World No. 8 Bryson DeChambeau, who will be heading home from the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black earlier than expected after finishing two rounds at 6-over par, wasn't thrilled about the venue's 7,400-yard setup, suggesting it's not a true test of golf skill.
"If you really want to prove who the best champion is, it's not a long-drive contest,' DeChambeau said after Thursday's first round, according to Golf Channel's Will Gray. "It's about precision. So when you start making it really tight, I get the tight part. But when you start lengthening it to the amounts that they've been lengthening it to, I just personally think that's a mess up."
DeChambeau is one of the best drivers in the game. He ranks sixth in strokes gained: off the tee and his 301.3-yard average ranks 44th in driving distance on the PGA Tour for 2019.
In two rounds at Bethpage Black, he averaged 307.4 yards off the tee while only hitting 57 percent of the fairways.
The 25-year-old spoke highly of Augusta National, another major championship course, which is known as the most forgiving venue off the tee players face all season.
“That tests the best ball-striker. That’s what majors are supposed to be about. It’s not supposed to be a driving contest,” he said. “You just can’t make golf courses that long with guys on the lower end of the stick driving it 275, 280, 290 and then hitting hybrids into greens.”
Despite five PGA Tour wins in his young career, DeChambeau hasn't been successful at majors. He's missed the cut four times in 10 events, with his best result a T-15 at the 2016 U.S. Open.