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Moving day at the Masters, but which direction?

The Telegraph

‘Human’ Bryson DeChambeau bludgeons through back nine to climb back towards contention

The battle for golf’s inexperienced jacket could finally show to be past Bryson DeChambeau this week. But the ongoing battle for golf’s soul rages on – and it stays as riveting as ever. There was a lot sniggering after a first-round 76 on Thursday left DeChambeau four-over par and at risk of lacking the lower at the 2021 Masters. But a much-improved second-round 67 on Friday ensured golf’s present pantomime villain shall be round for the weekend. More than that, the manner the Californian bludgeoned his manner round the again 9 on Friday, climbing steadily again into general rivalry, will increase renewed fears he would possibly but be able to one thing extraordinary. Golf’s purists shall be on their guard. DeChambeau’s notorious boast final November that Augusta National was a mere “par-67” for him was a line in the sand as far the entire ‘energy’ dialog was involved. From that second, the desperation in some quarters for DeChambeau to fail, for his hubris to be uncovered, was palpable. The schadenfreude when he bombed out of rivalry final November was startling, probably even just a little unfair. Although it must be stated DeChambeau hardly helps himself, churning out social media movies exhibiting him hitting file new swing speeds on the vary, and boasting of how far he can whack the ball. When Rory McIlroy admitted he had restructured golf’s most lovely swing partly on the energy of the manner DeChambeau dismantled of Winged Foot final summer time, it was as if the American had shot Bambi. So when he faltered once more in the first spherical this week, and it appeared as if he was going to be served one other wholesome dollop of comeuppance quite than a meal of his selecting at the Champions Dinner, there have been quite a lot of of his friends able to rejoice. But the 27 year-old with the whacky irons and even whackier perspective fought again in spherical two as Augusta’s extra forgiving fairways and greens allowed him to convey his energy recreation to play. It was really fascinating to look at. Beginning the day at four-over par, DeChambeau spent a lot of the first few holes chuntering away to himself as he tried to get his spherical going – virtually, it appeared, by way of drive of persona, quite than the uncooked energy or dispassionate, machine-like effectivity for which he has turn into identified. The reality is, for somebody who bangs on a lot about science and knowledge, DeChambeau is surprisingly human out on the right track. It is a part of what makes him so intriguing; watching him wrestle along with his personal human frailties as he makes an attempt to show his thesis, that the recreation of golf might be diminished to chilly onerous numbers and the utility of science. It’s a battle he can by no means win. The Californian could appear to be a fitness center bunny and swing like a robotic, but he’s all too human, too error-prone.

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