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#pounditTuesday, August 16, 2022

Rory McIlroy admits he was thrown off by Bryson DeChambeau effect

Rory McIlroy

Bryson DeChambeau has changed the way many people view golf with his continued success on the PGA Tour, and that is even having an influence on some of his peers. In Rory McIlroy’s case, it may have become a hinderance.

McIlroy missed the cut at The Players Championship last week. He shot 79 in the opening round on Thursday followed by 75 on Friday. The four-time major champion has spent time over the last several months trying to up his swing speed and emulate DeChambeau’s game, and he says that is part of his problem.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t anything to do with what Bryson did at the U.S. Open,” McIlroy said after missing the cut at TPC Sawgrass, via Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard. “I think a lot of people saw that and were like, whoa, if this is the way they’re going to set golf courses up in the future, it helps. It really helps.”

PGA courses are getting longer and longer to account for club technology and the strength of players. Nobody on the Tour swings harder or hits it further than DeChambeau, and that playing style helped him torch the field at the U.S. Open last year. He finished tied for third at The Players Championship and has continued to play well.

DeChambeau said he is flattered by McIlroy trying to emulate his game, even if McIlroy thinks his swing has suffered a bit because of it.

“I knew that there would be some people that would try and some people it would potentially not work for them and some people it may help them,” DeChambeau said. “I do appreciate Rory’s comments, it’s kind of a sentiment almost and something that keeps me going every day.”

McIlroy has added about 3 mph to his swing since October. He says he would like to maintain that speed while getting away from the long, flat swing that has been contributing to his struggles.

There has been some speculation that DeChambeau has helped his game in some unethical ways, but there is no proof of that. Between his insanely fast swing and bag of irons that are all the same length, the 27-year-old will continue to revolutionize the game if he keeps winning. McIlroy isn’t the only one who has taken a page out of DeChambeau’s book, and there will certainly be others.

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