Brooks Koepka interview interrupted by Bryson DeChambeau
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American star Bryson DeChambeau kept his dream of a world long drive title alive after he advanced to the final 32 of the Professional Long Drivers of America World Championships in Nevada. Four groups of 16 players competed in five four-man sets on Wednesday, with each player earning 200 points for winning a set, 100 points for second place and 50 points for third with the top eight players in each group advancing to the next round.
DeChambeau, who helped Team USA reclaim the Ryder Cup in dominant fashion, finished with 800 points after winning three of his five sets.
He finished second in his 16-man group as a result to easily advance to the final 32 at the Mesquite Regional Sports and Event Complex.
The fast-paced style of the world drive tournament has been clear to DeChambeau so far, as the Open Division began with 80 players on Monday but was quickly reduced to 64 on Tuesday before Wednesday’s action.
DeChambeau will compete on Thursday to make the final 16 on Friday, where the winner will be crowned.
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On Wednesday, DeChambeau started impressively in his opening set as he found the grid with all six balls and struck a best drive of 351 yards.
It secured the 28-year-old second place, beaten only by Ryan Steenberg’s last-gasp 353-yard effort – but DeChambeau smashed a 355-yard drive to win his second set and essentially secure qualification to the next round.
He sealed his place in the final 32 with a 351-yard drive and a 347-yard bomb in the third and fourth sets respectively.
The fifth set meant little to DeChambeau, but the 2020 US Open champion closed out another set win with a terrific 328-yard bomb.
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“What he’s doing is obviously wonderful for the sport. He’s a good guy,” former world champion and fellow competitor Kyle Berkshire said.
“He has a very altruistic desire to help the sport out. It’s great to have someone appreciate what the guys can do out here.
“He took a big leap of faith and put himself in a vulnerable position to compete out here and he’s backed it up with his performance.
“He’s doing the PGA TOUR really proud.”
Berkshire, who also reached the round of 32, supported DeChambeau’s desire to participate in the tournament and he expects the PGA Tour star to reach the final 16.
“The competition is going to get even more serious now which is great to see. I think Bryson has a gear we haven’t seen yet,” the 24-year-old said. “I expect we will see him close to 220mph ball speed.
“If he comes out and wins a set or two tomorrow, which I think he can do especially getting so many balls in play, he absolutely has a great chance to advance further.”
The live-stream commentator was optimistic about DeChambeau’s chances of victory, suggesting he will bet on the Ryder Cup hero: “He’s ruining our long-drive reputations because not only can he hit the long ball but he can chip and putt as well!”
DeChambeau will not take any money for his performance at the long drive world championships as he is donating anything he wins back into the total pot for the other competitors.
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