Home Sports U.S. Open: Get to know ‘Jackie,’ ‘King,’ ‘Mr. Ward’ and the rest of Bryson DeChambeau’s golf bag

U.S. Open: Get to know ‘Jackie,’ ‘King,’ ‘Mr. Ward’ and the rest of Bryson DeChambeau’s golf bag

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Bryson DeChambeau has some interesting names for his clubs. (Peacock)

Bryson DeChambeau has some interesting names for his clubs. (Peacock)

PINEHURST, N.C. – Bryson DeChambeau reigns as golf’s mad scientist, a constant, deliberate and diligent modifier of every technical element of his game. While it’s easy to be fooled by his sincerity when he talks about 3D printing his own irons (“since I changed equipment last year, my whole life has changed dramatically,” he said earlier this week), it’s impossible to deny it. that he is onto something.

DeChambeau posted the lowest score ever recorded at a PGA Championship last month at Valhalla; then he could only watch as Xander Schauffele beat him by one stroke. This week at Pinehurst, he stayed in the top 10 through the first two days of the tournament and is in prime position to challenge for his second major.

During Friday’s round, fans were able to see DeChambeau’s names for his clubs. As with all DeChambeau, he’s a little strange, a little performative, and a little endearing.

He calls his 3 iron “Gamma” because it is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. The 5-iron is “Azalea,” since that is the name of his favorite Par 5 at Augusta National. “Juniper” is the name of the sixth at Augusta, “Tin Cup” refers to Kevin Costner’s call for a 7-iron and “8-Ball” is a game DeChambeau likes to play.

And then it gets good. His 9-iron is called “Jackie” because it has 42 degrees of loft (42 = Jackie Robinson’s number, get it?). His 46-degree pitching wedge is “Herman Keiser”, after the 1946 Masters champion, and his 50-degree gap wedge is “Jimmy Demaret”, after the 1950 Masters champion. One might assume that his 55-degree sand wedge would be “Cary Middlecoff,” after the 1955 Masters champion, but no: it’s “Mr. Ward,” after Harvie Ward, the 1955 US Open amateur player. (Ward was 29 years old at the time of that victory, so it’s unclear why the 30-year-old DeChambeau would call him “Sir,” but it’s the same). Finally, his lob wedge is called “King,” after Arnold Palmer. .

“The team I have is good enough to win major championships,” DeChambeau said earlier in the week. “I feel much more comfortable under pressure in the bigger championships and I can get the job done.”

Sure, DeChambeau is an odd duck. But golf needs more from him. And if he ends up winning the US Open with the kind of deliberate strangeness of his, he might give the green flag to other golfers to be as unconventional as they want. After all, he can pay off, as DeChambeau and Jackie can testify.

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