Memorial leader Bryson DeChambeau is putting it brilliantly, and here's why

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Memorial leader Bryson DeChambeau is putting it brilliantly, and here's why

PGA Tour

Memorial leader Bryson DeChambeau is putting it brilliantly, and here's why

DUBLIN, Ohio – Bryson DeChambeau might have been kicking himself for a pair of 4-footers he missed Saturday at Muirfield Village. But the truth is, DeChambeau is rolling it brilliantly this week – arguably the best he ever has – and it’s a big reason why he’ll take a one-shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the Memorial Tournament.

“The only other time that I putted exceptionally well was the (2015) U.S. Amateur (which he won), and I could probably rival that,” said DeChambeau, who ranks third in the field in strokes gained-putting through 54 holes, picking up more than five strokes on the field with his putter.

“I would say I’m putting the best I have in my life.”

Like every other aspect of his golf game, Bryson DeChambeau turned to physics and technology to turn around his putting.

Stuck in a putting funk, DeChambeau started using the side-saddle putting method in late 2016. The experiment lasted only a couple of months and by the time DeChambeau arrived at the 2017 Honda Classic, he had switched back to a traditional stroke. Still frustrated by his performance on the greens, an emotional DeChambeau sounded off on the U.S. Golf Association, which had deemed one of his putters as non-conforming.

DeChambeau quickly apologized. But one problem was not solved: His putting.

So after missing his fifth straight cut, at PGA National, DeChambeau drove from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., some three hours to Winter Garden, Fla., to meet with Stephen Harrison, president of Sik Golf, a putting manufacturer based out of Orange County National that also teaches putting philosophy and methodology.

Harrison fitted DeChambeau with a putter and worked with the young Tour pro on the Quintic Ball Roll System, which is essentially a launch monitor for putting. The system measures numbers such as launch angle, spin rate, ball speed and impact ratio.

“The same thing that you would do on a launch monitor, just microscopically,” Harrison said.

Harrison was able to dial DeChambeau into a specific launch angle with the new putter, which features descending loft technology on the face that keeps DeChambeau rolling the ball closer to optimum launch angle on miss-hits.

DeChambeau debuted his new Sik putter two weeks later at the Valspar Championship and tied for 27th. Two weeks after that, he tied for second in Puerto Rico, an event won by D.A. Points, another Sik Golf client. Even after a six-week missed-cut streak, DeChambeau earned his first PGA Tour victory at the John Deere Classic last July and played his way into three legs of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Ranked 194th in strokes gained-putting before meeting with Sik Golf, DeChambeau was able to climb to 146th by season’s end. This season, he is 88th.

“They have been incredibly instrumental, Sik Golf, to my putting,” DeChambeau said. “Being able to utilize the Quintic system has been awesome. … I can be comfortable with how it feels off the face knowing that it’s going to roll the same every single time. So having that system, as well as confidence in their descending loft technology, has really helped me to consistently improve over the course of time.

“And seeing putts going in doesn’t hurt at all.”

DeChambeau has added a reliable complement to his elite tee-to-green game. He ranks 10th in strokes gained: tee-to-green. The two facets together have produced results, as DeChambeau has five finishes of T-7 or better this season, including three top-4s in his last six events. He is also 13th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings.

This week, DeChambeau has made 281 feet, 10 inches of putts.

“It’s just been a continual journey to try and get a little bit better each and every day,” DeChambeau said, “and try and understand, okay, why did I miss that one left and why did I miss this one? And did it feel good coming off the face? Did I read it right? Just all these variables, and we try and take account for that every morning before we go so I’m confident out there.”

Added Harrison: “He’s much more confident in his putting and you can see it.”

That confidence on the greens could see DeChambeau hoisting a PGA Tour trophy for the second time on Sunday.

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