Jim Nantz is a busy man who doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon. He’s also very familiar with Augusta National and the Masters in general, both from a historical standpoint and a technical standpoint. Nantz has seen many amazing things in his time calling the first major of the year, so when U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau wanted to stop by and ask Nantz a few questions, the broadcaster obliged.
Via Guy Yocum: Bryson DeChambeau, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, came by my house recently. Casey Reamer, the head pro at Cypress Point and a mentor to Bryson, asked if I would speak to him about the history of the Masters. It was an amazing two hours. He asked every question imaginable about every significant player in Masters history, with an emphasis on tales of amateurs such as Billy Joe Patton, Frank Stranahan, Ken Venturi and Charlie Coe. I have DVDs of all the recent Masters, and Bryson asked to borrow them, not for entertainment so much as to study hole locations, how putts break, where players were laying up on the par 5s. This young man is obsessed with winning the Masters as an amateur. His mind works in a unique, scientific way. It all reminded me of Bert Yancey and how he constructed clay models of the greens at Augusta and studied them. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see this young man contend.
DeChambeau is like a scientist – in fact, he calls himself “The Golf Scientist” – when it comes to the way he approaches the game. As a physics major at SMU, he realized he could soak his golf balls in Epsom salts and determine which balls are slightly flawed so he can discard them. His clubs allow him to keep the same posture and set-up for each one because they are all the same length, lie, angle; the only difference is the loft.
It’s a fascinating approach to a game that has seen many changes over the years. Will he have the success Nantz believes he could at the Masters? We’ll know in a couple of weeks, but this is his one and only chance because he plans on entering the RBC Heritage as a professional the next week.
[HT Geoff Shackelford]