When the year started, it was easy to envision Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson or Jon Rahm putting distance between themselves and the world when it comes to driving the golf ball. It was much more difficult to envision "Bryson DeChambeau, Long Drive King."
That's where we're at though as DeChambeau has tacked on 30, 40 and sometimes 50 yards to his previous driving distances. That was on display at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which he won a few weeks ago by leading the field in driving distance and strokes gained off the tee, and it's on display at the Memorial on Thursday where DeChambeau is hitting 400-yard -- yes, 400-yard -- drives.
Twice during his round, Bryson cleared the 400-yard mark. The first came on the 17th hole on the course. He hit it 407 yards, leaving himself a measly 66 yard to the pin. He made par. Then on the first hole on the course, Bryson hit one 423 (!!) yards, leaving himself 46 yards to the pin on the par 4. He made birdie.
Both rank in the top 15 drives on the PGA Tour this season, and the 423-yarder is the fourth-longest drive of the season. It adds up to easy approach shots and some pretty impressive scoring from the six-time PGA Tour winner.
It's not going to stop anytime soon, either. This is DeChambeau's new game. None other than Tiger Woods weighed in on Bryson's newfound length this week.
"He's figured out a way to increase distance and maximize his efficiency with not only his driver but all of his clubs, but in particular the driver," Woods said earlier this week. "What Bryson has done is no easy task. He's got to put in the time and has put in the reps, and he's figured it out. He's gotten stronger, faster, bigger, and has created more speed.
"But more importantly, he's hitting it further, but let's look at the fact that he's hitting it as straight as he is. That's part of the most difficult thing to do. The further you hit it, the more the tangent goes more crooked, more along this line. So the fact that he's figured that out and has been able to rein in the foul balls to me has been equally as impressive as his gains off the tee distance-wise."
Thus far, DeChambeau has hit seven of 10 fairways in Round 1, which is impressive for anyone but especially so for somebody who's hitting it to the moon like he is. If both of those stats continue, DeChambeau is going to be winning a lot more tournaments over the next few years.