Bryson DeChambeau makes gains in the gym, but misses cut at Abu Dhabi

January 17, 2020

Warren Little

Bryson DeChambeau's body transformation is one of the biggest PGA Tour storylines entering 2020. But while DeChambeau has seen some serious gains in the gym, the early results on the course indicate some, um, growing pains for the 26-year-old.

At 225 pounds, DeChambeau certainly looked more imposing when he teed it up at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He'll have the weekend off at the European Tour event, though, after shooting rounds of 72 and 77 to miss the cut by six shots in his first start of the new year.

DeChambeau didn't talk to the media after Friday's second round, but earlier in the week he told reporters he felt great about the state of his body and golf game.

"I didn't feel like any point in 2019 I was playing my A+ game," DeChambeu, who didn't win on the PGA Tour in 2019 after four 2018 victories, told reporters on Tuesday. "And trying to get it ready for this year and I feel like I'm very close to that right now, very, very close."

DeChambeau also said that his increased gym time—some three-and-a-half hours per day during the offseason—began after a T-4 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October. By the Hero World Challenge in December, DeChambeau had put on 25 pounds of muscle, but only managed a 15th-place finish in the 18-man field. The following week, he struggled at the Presidents Cup, although, he said he "found something nice" during his Sunday singles match in which he earned a half point against Adam Hadwin.

DeChambeau will have a chance to find something again next week as he stays in the Middle East to defend his title at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Of course, it's super early in the Bulky Bryson Era. And as DeChambeau explained earlier in the week, he's excited about the direction he's headed.

I just made it a goal of mine this year after I figured out my—some of the stuff in my golf swing that wasn't going right at Shriners, after I figured that out, I said, okay, now I feel like I have good control of my game and I feel like I can add mass and size and strength and speed to those principles, and so it was kind of a test for me. It wasn't that I was bored or anything. It was just I wanted to see if I could do it, and quite honestly, it's been a massive benefit.

And it's made me excited for the game again because I get to go back out and play a game that is completely different than what I knew it to be. I mean, I went out yesterday and hit shots and hit drives. I'm like, I'm hitting … two years ago, I was hitting driver, 5-iron, driver almost 4-iron into 16. But yesterday, I hit driver—I could have hit 9-iron into it but I hit a chip 8-iron into that hole and it was the same into the wind, 10, 15 miles an hour, I flew a driver 315 yards into a 15-mile-an-hour wind. I've never been able to do that before.

So it's really a new game for me. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

Interesting, indeed. Then again, isn't it always interesting with this guy?