PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just two and a half hours from Fresno, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is somewhat of a homecoming for Clovis East grad Bryson DeChambeau.
Much like Madison Square Garden is to basketball--Pebble Beach is seen by many as the mecca of American golf. The US Open returning to these fabled grounds for the sixth time and for Valley native Bryson DeChambeau--he feels pretty good about his chances.
Ask any golfer about their dream course to play, and chances are Pebble Beach is high up, or at the top of any list.
The public course is framed by a public beach, and its holes are almost more famous than the players strolling its grounds.
For DeChambeau, a Clovis East graduate, that beauty is the perfect stage to pick up his first major title.
"100 percent. 100 percent. I mean I led after the first round of the Masters and that was kind of a good little taste," DeChambeau said.
"I think as I just keep going on I'll get more and more comfortable and start contending really well."
On his final day of prep, Bryson played the back nine and thinks the course set-up suits his game.
"As a draw-er of the golf ball it suits actually a lot of shots out here," he said.
Along for Wednesday morning's walk was his mother Janet, who's thankful for such a short drive.
"It's typically a long plane ride--this is great just being a hop skip and a jump from Fresno and Clovis and this area is just wonderful. We absolutely love it," Janet DeChambeau said.
The area is beautiful but ever changing. Jon Rahm teed off 18 in the group ahead of Bryson, but just five minutes later DeChambeau was barely visible through the fog.
"Yeah, that last 17 and 18 was crazy. You couldn't even see his ball."
Even still--the day was one to remember before the craziness of Round 1.
"This is the most fun that I have is going out onto a practice round and just walk the course with him and go on the fairways and greens. I just cherish that because when the tournament starts I'm almost better to go in the player hospitality and just watch TV."
Known as the "mad scientist," DeChambeau's analytic approach to the game has been polarizing. But after five wins on the PGA Tour, it must also be said that his approach works.
Wednesday's practice rounds are much more laid back compared to the pressure that's coming on Thursday. Just two and a half hours from Fresno, DeChambeau is sure to have more of a local following than just his mom at this week's U.S. Open.
"It's fun, it's nice to have family and friends that you care about and love around you. It's always nice," he said. "I had that back at Shriners when I won and that was pretty fun to celebrate with them and hopefully I can do the same this week."
Before every fairway shot in the nine-hole practice round, DeChambeau had a team of people putting down monitors.
"It's nice to understand what's going on on another level compared to everyone else who hit it and go 'Oh it went this far.' Well, why? Was it because I swung too soft or whatever the case is. It's nice to know," he said.
Golf fans know every hole of this infamous track. Though he didn't play the tour event here earlier this year, DeChambeau says he played Pebble plenty in his time as a junior golfer. That somewhat local knowledge, and his encyclopedic approach to every shot, has him feeling it's time to contend in a major championship.
"100 percent. 100 percent. I mean I led after the first round of the Masters and that was kind of a good little taste," he said. "I think as I just keep going on I'll get more and more comfortable and start contending really well."
Phil Mickelson won the PGA event that was played at Pebble in February. If he wins this week he'll cap a career grand slam, but with thicker rough and faster greens, it is a much different course than it was then.
The toughest test in American golf gets going Thursday morning. Bryson set to tee off at 8:02.