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Now Is The Time For Tony Finau To Change The Way He Plays The Game Of Golf

Bryson DeChambeau of the United States and Tony Finau of the United States look on from the sixth tee during the first round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship on September 17, 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Bryson DeChambeau won the 120th US Open by six strokes over the weekend and was the only player under par following the four rounds of play. DeChambeau’s showing has the golf world questioning just how his remarkable power and strategy may impact the game of golf for the foreseeable future.

DeChambeau’s Transformation

For those that have not been keeping up with the world of golf and DeChambeau in particular, here is the cliff notes version of his transformation.

In October of 2019, DeChambeau promised to “look like a different person” in 2020. Within a nine-month span, DeChambeau put on roughly 50 pounds, most of which being muscle, since October last year to today. Subsequently, he has added a great amount of distance off his shots and frequently has a wedge in his hand no matter the distance of any particular hole.

He bashes the ball.

Prior to the US Open last week DeChambeau did not hold back to what his strategy was going to be going up against one of the more barbarous golf courses in the world, Winged Foot Golf Club, where the winds swirl, the greens break and the rough suffocates anything that enters its mouth.

He emphatically told the media that he was going to hit his driver more than what is recommended. It was a bold strategy, but DeChambeau was willing to go down swinging and swinging hard.

He bombed the ball off the tee and only hit 23 of 56 fairways but his sheer power made his life easier navigating the long rough. Most players when they find the rough at Winged Foot look to put the ball back into the fairway before they can even consider hitting the green, but DeChambeau has the ability to still hit greens when in the rough because he lies that much closer to the hole than most players.

It is a big advantage.

DeChambeau’s US Open victory now has his competitors and the golfing world contemplating. Will other players follow suit and attempt to transform their body and game to compete with the power of DeChambeau?

Will Finau Follow?

If one player on tour can make the transition, it would be Utah’s very own Tony Finau.

In July of 2020, Finau posted a video of him working alongside his swing coach Boyd Summerhays where Finau reached 206 mph ball head speed. To put that in some perspective, DeChambeau’s best is 203 mph.

Finau has a unique and special ability to generate fast clubhead speed despite only swinging with a three quarter backswing. Finau is one of the longest players on tour yet his swing is more controlled and guided as he attempts to find the cut grass and not the rough.

Will Finau change his strategy and start pummeling the ball with less regard for finding the fairway and putting more of an emphasis on getting the ball closer to the hole off the tee?

One has to assume that the thought has gone through his head and the question still remains prominent to this day. Specifically considering the success DeChambeau has been having since he transformed his body and game.

More reason for Finau to alter the way he plays is the fact that he has only won once on tour. His lone victory came at the Puerto Rico Open in March of 2016 and despite coming close on a number of occasions, Finau is yet to pick up a second PGA Tour victory.

What does he have to lose? Finau has the ability and skill to be one of the more dominant golfers on the planet and should have many more victories than just one.

Following the 2019-20 season, Finau ranked 32nd on Tour in the strokes gained off the tee but showcased his ability to scramble by ranking 11th in strokes gained from tee to green.

Finau is one of the better Tour players out of the rough. So why wouldn’t he be more aggressive off the tee with his driver?