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Bryson DeChambeau hits back at Fitzpatrick's criticism

Bryson DeChambeau has dismissed claims from fellow pro Matt Fitzpatrick that his big-hitting ways are "taking the skill out" of golf.

Five-time European Tour winner Fitzpatrick voiced his criticism of DeChambeau's distance-first approach to the game after taking the 36-hole lead in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"He's just taking the skill out of it in my opinion," said the Sheffield-born 26-year-old. "I'm sure lots will disagree. It's just daft.

"It's not a skill to hit the ball a long way in my opinion. I could put on 40 pounds. I could go and see a biomechanist, and I could gain 40 yards. That's actually a fact. I could put another two inches on my driver. I could gain that.

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"But the skill in my opinion is to hit the ball straight."

However, after finishing his own second round on the opposite side of the Atlantic, where he is playing in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, DeChambeau shrugged off Fitzpatrick's concerns.

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"I appreciate that comment," said the US Open champion. "It's a compliment to me honestly. A year ago I wasn't hitting in anywhere near as far as I am today. It took a lot of work, a lot of hours to work through the night to figure out a lot of this stuff.

"I would say it actually takes more skill to do what I'm doing, and albeit my fairway percentages are a little bit down, I'm still believe I'm hitting it straighter than what I was last year with the distances that I was hitting back then."

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He added: " I would love to have a conversation with him about it and say, Hey, man, I would love to help out. Why couldn't you do it, too? You see Rory and DJ doing the same thing, too. They're seeing that distinct advantage, and I feel like it's great for the game of golf."

Making his first competitive appearance since winning his maiden major at Winged Foot last month, DeChambeau is one shot off the lead - shared by Scotland's Martin Laird - at the 36-hole stage.


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