Bryson DeChambeau: US PGA Championship participant battles in an attempt to win the first major

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DeChambeau on the left in August 2019 and his sixth PGA on the right Tour title to be won at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last month Date: August 6-9 Location: Harding Park, San Francisco Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and text updates on the BBC Sport website over the four days

Bryson DeChambeau has always enjoyed things differently to do.

Dubbed & # 39; The Scientist & # 39 ;, the American's latest experiment was to stack on three stones in nine months to return from the forced sports break that looked like a weightlifter in golf clothes.

As a result, he comfortably outperforms his rivals on the PGA Tour since rebooting in June, achieving four top-10 finishes, including a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

& # 39; I've shown people there is another way to do it & # 39; said an emotional DeChambeau afterwards.

& # 39; I changed my body, I changed my way of thinking and could win while playing a completely different golf style. "

BBC Sport has been told that DeChambeau wants to get even bigger, although his muscular physique and monster drives have already hurt tongues, as has a protein-rich diet that makes him eat more than even the greatest rugby players in England.

But when the US PGA Championship starts on Thursday, all eyes will now be focused on whether that approach can bring the 26-year-old his first major.

& # 39; He has always wanted to challenge the standard & # 39;

DeChambeau has not only become a top 10 golfer in bulk – he turned professional in 2016 as just the fifth player to win the NCAA and American amateur titles that same year, a list that also includes Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore.

But adding size allowed the American the borders shifting golf.

Due to his success in Detroit, he recorded the longest average measured driving distance for each player to win a PGA Tour event, some 350.6 yards, while his average drive of 324.4 yards surpasses everyone on the track this year.

The ability to reach such a distance did not surprise his coach Mike Schy, although he says DeChambeau was afraid to unleash it first.

"Even when he was young, I would tell people he had a crank," Schy tells BBC Sport.

"If he wants to set his sights on it, he can do whatever he wants. I'm not sure where that limitation is."

However, it has sparked calls from Nicklaus and Colin Montgomerie, among others, to introduce a tournament ball that doesn't travel that far

& # 39; The reality is that he always has wanted to challenge the norm & # 39; says Schy. & # 39; We've been talking about that for a long time that when that happens, people don't go like it.

"It's only when you win some majors and you are number one in the world for a while that people might wake up and go 'OK, maybe we should look at all this and see it's groundbreaking. "

Coach Mike Schy is happy with DeChambeau & # 39; s driving and putting on this season, but is working on improving his scoring clubs and wedges

The goal of DeChambeau, a college physics student, was always to be the "most scientifically efficient way" to get the ball in the hole.

Explorations included cutting all his clubs to the same length, playing with oversized grips, floating golf balls in Epsom salt around their center of gravity, and using a side-saddle putter.

That putter was identified as non-compliant by the USGA, as is DeChambeau's use of a drawing compass to determine pin locations.

Sometimes the number seven in the world feels that his innovation is being hindered by the golf authorities.

"It's hard if you try and there are influential people pushing back," added Schy, his fifteen-year-old coach.

"You get a little defensive. You get to the point where you feel 'are these people against me no matter what?'

& # 39; Sometimes it's hard to deal with that – he cares a lot about the game and moving it forward, making it easier for juniors and the normal golfer to play. "

Outside of the tournament spotlight, the pair are free to tinker. Schy has his students practice swinging brooms, something he has been doing since his teens because 'we couldn't afford training aids, so we invented things.'

He once bought a Pirelli race tire and, after challenging DeChambeau not to speak for the day, he was ordered to hit him all over a 30-foot bunker.

"He did it. He did it. I just moved him maybe eight inches because he was so heavy and sank in the sand," explains Schy. & # 39; It probably took him four hours to talk all day – that was a big part – and he moved it all the way up and down, up and down.

& # 39; If you ask him to do a job and he believes in the job, he will finish it. It can take 10 hours and he will keep doing it until he gets it. "

It's such resilience that DeChambeau adhered to a rigorous training regimen during the absence of golf. experiment in practice.

He added 20 pounds during the three-month block to return with a drastically larger physique.

& # 39; He wants to be a happy Gilmore, hitting 400-yard greens in one! & # 39;

DeChambeau posted a social media clip of him running over 200 mph

DeChambeau in the 17-stone muscle bundle he is now has been a longer process than it seems from the outside.

He started working with Greg Roskopf, founder of Muscle Activation Techniques, three years ago. With DeChambeau experiencing some limiting movements and pain in his hip and back, the first task was to perform an overhaul on his body.

