Bryson DeChambeau in the 2022 Major Championships: Unleashing the Beast and hoping for good luck

The 2020 US Open champion will want to add to his Major tally after a disappointing return in 2021.

When Bryson DeChambeau re-emerged from lockdown in the summer of 2020 bulked up and owning the capacity to hit his tee shots unbelievable distances the golfing world took note.

When he then finished tied fourth in the first Major of that year, and won the second, the golfing authorities began to quake.

Was DeChambeau's the golfing equation of the future? (Mammoth hitting + bold strategy) x scientific calculation = Major disruption.

Well, his performances ever since his breakthrough have somewhat allayed the fears because he's played another five Majors and is yet to add a top 25 finish.

When defending his US Open title he pointed out that, for all the planning, everyone needs good fortune in a Major.

"Nobody understands that Major Championship golf, a lot of it is luck," he said after ending his week with a 77.

"I can't tell you how many times I hit shots this week into bad lies and good lies. I caught the bad lies on the back nine today.

"But I knew going into the week that was going to be my game plan. I had to be a little lucky and I was for the first three and a half days.

"It plays a huge factor in Major Championship golf. It's probably over 50% in most scenarios. There are times when I hit it in fairways and hit it into a divot. It's just part of it."

Can he get back on the Major horse in 2022? Let's take a closer look.

The Masters

Telling the world that Augusta National was a par-67 was maybe not the brightest idea. In fact, since he uttered those words (in November 2020) he's carded 70-74-69-73 and 76-67-75-75.

Being kind, the fellow was in a giddy mood, fresh off his first Major Championship success. Being realistic, his future hopes in the big events would be helped by making life less straightforward for the press, his more cynical peers, and the loudmouths in the galleries.

He's made five visits to Augusta, is yet to better his debut effort of T21st, and he's only gone sub-70 three times. More pertinently, half (10) of his scores have been over-par (the real par, that is, not his own).

His words are not especially confident either. "I don't think you can ever figure this place out," he said during the 2021 event. "There's so many things going on around here. The wind makes it diabolical. It's flying around through these trees and bouncing off the trees and making it feel into the wind when it should be downwind, and vice versa. I don't think you'll ever be able to figure it out, but I've just got to be more comfortable."

"It's my biggest match, for sure," he continued, referring to the Masters ban on green books. "Not having the help that sometimes I have on the golf course at other venues, and not having the calibration tools that I usually use, it's definitely a test and something I'm willing to stand up to and try and face the challenge and try and conquer it."

The PGA Championship

"Hopefully I can unleash the beast," he said ahead of the 2021 event. "My length is an advantage. If I can hit it straight in this wind and control the golf ball and control the flight of it, that'll be my biggest advantage."

He struggled in his first three starts (T33rd-MC-MC), but has been tied seventh with 18 holes to play in both the last two editions. He improved to tied fourth in 2020 (a valuable learning experience ahead of winning the US Open), but a 77 in 2021 saw him end the week T38th.

Southern Hills could suit, but the windy conditions might equally provide imponderables that cause calibration confusion.

The US Open

DeChambeau's success at Winged Foot in 2020 was vindication of his bulking up, but also of his strategy. "I try to be as aggressive as possible," he explained on defence. "For the most part, I'm going to be trying to bomb it as much as possible and try to gouge it out when I don't hit it in the fairway."

In truth, even he is a little more nuanced. In fact, he made a decent point at Torrey Pines, about the business of winning on new courses (which is often the case in the Majors outside of Augusta, of course).

"In the beginning years, it was a big grind trying to understand the golf course, what could I do," he said. "As the past couple years have come about, the game plan has really simplified my course preparation a lot, and so I don't really need to go out as much, to try and get comfortable with all the golf holes.

"That's one of the things that people don't realize - you just get more comfortable over the years, so you don't have to work as hard, which is nice."

The Country Club near Boston will, however, be new to him. Will the game plan help him out as it did at Winged Foot?

The galleries in Boston are typically rowdy and they might lap up DeChambeau's big-hitting. If he thrills, and feeds off, the galleries, rather than plays up to them, he genuinely has it in him to be a threat.

He was tied fourth with 18 holes to play in that defence, but another final round 77 derailed his bid for glory.

The Open

As with his daft par-67 Masters prattle, at the 2021 Open he prompted unnecessary off-the-course difficulties by getting into a spat with his club manufacturer Cobra, essentially re-directing blame in their direction.

On the course, he finished T33rd, a first top 50 in four visits and his final round of 65 was a first sub-70 linksland lap in 12 tries.

"I think that I'll learn a lot from this going into next year," he said. "It's one of those things that for me it's going to take time probably to learn the whole ins and outs of Open golf.

"I don't think I'll ever figure it out, but hopefully I'll keep learning more and more about Open Championship style golf, and one day I can hold up the Claret Jug. That would be awesome."

What we do know is this: The Old Course, in the right conditions, might provide DeChambeau with a spectacular opportunity to take aim from the tee at an outrageous number of par-4s greens.

There's also a chance that if he records the lowest score in Major Championship history it will also be the longest round in Major Championship history.

READ MORE: The European Major Challenge in 2022: Four of the continent's stars who can triumph next year

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