DeChambeau's unique irons earn mixed bag of results

Wed Feb 3, 2016 5:02am EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - From outscoring Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy in Abu Dhabi to barely making the cut in Qatar, amateur Bryson DeChambeau has discovered that his unique "scientific" approach cannot always prevent the vexing dips in form that dog every golfer.

Last year, the Californian became only the fifth player to win the top two amateur titles in the United States in the same season, his victories especially remarkable because he uses a set of irons fitted with shafts of identical length.

Those clubs, which McIlroy admitted to sneakily trying out in Abu Dhabi, are heathen to traditionalists and doubts remains as to whether DeChambeau can join the game's professional elite with such a bag selection.

The physics student's mixed performance on the European Tour's so-called 'Desert Swing', the final leg of which starts in Dubai on Thursday, may have bolstered the argument for his detractors.

Two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, the 22-year-old shot a first-round eight-under 64, two clear of four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and four better than world number one Spieth in just his seventh appearance at a professional tournament and first on the regular European Tour.

DeChambeau's second-round 72 earned him a spot in the leading trio that included McIlroy.

Such exalted company proved too much and a third-round 78 created a puzzle for his scientific mind, although equipment choice did not seem to be part of his post-tournament analysis.

"It's great to look back and go 'why did something change'?" DeChambeau said.   Continued...

USA's Bryson DeChambeau tees off at the 14th hole during the third round
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs