Scott expects rule-makers to crack down on DeChambeau — but not how you might think

Adam Scott suspects golf officials could react with rule changes if Bryson DeChambeau backs up his US Open demolition at Augusta National this week.

Scott, the man who broke Australia’s Masters hoodoo in 2013, predicts another DeChambeau performance like his six-shot win at Winged Foot will see change in the game.

Just not the change many may expect or hope for.

DeChambeau has been the centre of debate in the golf world after adding considerable length to his game over the past 12 months.

The now jacked-up 27-year-old consistently hits drives well over 300 metres with a current average of 344.4 yards (315 metres). He has recently shown proof of breaking the 400-yard barrier on his social media pages, creating fear he will overpower the storied Georgia course.

But while the distance debate rages on, Scott believes rule makers will attack DeChambeau on the greens first, much like they did to him.

Bryson DeChambeau smiles and looks to the camera holding the US Open trophyBryson DeChambeau smiles and looks to the camera holding the US Open trophy
Bryson DeChambeau won his first major at this year’s US Open.(AP: John Minchillo)

DeChambeau uses a putting technique known as arm-lock, where he “locks in” the top of the grip against the inside of his arm. It has proven to be decisive as he went from 145th in putting on the PGA Tour in 2017 to a career-high 10th last season.

Scott famously won the Masters using a long putter and anchored stroke, a tactic that was subsequently banned in the sport.

“I tried the arm-lock method and, to be honest, it was more anchored than anything I was ever doing. So I can see them taking action like they did before to me and others for sure,” Scott said ahead of his own Masters tilt.

“Based off Bryson’s results, especially if he continues the way he is going, and of course if the trend sees more and more players using it, it would be no surprise to see it banned.

“The reality is, it’s not easy for other players to add that much muscle to your body but it is easy to change your putter.”

Temperatures and forecast rain for the postponed November Masters could also play into DeChambeau’s hands as balls fail to roll out on the softer fairways.

Adam Scott squints as he lines up a putt.Adam Scott squints as he lines up a putt.
Adam Scott has recovered from coronavirus and will lead the Australian charge at Augusta.(AP: Brynn Anderson)

“Over the past 10 years, Augusta has turned into a bit of a driving golf course and it’s very advantageous if you have a good balance of being long and hitting fairways,” Scott said.

“Tee shots now outweigh how important the short game and putting is here, which was not historically the case.

“If Bryson is 30 yards in front of people, then that’s like Tiger in 1997.

“But he still has to keep it between the trees. If he hits it far and accurate and continues to putt well … we will have our work cut out because it adds up to he’s going to be in contention.

“But I’m happy with my game and am excited to get out there and see how it stacks up.”

Scott has returned to competition after contracting and recovering from COVID-19.