Mon, 21 Sep 2020

DeChambeau eager to defend Dubai crown

22 Jan 2020, 23:43 GMT+10

Cape Town - Bryson DeChambeau is hopeful that a successful defence of his title at this week's Dubai Desert Classic can act as a springboard for Major Championship glory in 2020.

The American stormed to a dominant seven shot victory at Emirates Golf Club in 2019 to claim his first European Tour title and add to his growing list of career achievements.

"I think it's an incredible place, and desert golf has always suited my style of play. I'd say all in all, it's one of my favourite places to be, just because of how technologically advanced I feel like the place is, and the golf course is in immaculate shape," said DeChambeau.

The 26-year-old has won the US Amateur and lifted trophies as a professional on both sides of the Atlantic but has yet to make a splash in golf's four biggest events. The Ryder Cup star's best finish in 14 Majors has been a tie for 15th at the 2016 US Open Championship but he is determined to improve on that record this summer.

"All of my mind is taken up for the need to do well in the Majors. That's what I haven't done well in particular in my career so far, and I am keen on changing that," said DeChambeau.

Meanwhile, Major Champions Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia are looking to keep the flag flying for the over 40s following Lee Westwood's impressive victory in Abu Dhabi last week. The Englishman secured his 25th European Tour title at the age of 46 and he is the latest player to prove that age is just a number.

"The golf course doesn't know if you're 20, 30 or 40 when you're teeing it up, right? It's all about bringing as good a game as you can do," said Stenson.

"At times we can't really compete with the longest players in the game but we can compete with other factors and, of course, that's something we try to do as good as we can. We certainly keep the dreams alive of winning golf tournaments."

Stenson was 40 when he won The Open Championship at Royal Troon and, now 43, returned to the winner's circle with victory in the Bahamas last December. The Swede arrives in the Middle East from Singapore and insists he has plenty more miles left on the clock at the top of the game.

Garcia, a winner of the event in 2017, only turned 40 earlier this month so is still looking for a first win of this decade but the Spaniard is confident he can take on the young guns.

"It gets tougher every year because there's a lot of good youngsters coming out both in Europe and on the PGA Tour but we can still go out there and perform well," he said.

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