Matt Fitzpatrick has called on golf’s governing bodies to clamp down on the increasing hitting distances in the game and believes Bryson DeChambeau Is making a “mockery” of the sport.
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DeChambeau used his monster power off the tee to claim a maiden major victory at the US Open last month, with the American carrying on where he left off by racing into the opening-round lead at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The world No 6 reached each of the par-five greens in two and drove the green on two of the par-fours on his way to a nine-under 62 at TPC Summerlin, with Fitzpatrick – who holds a share of the lead at the BMW PGA Championship – questioning whether the extra distance is good for the game.
“I’m going to be biased because I’m not quite the longest,” Fitzpatrick said after his second-round 65 at Wentworth. “At Winged Foot, the fairways were tight as hell and I drove it brilliantly and I actually played pretty well, and I’m miles behind.
“He’s in the rough and miles up and he’s just hitting wedges everywhere. It just makes a bit of a mockery of it, I think. I just looked at Shot Tracker yesterday, some of the places he hit it and how he’s cutting corners.
“When he’s on, there’s no point, is there. It doesn’t matter if I play my best, he’s going to be 50 yards in front of me off the tee. You know, the only thing I can compete with him is putting, and that’s just ridiculous.”
DeChambeau tops the driving distance averages after adding 40 pounds in weight – mostly muscle – over the past year and intends to increase his advantage further with a 48-inch driver at the Masters next month.
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When asked if he would like to see the R&A and USGA do more more to stop increased long hitting impacting golf, Fitzpatrick added: “I really hope they do. It’s not a skill to hit the ball a long way in my opinion. I could put on 40 pounds. I could go and see a bio-mechanist and I could gain 40 yards; that’s actually a fact.
“I could put another two inches on my driver. I could gain that, but the skill in my opinion is to hit the ball straight. That’s the skill, he’s just taking the skill out of it in my opinion. I’m sure lots will disagree. It’s just daft.
“I don’t necessarily think people will try and copy him putting all that weight on, but I think you’ll see people going harder at it. You look at the college kids coming out now, Matt Wolff, (Viktor) Hovland, they just smash it, basically.
“I know Matt a little bit and he’s a great player, but it just seems to me, smash it and get after it and play the next one from wherever it is. It’s a great mentality to have, but I think it’s probably not quite as consistent as maybe like plotting yourself around.”
Watch the BMW PGA Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 10.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.
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