"What Bryson is doing is literally going to change the game of golf," Roskopf tells BBC Sport.

"He's great. He's very intense. He's always looking for the best. I'd say he's interesting because he's a tinkerer, he's always trying to change things to make it better, which is great. "

Roskopf works on the principle" we are only strong as our weakest link ", and started helping DeChambeau achieve more balance by activate all of his muscles so they could tolerate greater amounts of strength before adding weight to make muscles stronger by his muscles.

It helps that DeChambeau installed the same equipment that Roskopf uses at his Denver gym at his Dallas home.

"Often the misconception is that lifting weights can make you tighter, especially as a golfer," Roskopf adds.

"If you strengthen these muscles and movements through their full range of motion, you become stronger, you maintain flexibility and if anything, the body will actually increase flexibility.

"That's what happened to him over time. You can see that he now transitions into his swing, his club head speed and ball speed, and generally his distance. "

It's about tolerating significant strength without getting injured. When DeChambeau retired from the John Deere Classic in 2018, it was because his shoulder muscles couldn't stand the strength of his core and he flew directly to Denver to see Roskopf.

Recently, he feared breaking at the hands, wrists and forearms, doing specific exercises for that purpose Roskopf says DeChambeau is "very intelligent" and a of a "rare race" that understands the mechanics of his own body

So how likely is it to get even bigger?

"There are no restrictions in his mind where to stop," Roskopf explains. "He's thrown out the 270-pound weight. (19 stone) and wants to continue to win the masses. "

As long as he gains in muscle, not fat, and Roskopf sees no negative effects, such as loss in his range of motion, he likes to give the green light.

"If he maintains and increases his strength and maintains or even improves his clubhead speed and speed, his distance will experience positive changes," says Roskopf.

]

" I think he wants to be like a happy Gilmore, he wants to hit those 400m greens in one! As long as we don't see a negative effect in its overall performance or an increase in the chance of injuries, the air is the limit. "

A great champion's breakfast?

DeChambeau makes elaborate calculations for every shot

DeChambeau feeds that muscle growth with a daily diet of 3,000-3,500 calories containing 400 g of protein – the recommended daily intake is approximately 85 g of protein for a man of his weight.

Breakfast contains five slices of bacon, four eggs, toast and two protein shakes, followed by his round with a peanut butter and jam sandwich, three more protein shakes, organic protein bars and snacks.

Before dinner he rinses steak and potatoes With two more shakes.

That's what he told reporters last month, adding: & # 39; I don't necessarily eat anything g or anything I want. the weight up, I just had to consume a lot more. "

Graeme Close leads the food for the European Tour and has already asked players about the DeChambeau diet.

"It's always nice when someone challenges the status quo," he told BBC Sport. "That doesn't mean everyone wants to follow.

" I wasn't in a rush to put my players on that diet. I would not recommend anyone to take more than 40-50 g of protein in one meal. He had maybe 120g in some meals.

"We know this is not the best way to increase muscle mass, there is a lot of excess there, a lot of waste."

Close says DeChambeau's reported protein intake is twice that of a professional rugby player.

"Even those boys would have 2g per kg body weight ss, maximum," adds Close, who also works with the England rugby team.

"Most golfers can get their protein needs from food. That said, if you're trying to gain weight you need a calorie surplus.

"If you go on like this, which I undoubtedly won't do, we'll all know where that calorie surplus will end up. It will not promote the sport. "

Coach Schy suspects DeChambeau may not keep its size now that the Tour is back in full swing, although his scientific approach will continue.

"He likes the biomechanical aspect of measurements, which fascinates him," he adds. "We've always done that, science has always been a big part of what we've done. It always will. "

Whether DeChambeau & # 39; s latest experiment will prove to be a long-time success, time and trophies will tell. But it begs the question : will others follow his example?

"I've been in touch a lot, my phone is ringing off the hook," adds personal trainer Roskopf, who has also worked with the Utah Jazz , Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets.

"Bryson is simply the unique entity in golf that he sought, committed to, recognized the value and now proves that he is committed to the process can have positive effects in whatever game you play.

"He makes my job easy. When he delves into it, he commits 100%. Some people may visit me saying" I want to do what Bryson does " 39;

"Well, you will have to work the way Bryson has worked and do you have that in you? & # 39;

& # 39; The problem is time. With Bryson, we've spent a lot of time getting where he is today. "

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