I wasn’t comfortable. But going through the second, third, fourth, fifth, I just got more comfortable as time went on.”

DeChambeau hopes to carry that comfort into the rest of the tournament. On Wednesday he’ll compete against 59 others for a spot in Thursday’s penultimate round, where he’ll have a shot to qualify for Friday’s final round. 

The PGA’s most powerful golfer, DeChambeau led the PGA Tour with a 323.7-yard driving average with a long of 414 in 2021. DeChambeau, the No. 7 golfer in the World Golf Rankings, won the U.S. Open in Sept. 2020. 

DeChambeau will face stiff competition over the coming rounds, most notably in top-ranked long driver Kyle Berkshire. Berkshire, 24, is the defending PLDA champion and led the field with a drive of 455 yards on Tuesday, hitting five others past 430. 

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