AUGUSTA Ga. (Reuters) - Bryson DeChambeau has earned the “mad scientist” nickname for his calculated approach to golf and may need to spend some extra time in his quirky laboratory to find a winning formula at this week’s Masters.
DeChambeau, a physics major who previously used a since-banned compass to help read greens, has five wins on the PGA Tour but taming Augusta National will prove the toughest test yet for the American world number six.
The year’s first major does not provide players with green-reading books, and that could put DeChambeau well out of his comfort zone given the highly-contoured greens at Augusta National that can frustrate the game’s best putters.
“I have to work a little harder to get some insight into some things than other places, but that’s fine,” DeChambeau told reporters on Monday.
“I mean, that’s a part of the process, and I think the person who digs it out of the dirt the most should have a little bit of an advantage and I think that’s where it’s actually a positive thing.”
DeChambeau, who finished as the low amateur at the Masters in 2016 before joining the PGA Tour the following year, already has a win this season but knows he faces a difficult challenge going into Thursday’s opening round.
Unlike many of his competitors, DeChambeau will not be able to rely on the detailed notes they have modified over the years after logging countless practice and tournament rounds at Augusta National.
DeChambeau made no secrets when asked about what impact the lack of green-reading books could have on him this week.
“Now I practiced trying to understand what one percent is, what two percent is, based on my eyes,” said DeChambeau. “Is it as precise as the greens books? Absolutely not. We still have to feel and sense with our eyes what it’s going to do.
“That’s really all I can do and I have to practice a lot more hitting breaking putts, because I can’t just bring out my compass and go, oh, it’s 3 percent and here it is. I have to look at and walk around and go, okay, I’m acclimated to 3 percent.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Pritha Sarkar