Genius or crazy?

U.S. Open 2024: Bryson DeChambeau's last-minute equipment change, explained

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Alex Slitz

PINEHURST, N.C. — Genius or crazy? The fact that Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Open while changing out the clubhead on his driver less than 20 minutes before starting his final round on Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2—and after hitting just five balls with it on the range—would lend you to say the former rather than the later. But in the glow of winning his second career major title, DeChambeau himself made it sound like the answer was up for debate.

“I probably shouldn't have changed the heads,” said DeChambeau, the comfort of having the U.S. Open trophy next to him allowing him to have the wry smile on his face.

Carrying a three-shot lead entering the final round, DeChambeau was warming up with his Krank Formula Fire Pro driver when he suddenly decided to make a change. “I was trying to get a fresh head in there,” DeChambeau said. “The face that I was using for the past three days was just starting to get flat.”

Indeed, given the massive swing and ball speeds he produces with his driver, wearing out the face is a regular issue.

The trade off for the switch is that DeChambeau had trouble turning the ball over off the tee, causing him to have several of his drives miss the fairway right and find themselves in Pinehurst’s infamous wiregrass. By day’s end he would hit just five of 14 fairways, tied for last in the field for the round.

"It had a good curvature on the face, but it was a little bit lower loft," DeChambeau said. "For whatever reason, those lower lofted heads have been missing right. Consequently I missed it right all day."

DeChambeau overcame that by hitting 11 of 18 greens in regulation and picking up 1.32 strokes gained/short game, to grind out a one-over 71 and claim the title by a shot over Rory McIlroy.

“I was driving it well on the range. On the golf course nerves got to me a little bit. I wasn't as comfortable with it. Probably needed to work it in more, more than just hitting five balls with it."

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