By Amy Tennery
(Reuters) – Fresh off his maiden major win, power-hitting golfer Bryson DeChambeau finds himself in a rarest of circumstances: He’s feeling relaxed.
It’s a welcome reprieve for the meticulously data-driven world No. 6, who overhauled his body this year to add jaw-dropping power to his drives and claimed the U.S. Open crown by a six-stroke margin at a wickedly challenging Winged Foot course.
“It was certainly for me personally a win that allowed me to be comfortable with being in my own skin and what I do,” said the 27-year-old American, who despite his age still felt the pressure of clinching a major title after six prior PGA Tour wins.
Getting that “monkey off my back,” said DeChambeau, was a game-changer ahead of the Masters, which kicks off next week.
“When I look at Augusta, I really think I’m going to be a lot more relaxed going into this tournament, I won’t be as forceful sometimes as I have been in certain majors that have caused me not to play my best,” DeChambeau told Reuters.
“Obviously having a totally new game is nice, to be honest with you … (I can) think about the golf course differently. I usually play pretty well on new golf courses so for me this feels like a new golf course and a new opportunity to do something pretty special.”
The Masters has been played at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia since 1934 but will move forward without fans in attendance this year due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
DeChambeau is looking to broaden his footprint in the sport as well, after he was announced Monday as the first-ever face of the DraftKings daily fantasy sports golf platform, a platform he hopes will help bring in new golf fans.
“I just wanted a partner that is doing something unique and growing and has the potential to grow the game of golf as well,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest things I want to do in my life is to help grow the game and I think this is a way to do it.”
DraftKings, which declined to comment on the value of the multi-year deal, said that golf is its fourth-most popular sport for daily fantasy. Last year’s Masters was one of the “top five highest-bet sporting events” on the platform.
But should fans bet on him at Augusta?
“I think it wouldn’t be a bad bet,” said DeChambeau. “I don’t think it would be a terrible bet.”
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)