DeChambeau digging for insight at Augusta National

Bryson DeChambeau (Getty Images)
Bryson DeChambeau (Getty Images)

Augusta - Golf's "mad scientist" Bryson DeChambeau is taking Augusta National Golf Club's more traditional approach in stride as he prepares for the 83rd Masters.

"I would say that this week is unique with the history, the golf that's been played out here, the rules that are out here are a little different than each and every week," DeChambeau said.

"My dedication to figuring things out is the exact same."

DeChambeau, like all in the Masters field, has to make do without green contour books available at PGA Tour events.

Nor does Augusta allow devices to gauge distance or slope during practice rounds.

"I prepare as much as I possibly can with what's allowed here," DeChambeau said.

"I have to work harder to get some insight than at other places, but that's fine.

"That's a part of the process, and I think the person who digs it out of the dirt the most should have a little bit of an advantage."

DeChambeau, 25, will be teeing it up at the Masters for the third time - and just the second as a pro.

He was an amateur in 2016, when he was coming off a 2015 collegiate campaign that saw him win both the US Amateur and NCAA collegiate title in the same year.

"I'd say the coolest part of that experience was being able to step up on that tee (in) 2016 with everyone thinking I'm pretty darned nervous and I get up there and I just smiled because I was prepared," he said.

"I had played over a dozen rounds here in 2016 and was really, I thought, ready to win the tournament.

"I had a chance to win it and I knew I did and after 35 holes I was right there," recalled DeChambeau, who was three-under par and in second place coming to the 18th hole on Friday - when he pulled his drive into a holly bush.

"Unfortunately, that holly bush, the 36th hole of the tournament kind of cost me a little bit," said DeChambeau, who returned to the tee and promptly pulled another drive.

"But other than that it was a fantastic ride and being the low amateur champion was fantastic."

Certainly the world number six will be looking for more this week. Since finishing tied for 38th in his return to Augusta last year, DeChambeau has won five times.

That includes his first international victory at the Dubai Desert Classic in January - where he won by a record seven strokes.

Two of the last three winners of the Dubai event - Danny Willett in 2016 and Sergio Garcia in 2017 - went on to win the Masters in the same year.

The mathematically minded DeChambeau said he couldn't really make that add up to a prediction.

"I think a lot of it is coincidence," he said, "but definitely makes me feel good."

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