DeChambeau says Fitzpatrick’s criticism is a ‘compliment’

US Open champion says he’d love to ‘have a conversation with him’ about comments

Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the second hole during round two of the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the second hole during round two of the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

 

US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau has taken Matt Fitzpatrick’s criticism of his approach to the game as a “compliment”.

Fitzpatrick noted with dismay DeChambeau’s opening round of 62 in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas and spoke out about the American’s “bomb and gouge” approach to the game after claiming a share of the halfway lead with Shane Lowry in the BMW PGA Championship.

“I’m going to be biased because I’m not quite the longest, but at Winged Foot - fair play to him, he won and shot six under — the fairways were tight as hell and I drove it brilliantly, I actually played pretty well, and I’m miles behind,” Fitzpatrick said.

“He’s in the rough and miles up and he’s just hitting wedges everywhere. It just makes a bit of a mockery of it I think.”

Fitzpatrick also feels DeChambeau’s approach is “taking the skill” out of the game, but the world number six was far from offended.

“I appreciate that comment. It’s a compliment to me honestly,” DeChambeau told reporters after his second round in Las Vegas.

“A year ago I wasn’t hitting it anywhere near as far as I am today. It took a lot of work, a lot of hours to work through the night to figure out a lot of this stuff.

“I would say it actually takes more skill to do what I’m doing, and albeit my fairway percentages are a little bit down, I still believe I’m hitting it straighter than what I was last year with the distances that I was hitting back then.

“So I actually appreciate those comments. I think he’s looking out for a certain set of players, and I appreciate that. My whole goal is to play the best golf I possibly can, and this game has given me the opportunity to showcase something pretty special.

“I feel like I’ve started to go down a path that’s allowed me to have an advantage over everyone, and I think that is a skill-set when you look at it. For me out there today, I was still able to hit a lot of fairways at 360 yards. That’s tough to do with drivers.

“If anything, it’s more difficult to hit more fairways the way I’m doing it with the rules the way it is today. It’s more built for players like Matthew Fitzpatrick and his distances and players like that.

“I would love to have a conversation with him about it and say, ‘Hey, man, I would love to help out. Why couldn’t you do it, too?’

“You see Rory (McIlroy) and DJ (Dustin Johnson) doing the same thing, too. They’re seeing that distinct advantage, and I feel like it’s great for the game of golf.”

On Friday DeChambeau followed up his 62 with a 67 to sit sixth at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on 13 under par, one shot behind a five-way tie for the lead made up of Martin Laird, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Austin Cook and Peter Malnati.

Collated second round scores in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, United States of America (USA unless stated, par 71):

128 Peter Malnati 66 62, Austin Cook 63 65, Martin Laird (Sco) 65 63, Patrick Cantlay 63 65, Brian Harman 65 63

129 Bryson DeChambeau 62 67

130 Wyndham Clark 67 63, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 66 64, James Hahn 64 66, Stewart Cink 67 63, Nate Lashley 63 67, Sungjae Im (Kor) 67 63

131 Sepp Straka (Aut) 65 66, Harold Varner III 63 68, Brice Garnett 65 66, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 67 64

132 Henrik Norlander (Swe) 67 65, Andrew Landry 64 68, Will Zalatoris 68 64, Michael Gligic (Can) 65 67, Bronson Burgoon 64 68, Chez Reavie 68 64, Kevin Na 66 66, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 66 66, Cameron Tringale 66 66

133 Justin Suh 68 65, JT Poston 67 66, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 67 66, Zach Johnson 65 68, Beau Hossler 69 64, Sung Kang (Kor) 68 65, Ryan Palmer 67 66, Scott Piercy 68 65, Matt Kuchar 67 66, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 65 68, Charles Howell III 69 64, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 64 69, Cameron Smith (Aus) 70 63, Sam Burns 67 66

134 Adam Schenk 67 67, Andrew Putnam 67 67, Robby Shelton 67 67, Matthew NeSmith 66 68, Matt Jones (Aus) 67 67, Tom Lewis (Eng) 67 67, George Markham 70 64, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 67 67, Russell Henley 67 67, Joseph Bramlett 68 66, Matthew Wolff 68 66, Cameron Davis (Aus) 65 69, Tom Hoge 70 64, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 68 66, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 68 66, Troy Merritt 68 66

135 Adam Hadwin (Can) 67 68, Webb Simpson 68 67, Hunter Mahan 67 68, Joel Dahmen 67 68, Denny McCarthy 66 69, Rob Oppenheim 64 71, Patton Kizzire 67 68, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 68 67, Luke Donald (Eng) 69 66, John Huh 69 66, Brandt Snedeker 67 68

The following players missed the second round cut:

136 Jason Kokrak 68 68, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 69 67, Vaughn Taylor 66 70, Jason Dufner 68 68, Jamie Lovemark 69 67, Kevin Streelman 69 67, Brendan Steele 67 69, Scottie Scheffler 69 67, Ted Potter, Jr. 71 65, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 68 68, Harry Higgs 68 68, Scott Harrington 63 73, Collin Morikawa 69 67, Will Gordon 67 69

137 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 68 69, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 69 68, Brian Gay 69 68, Mark Hubbard 70 67, Doc Redman 69 68, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 70 67, Kevin Tway 69 68, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 68 69, Pat Perez 68 69, Sam Ryder 73 64, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 66 71, Harris English 68 69, Keegan Bradley 70 67, Kristoffer Ventura (Nor) 68 69, Paul Casey (Eng) 69 68, Keith Mitchell 69 68, Russell Knox (Sco) 70 67, Tyler Duncan 70 67

138 Brian Stuard 64 74, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 70 68, Scott Stallings 68 70, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 66 72, Chesson Hadley 69 69, Sean O’Hair 67 71, Camilo Villegas (Col) 66 72, Michael Kim 72 66

139 Luke List 68 71, Talor Gooch 68 71, Aaron Wise 69 70, Bol Van Pelt 69 70, Nick Taylor (Can) 68 71, Cameron Champ 67 72, Zac Blair 71 68, Craig Hocknull (Aus) 69 70, Bol Hoag 74 65

140 D.A. Points 70 70, Jason Day (Aus) 68 72, J.B. Holmes 72 68, MJ Daffue (Rsa) 70 70, Lanto Griffin 69 71

141 Danny Lee (Nzl) 70 71, Charley Hoffman 70 71, Maverick McNealy 72 69, Ryan Armour 70 71, Jimmy Walker 71 70, Rickie Fowler 67 74

142 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 73 69, Richy Werenski 68 74, Nick Watney 71 71, Scott Brown 76 66, Kevin Chappell 70 72

143 Spencer Levin 75 68, Chase Seiffert 72 71, Kevin Stadler 73 70, Parker Coody 70 73, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 72 71, Patrick Rodgers 73 70

144 Graham DeLaet (Can) 74 70

145 Max Homa 74 71, Kyle Stanley 70 75, Tyler McCumber 74 71

146 Hudson Swafford 75 71

147 Matt Wilson 78 69, Martin Trainer 74 73

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