Reigning Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion Bryson DeChambeau plays down idea courses are too easy

American insists players are competing against the field, not the golf course

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 21:  Bryson DeChambeau of the USA walking off of the 18th green during a practice round prior to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on January 21, 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
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Bryson DeChambeau says relating scores to par in professional golf is “irrelevant” and he refuted the idea course set ups need to be more difficult.

Last September, Rory McIlroy said courses on the European Tour were not punishing enough.

“I’m honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour and shooting 15-under par and finishing 30th,” McIlroy was quoted as saying back then.

“I don’t think the courses are set up hard enough. There’s no penalties for bad shots. I don’t feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be.”

When DeChambeau won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic 12 months ago, he did so with a tournament record low score of 24-under par.

On the eve of the start of his title defence at the Majlis, he said he was relaxed about the need to toughen courses up.

“I think in general, professional golfers are too good now to relate themselves to par,” DeChambeau said.

"People look at it as relating score to par, and it's almost impossible to try and get a tournament to play around par without it being unfair.
"For me, I think that it's irrelevant. You're still playing at a golf course where there's a certain width of fairway, certain length of rough, and you have a field to compete against.

“We're not really competing against the golf course. We're competing against the field.

"In terms of it being too easy, well, you're still going to play against everyone else.

“I would say making it statistically proportionate, and penalising as you go away from the middle of the fairway, should be the real answer to it.”

The absence of Brooks Koepka from the field in Dubai means he and DeChambeau will not be pitted together in competition again.

The two Americans, who both played in Abu Dhabi last weekend have had a number of exchanges on various platforms of late, including DeChambeau questioning the world No 1's physique.

It culminated in Koepka posting a picture of his four Major trophies, and ironically agreeing he was two short of a six pack.

Although Koepka is not playing in Dubai, he is in the city, practicing ahead of playing at the Saudi International next week.

"It's all good fun," DeChambeau said. "I've seen him, actually, in the past few days where I'm staying, and everything's fine. It's not a big deal.
"There's a reason why he's No 1. I've got nothing but respect for him, and he knows that.

“I think everybody should know that. For me, I'm just trying to do my best each and every day, just as he is.”