Tiger Woods used to get his edge as a lone wolf. Now he's getting it from the new pack leader.
Woods, as is often the case, was out early for a practice round today ahead of The Memorial Tournament, which is Woods' first PGA Tour event since the tour resumed play. Yesterday Woods paired up with good friend Justin Thomas for a practice round. Today, he leveled up with bulky Bryson DeChambeau.
Like his practice partner yesterday in Thomas, Woods is chummy with DeChambeau. The two paired up for a commercial a year or so ago and Woods has been spotted on the range and putting green with DeChambeau, presumably picking his analytically-focused mind. They also got close during the President's Cup, where Woods was captain and player.
Their relationship makes sense considering Woods has always been a student of the game. The fact that DeChambeau does things so differently would intrigue the 15-time major winner. The difference now is DeChambeau has bulked up and added a ton of length to his game thanks to a new diet that includes six protein shakes a day. That has led the original bulky golfer (Woods) to want to learn from the 2.0 version. According to Tiger Tracker:
DeChambeau's attitude rubs some people the wrong way. So does his slow play. Brooks Koepka has been the most vocal about his dislike for DeChambeau's deliberate playing style.
Woods clearly isn't concerned. He's trying to learn. Whether he's asking about bulking up (not likely because Woods lost weight to take pressure off his ailing back/knees) or about the physics behind DeChambeau's mammoth drives, it appears the master has become the pupil.
It's ironic because Woods was the guy who used to blast the ball 50 yards past his playing partners. Now he's just another guy learning on the fly.