Golf

Can Bryson DeChambeau Make History Before Teeing off at Augusta? You Bet He Can

It must please long-time sponsors like Puma and Rolex that Bryson DeChambeau heads into The Masters Tournament this week as arguably the most-watched golfer in the world. He’s also a betting favorite according to several sportsbooks, which has to please his newest sponsor even more.

DeChambeau, a man who studied the numbers of science by majoring in physics in college, has forged a partnership with DraftKings, which makes its money from the science of numbers. It’s the perfect marriage and likely launches a trend in sports.

Bryson DeChambeau is the No. 1 name in golf entering the Masters

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Three top-10 finishes and a victory in his first four tournaments back following the pandemic stoppage rocketed Bryson DeChambeau up to No. 4 in the FexExCup standings over the summer. He was then able to string together four rounds of par or better at the U.S. Open to run away with a six-shot victory and snatch the No. 1 ranking.

That made him the biggest name in the sport as his somewhat controversial past, his recent diet and training regimen, and his run of success converged. He will go into the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, beginning Nov. 12 as the betting favorite.

Though the NFL usually rules the TV ratings on autumn weekends, the Masters is likely to draw in the casual sports fans intrigued by DeChambeau’s recent success and how he got there.

DeChambeau, 27, has been beefing up in order to improve his distance off the tee. He narrowly edged Cameron Champ, Ryan Brehm, and Rory McIlroy for the best driving distance in the 2019-20 season, which officially ended in early September, and is the leader again in the current season. The climb from 34th in that category two seasons ago has been driven by a high-protein diet to add muscle plus weight training aimed at adding strength while maintaining flexibility.

Bryson DeChambeau is the mad scientist of the PGA

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Bryson DeChambeau turned professional after finishing as the low amateur at the 2016 Masters. He has already moved into elite company by joining Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to have won the NCAA Division I championship, the U.S. Amateur, and the U.S. Open.

The NCAA victory came in 2015 while DeChambeau was a student at Southern Methodist University, where he majored in physics. He has built the science background into his golf game, leading observers on the PGA Tour to refer to him as either The Scientist or The Mad Scientist.

While golfers strive for a consistent swing regardless of which club they are hitting, DeChambeau has taken it to a new level by customizing his clubs. Besides being fitted with thicker grips, the clubs are all the length of a typical 6- or 7-iron, and the heads carry identical weights, according to Golf Digest.

The website noted that he has taken the mathematical aspects of physics a step further by determining that the material from which flagsticks are made is a factor in deciding whether to keep the pin in the cup while putting. He also paces off the length of putts not only to figure out how hard to hit the ball but to try to more accurately estimate how much break is built in the green.

DraftKings has signed him in time for the Masters

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The PGA Tour has been one of the first major sports organizations to recognize the potential of legalized sports betting, which has grown dramatically in recent years. The tour has struck deals not only with sportsbooks but also with companies specializing in analytics that could help to uncover suspicious betting patterns.

When he arrives at the first tee on Thursday, Nov. 12, Bryson DeChambeau will become the first professional golfer to display a sports betting sponsor’s logo. DeChambeau and DraftKings announced an endorsement deal last week, and he’s likely to be just the first of many golfers to sign with a sportsbook.

It’s a natural collaboration for DeChambeau, who has long been a numbers whiz. And, it fits DraftKings’ needs. According to Forbes, golf is No. 4 in popularity among daily fantasy players at DraftKings, while the company’s sportsbook handle on the sport is 10 times what it was just a year ago.

Not surprisingly, given his victory at golf’s most recent major tournament, DeChambeau is the Masters betting favorite at DraftKings.