VIDEO: Looks like Bryson DeChambeau wasn't kidding about putting side-saddle. . .
Bryson DeChambeau told Golf Digest's Tim Rosaforte in October he was working on a side-saddle putting stroke. "It’s in development now," DeChambeau said at the time. "I think it's an easier way to putt and could be another game-changer like the one-length [irons]."
We'll have to wait to see if switching to the unorthodox putting method is, in fact, a "game-changer," but apparently, we don't have to wait anymore to see the stroke in action. DeChambeau is playing in this week's Franklin Templeton Shootout, and on Tuesday, the PGA Tour shared video of him preparing for the event by putting side-saddle. Check it out:
After news of DeChambeau's potential putting change broke, Golf Digest did a Facebook Live video with former USGA executive director David Fay, who happens to use a variation of the method himself. Fay walked us through how to side-saddle and the advantages he thinks the method brings, especially for people looking for something new after the anchoring ban went into effect at the beginning of 2016.
Fay notes the side-saddle method is perfectly legal and that it's really just an extremely open stance. Most notably, Sam Snead used the method at one point in his career. Side-saddle is different than the croquet-style method Snead also used. That was banned by the USGA, which determined you can't make a stroke while straddling the line of the putt. It appears DeChambeau -- like Fay -- straddles the line, but only when he's lining up the putt, which is legal.
Here's more video of DeChambeau practicing his side-saddle putting:
Bryson DeChambeau, the winner of the 2015 U.S. Amateur and 2015 NCAA Championship, turned pro after finishing T-21 at the Masters. He finished T-4 at the RBC Heritage in his first start as a pro, but missed his next four cuts and didn't have another top 10 the rest of the year on the PGA Tour. DeChambeau won the Web.com Tour's DAP Championship to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2016-2017 season. In four events so far this season, he has nothing better than a T-36 with two missed cuts.
But now, it appears the Bryson side-saddle era begins, and it smartly starts at this less-pressurized team event. DeChambeau is partnered with Lexi Thompson, making the duo the only mixed-gender pairing in the tournament.
Thompson is no stranger to unusual putting methods herself, having gone a long stretch of this past season putting with her eyes closed. To say the least, this is the team to watch this week.