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Talented DeChambeau gave early indications of shape of things to come

Dermot Gilleece


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Often controversial, invariably fascinating, Bryson DeChambeau's name alone seemed to ensure a future in the public eye. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Often controversial, invariably fascinating, Bryson DeChambeau's name alone seemed to ensure a future in the public eye. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Getty Images

Often controversial, invariably fascinating, Bryson DeChambeau's name alone seemed to ensure a future in the public eye. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With a fresh breeze brushing the back of his bare, blond head, Jack Nicklaus succumbed to temptation. Taking off his yellow sweater, he handed it to his caddie and proceeded to smash a drive through the 18th green at St Andrews, more than 358 yards away.

It was Sunday, July 12 1970, 50 years ago today, and Nicklaus was about to beat Doug Sanders in a play-off for the Open Championship. We're told that he had hesitated before choosing the driver instead of a three-wood. In the event, he dug the ball from rough, fringe grass, got it to six feet from the target and then holed the putt for a winning birdie.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this famous display of Bear muscle was the extent to which he had slimmed down following a diet the previous winter. In fact his book, Jack Nicklaus' Playing Lessons, informs us that he had "lost 20 pounds in weight and six inches off his hips" since the end of the 1969 season.