Ian Poulter says long-driving Bryson DeChambeau is good for golf, with the American appearing to have bulked up in recent months.
DeChambeau had four top-10 finishes in four weeks on the PGA Tour of late, including a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and Poulter told Sky Sports News the American can't be faulted for trying things his way.
"When you look back to the era of John Daly carrying the ball over 300 yards, and that was over 20 years ago, everybody wants to see someone hit it as far as they possibly can.
The champ! 🏆
Congrats again to @b_dechambeau on winning the 2020 @RocketClassic. pic.twitter.com/BiiIWisaCQ
— Rocket Mortgage (@RocketMortgage) July 7, 2020
"Bryson [DeChambeau] has definitely done it his own way, and you have to applaud him for doing that. He's unique in his thought process and he's very different in the way he has approached the game.
"Obviously, by trying to move the needle for himself in hitting it 360, 370 yards, it's something very strange that we're not used to seeing. For sure, it's fan-friendly and it's good on the eye for them.
"I just hope he doesn't get injured with everything he's doing and as hard as he's hitting it. Will he cause himself an injury hitting the ball that hard, repetitively? We'll have to see."
Pádraig Harrington told Golf Weekly recently that the DeChambeau long drives aren't a new phenomenon at all - it's just that people are beginning to take notice.
"I played to Open at Royal Portrush with Bryson last year. There were only three players on the range, me, a young skinny German lad, maybe six foot two or three and he's cracking the ball out on a cold day into the wind at 191 [mph] ball speed, and he's in rainwear.
"So everything was against him hitting the ball at speed. I'm looking at him thinking 'Wow, that's impressive' and between me and him is Bryson DeChambeau standing on the range. The kid goads Bryson to have a go.
"I helped him because I wanted to see Bryson have a go. So on a cold day, with his normal driver, in heavy gear Bryson knocked out 189 mph ball speed. That's the equivalent of mid 190s [in normal conditions]. And if you put in five and a half degrees loft it would easily be 195.
"So Bryson had the speed, he just wasn't using it. He hasn't gained any speed, let's Americanise this: you're looking at a guy who has thrown a curveball at 82 mph and somebody goaded him to throw a fastball at 92 mph and he said 'Oh, that's not too bad.' He's worked on it and it's now at 95 miles an hour.
"He's always had speed but he's worked his whole life on the stability of face, now he's gone for speed. He's always had it, the bulking up, maybe it makes him a bit more stable?"
Meanwhile, six-time Ryder Cup team member Poulter addressed the decision to postpone the tournament for a year due to the pandemic, saying playing without fans would have been wrong.
"I think it's the right decision. When you look at the dynamics of the Ryder Cup, when you look at what makes the Ryder Cup, and all the ebbs and flows, it's the fans.
"We can't play and give the same passion and energy that you've seen year in, year out if the fans aren't there. As a collective group of players, captains and vice-captains, the PGA of America and the European Tour have come up with the right decision.
"I think it's a smart thing and for us to get fans back, to whatever sport, it's a global issue and everybody around the world is aware of what's happening.
"We would like to get fans back to sport as soon as possible so, with that in mind, hopefully we get a vaccine and we've got some wonderful events at the back end of the year which a lot of players are looking forward to."
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