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Bryson DeChambeau working beyond his driver for The Masters – TSN

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It’s far from graceful and not the slightest bit elegant, but Bryson DeChambeau’s swing is definitely effective.

This week, if everything goes according to plan, he’ll use it to turn Augusta National into his personal playground, wearing out his short irons as he hits them into greens on the longest of holes.

On Tuesday, he related some of the jaw-dropping clubs he’s used to reach the putting surfaces. For instance, he hit a driver and then a seven-iron to reach the 575-yard, par-5 second hole.

On 11, a tough 505-yard par 4, he played his second shot with a pitching wedge.

And on the 18th hole, an uphill, 465-yard test, he just flipped a wedge from 110 yards.

These shots were played with a 46-inch driver. He’s also testing out a 48-inch model that could rocket his ball to even greater distances. He hasn’t yet decided whether to put that in the bag on Thursday.

“I think people would realize that hitting it farther is definitely an easier way to play the game,” said DeChambeau, in a possible shout-out to Captain Obvious.

Over the past year, the 27-year-old has transformed his body into a hulking mass of muscle, in large part to his workouts and 5,000-calorie-a-day diet. Coupled with a scientific approach to building and swinging a golf club, he’s changed the face of golf and turned courses such as Augusta National into mini-putts.

He’s sent pros such as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson in search of more distance and a generation of college players coming behind him have adopted his hit-it-as-hard-as-you-can method, indicating this is unlikely to be a one-person movement.

Although the prodigious distance gets most of the attention, his methods go past hitting long bombs. It infects every part of his game from tee shots to irons that are all the same length to his arm-bar putting, which he does with an awkwardly rigid stance that, like his tee shots, is not artistic but is effective.

“I think people are starting to see that no matter what it is, whether I do this or that or face-on putting, it’s always to try to get better, no matter what I do, there’s going to be times of failure and there’s going to be times of success,” stated DeChambeau. “But I’m going to fail a lot more than I succeed, and I think people are starting to understand that it’s not just about me being quirky and doing things in my own way but it’s about the process of trying to be better each and every day.”

He used his power at Winged Foot Golf Course in winning the U.S. Open in September and wants to add another major this week. To do that, however, he knows it must be about more than just hitting tee shots 400 yards.

“I can hit it as far as I want to, but it comes down to putting and chipping out here,” he analyzed. “That is one of the things that I think people sometimes struggle to see.  As much as I can gain an advantage off the tee, I still have to putt it well and chip it well and wedge it well and even iron play it well, and that’s what I did at the U.S. Open. If I don’t putt it well at The Open, if I don’t wedge it well, if I don’t hit my irons close, I don’t win that tournament.”

DeChambeau’s style of play has caught the attention of the last player to ravage Augusta National, Tiger Woods. It was Woods’ 1997 win when he lapped the field that led to the Georgia course to began a process of adding length.

“He’s put in the time.  He’s put in the work,” Woods said on Tuesday. “What he’s done in the gym has been incredible and what he’s done on the range and what he’s done with his entire team to be able to optimize that one club and transform his game and the ability to hit the ball as far as he has and in as short a span as he has, it’s never been done before.”

Despite his overwhelming status as the favourite at every online betting site, DeChambeau is not comfortable with accepting that crown just yet. He is entering new territory not only with his driver but also his stature in the golf world.

“I don’t know about that yet,” he said when asked if he liked being the tournament’s top pick. “I’m not sure if I like it or not. I will say that, you know, for me, I’m trying to look at it as I’m still an underdog to the field.  Anybody can win this week. There’s a lot of unbelievable players out there.”

Indeed there are but none who have caught the attention of golf fans around the world like he has.

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Report: Lamar Jackson tests positive; Ravens closing facility until Monday – theScore

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

The Ravens are closing their team facility until Monday at the earliest, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, is the latest in a long line of Ravens players affected by the virus, and the reported developments throw the status of Sunday’s game against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers into doubt. Should the game proceed as scheduled, backup quarterback Robert Griffin III would likely start for Baltimore.

The matchup between the AFC North rivals was supposed to cap off the NFL’s Thanksgiving tripleheader. Instead, the league announced Wednesday the game would be moved to Sunday.

Baltimore already has 10 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and it appears Jackson could soon join them. The team first placed third-string quarterback Trace McSorley and defensive back Iman Marshall on the reserve list last Friday before Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The Ravens then placed running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams on the reserve list Monday while announcing that multiple members of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19. Linebacker Pernell McPhee joined them Tuesday, while defensive end Calais Campbell and offensive linemen Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari hit the list Wednesday. Baltimore placed defensive end Jihad Ward on the list Thursday morning.

Baltimore disciplined a staff member Wednesday for reportedly failing to report his COVID-19 symptoms and failing to consistently wear a mask or tracking device inside the team facility.

Head strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders was the staff member in question, sources told Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. The team has reportedly suspended Saunders.

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Twitter Reaction: Fans reveal their favourite Rogers Centre memories – Sportsnet.ca

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There are no certainties just yet, but there is a possibility the Toronto Blue Jays could have a new home stadium.

Early Friday morning, the Globe and Mail reported that Rogers Communications Inc., the parent company of the Blue Jays as well as Sportsnet, and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. are working with city, provincial and federal officials on a plan to demolish the Rogers Centre. The plan would reportedly rework half of the property into a new, baseball-first stadium at the south end and the other portion into residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space.

Of course, the Internet immediately became abuzz with thoughts and opinions on the matter, with Sportsnet’s Sid Seixeiro leading one particular conversation:

Never failing to deliver, fans, pundits and sports teams alike responded with a plethora of great moments. Here are some the best:

https://twitter.com/alexfan590/status/1332344752222728192

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Rogers Centre plans on hold amid pandemic despite report of possible demolition – CBC.ca

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Rogers Communications Inc. says it was exploring the future of its Toronto stadium prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the virus has caused it to put those plans on hold.

The telecommunications company and owner of the Blue Jays baseball team says its primary focus this year is keeping staff safe and maintaining operations, and it has no update on the status of the Rogers Centre stadium.

The statement comes after the Globe and Mail reported Friday that Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. were looking to tear down the stadium as part of a larger development project.

Citing unnamed sources, the Globe says the two companies would build a new stadium half the size on the southern part of the current site and use the remaining land for residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space.

Brookfield declined to comment on the matter.

The Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome, opened in 1989 and seats more than 53,000. 

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