Most players last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions dismissed concern that the new rules regarding green-reading material would take some getting used to, but there was one player who was worth watching.
Bryson DeChambeau has spent the better part of his golf life perfecting his methods of putting and was considered by most the Tour’s preeminent user of green-reading material. On Thursday, he suggested that he’s not thrilled with the new rule that began this year and dramatically restricts the use of these materials.
“It took a 13-year process that I've worked with numerous people with … I respect [the decision],” he said during a conference call promoting next month’s Saudi International. “I can't say much more about it other than it's a bit disappointing because I think there's a lot more traction around the hole now and people are standing around the hole. Whether that has an effect, I don't know.”
Anecdotally, it appears the transition will take some time for DeChambeau, who struggled on the greens last week in Maui. He ranked 18th in the field of 38 in strokes gained: putting and averaged nearly 29 putts per round.
“Look, you got the lowest scores ever last week, so there's obviously people that do it really well without it, and I've got to adapt,” he said.
DeChambeau withdrew from this week’s Sony Open with a wrist injury but told reporters it was a precautionary move and that he’d already received treatment and was feeling better.