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Bombs Away

Bryson DeChambeau surpasses Pro Long Drive expectations with exhilarating show

October 01, 2021

Keyur Khamar

MESQUITE, Nev. — Bryson DeChambeau's run in the Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship has come to an end, but not without fireworks. DeChambeau was eliminated in the Round of 8 after battling through the Round of 16.

DeChambeau drew a gauntlet group in his first set of the day, battling Martin Borgmeier, Nick Vorbeck and Kyle Berkshire. DeChambeau rallied the crowd with a long drive of 406 yards, beating Berkshire and finishing second to Borgmeier (416 yards).

He would go on to post long drives of 406, 386, 403, 396 and 394 in his five sets. That final shot was worth a victory in set five, propelling him into the next round.

After re-seeding, DeChambeau faced off against Borgmeier, Justin James and Colton Casto — some of the game's best and biggest hitters. He put forth a valiant effort but posting a long drive of 391 wasn’t enough.

The result certainly surpassed DeChambeau’s expectations before the week began.

“Not even final 16, I thought I’d make it to the round of 32, but getting to the top 16 is pretty sweet,” he said about his pre-event expectations and subsequent performance on Thursday. “To say you’re one of the top 16 long drivers in the world and one of the longest drivers in the world is pretty sweet.”

At this stage in the event, DeChambeau ran up against some of the world’s best long drivers with ball speeds that scant few humans can obtain. He was second on the PGA Tour last season in measured ball speed at 190.72 miles per hour, just behind Cameron Champ. At the World Championships this week, his ball speeds had been recorded as high as 219 mph, a personal record thanks to a singular mindset and equipment designed for maximum distance.

Even that outrageous achievement doesn’t measure up to Kyle Berkshire, for example, who reached a top speed of 229 mph this week. There’s a reason that Berkshire is the reigning world champion and that’s the type of athlete that DeChambeau has attempted to shine a light on this week.

“Just be a part of it and encourage them as much as possible,” DeChambeau told Golf Digest on Friday when asked about his continued advocacy of this sport. “Tell them that if they work on their wedge games, they can be on the Korn Ferry Tour and be on the PGA TOUR … they are good enough.”

Berkshire would go on to defeat Justin James in the finals, winning the World Championships and defending his own title.

After a two-week stretch of golf that spanned both a Ryder Cup and a Long Drive World Championship, DeChambeau indicated that a break will now be coming, offering up the Hero World Challenge as his next likely PGA Tour start.

But this week and on this night, he is not only the seventh ranked golfer on the planet but also the 6th longest hitter on the planet.