Tiger Woods has backed “fiery” Bryson DeChambeau to be a Ryder Cup star
The self-styled “golfing scientist” found the formula to win The Northern Trust – and a with it a likely wildcard for the trip to Paris.
The quirky Californian is now set to be picked along Woods and Phil Mickelson to face Europe next month.
The 24-year-old wears a Payne Stewart-style flat cap and plays with all the shafts on his irons the same length – 37.5 inches.
But vice-captain Woods insisted the new world No.12 also has the balls as well as the brains to make his US debut at Le Golf National.
“He’s very fiery,” said the former world No.1.
“We all know he’s extremely intelligent but his heart, he gives it everything he has and is always trying to get better.
“We want fiery guys on the team. We are going overseas and we are going into a pretty hostile environment, so we want guys who are fiery. He’s a tough kid. He’s been through a lot in his life, and he’s worked hard to get to where he’s at.
“I think he would be a great Ryder Cup partner for anyone. He’s competitive, and we want guys like that. It’s going to be a tough environment, so we want guys that are mentally tough and can handle it.”
DeChambeau, who studies biomechanics and physics, is an equally complicated character.
He had a meltdown on the range at the Open – and then took flak for his cursory handshake to winner Richard McEvoy after blowing a four-stroke lead in the last five holes at the Porsche European Open. He was on the range till late on Saturday night despite shooting a third-round 63.
DeChambeau, who paid his own way to Hazeltine to watch the 2016 Ryder Cup, said: “I view myself as kind of a one-off.
“Everybody is unique in their own way and some people work harder for longer hours than others. It wasn’t a 54 on Saturday. You can say what I do is crazy, but at the end of the day, I’m the one with the trophy this week.”
Asked what DeChambeau would bring to his Ryder Cup team, captain Jim Furyk said: “He’d bring the IQ up significantly for most of us.”
While Furyk’s wildcard picks are becoming clearer – Tony Finau finished second in New Jersey – European captain Thomas Bjorn faces a tougher task.
Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Rafa Cabrera Bello all failed to climb into the top eight in the last qualifying event for US-based and will be competing for a wildcard with Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia.
Thorbjorn Olesen can seal his spot in his home event – Made in Denmark – this week.