Cobra bites back: Bryson DeChambeau gets in a fight with his driver manufacturer at the Open

The American carded a 1-over-par 71 before picking another fight that is likely to distract him.

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The science of getting on with folk appears to be beyond Bryson DeChambeau.

The man who likes to utilise technology to improve his golf has the awkward habit of rubbing people up the wrong way.

Ryder Cup team-mate Brooks Koepka doesn't like him, he's parted company with his long-term caddie in the last month, and, after posting a 1-over-par 71 in round one of the Open at Royal St George's, he picked a fight with his club manufacturer.

Asked about hitting only four of 14 fairways he said: "If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that's great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks."

This would have been an astonishing enough claim in a sport more or less funded by players saying good things about the gear they use, but he doubled down on it by explaining everything in detail.

"It's not a good face for me and we're still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mis-hits.

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"I'm living on the razor's edge like I've told people for a long time. When I did get it outside of the fairway, like in the first cut and whatnot, I catch jumpers out of there and I can't control my wedges.

"It's quite finicky for me because it's a golf course that's pretty short, and so when I hit driver and it doesn't go in the fairway, or it's in the hay, it's tough for me to get it out on to the green and control that.

"Like the one time I found the middle of the fairway, on 18, I was able to hit a nice shot to 11 feet and almost made birdie.

"It's kind of living on the razor's edge, and I can't figure it out. It's been forever."

Asked if he could have fixed this problem in practice, he redoubled his assault on Cobra.

"I've realised this for years now. This has happened since 2016-17 when players stopped drawing the ball.

"There's not very many golfers that draw it any more. It's not because of spin rate. It's not.

"It's literally the physics and the way that they build heads now.

DeChambeau is responding to the scorecard prompt in his back pocket.
DeChambeau is responding to the scorecard prompt in his back pocket.

"It's not the right design, unfortunately, and we've been trying to fix it. No results yet."

It didn't take long for Ben Schomin, Cobra's Tour Operations Manager to respond.

USA Today quoted him saying: "Everybody is bending over backwards. We've got multiple guys in R&D who are CAD'ing (computer-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. (Bryson) knows it.

"It's just really, really painful when he says something that stupid.

"He has never really been happy, ever. Like, it's very rare where he's happy.

"Now he's in a place where he's swinging a 5-degree driver with 200mph of ball speed. Everybody is looking for a magic bullet. Well, the magic bullet becomes harder and harder to find the faster you swing and the lower your loft gets."

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DeChambeau swapped five bogeys and four birdies in his 71. It left him outside the top 70, in danger of missing the cut, and a distant seven shots adrift of pace-setter Louis Oosthuizen.

Let's take a closer look at his Open record and form.

DeChambeau at the Open

The good news: this was his best start to an Open yet.

That's about it, though. On debut in 2017 he opened with a 76, he carded a Thursday 75 in 2018, and a 74 in 2019. The 71 is not bad in comparison.

It's also his best position at this stage. Previously he's been T133rd, T110th and T94th.

In 2017 and 2019 he recorded 77 and 73 on Friday. In-between he made his only cut with a 70, then added 73-70 at the weekend to finish T51st.

Improving on that record ought to be well within his reach, but maybe not if he's squabbling with the people he needs to help him.

DeChambeau's form

In March he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was third at THE PLAYERS Championship.

Since then, he has finished outside the top 35 five times in nine starts. He has one top 10 in that run. He was last seen missing the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Friday three-ball

Branden Grace carded a 72 in round one and Jordan Spieth a brilliant 65.

DeChambeau doesn't make much appeal at 15/8 to win the group in round two.

Grace is 11/4 and Spieth 23/20 with PlanetSportBet.

READ MORE: Linksland love draws the best from shot-maker Jordan Spieth on Thursday at the Open

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