Breaking Golf (and History)
Leading into the US OPEN, players and experts were all saying the same thing; tight fairways, thick roughs, fast greens, impossible pin locations. Generally a nightmare course. The winner will be the player who does the least bad job of getting around the course.
The general approach to golf is hit as many fairways as possible even if that means hitting light, and attack the pin from the low side of the green if the option is there. But not for this guy. He took the approach that having fewer shots means fewer chances for errors, and instead of playing traditional golf, bombed long every time not worrying about fairways or pin locations. Just go massive and have fewer shots. He won, and was the first player in 65 years to shoot a sub-par score in the final round.
“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a US Open champion does… 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.” World #4 Rory McIlroy.
For a hundred years, golf and the US Open has been played a certain way. Then this old mate rolls up and says, “Nah, you’re all wrong”.
Instead of freaking out at how difficult the course was going to be and trying to do less bad than everyone else, he decided to go after it.
Dechambeau may turn out to be a flash in the pan and never do anything newsworthy ever again, but at the 2020 US Open, he took his own approach to the contest, an approach ridiculed, and proceeded to scare the hell out of 100 years of history.
[Note: I know bugger-all about golf and really don’t enjoy watching it or playing it. But the fearlessness of this guys approach, as whack as it seemed beforehand, compelled me to write something.]