DeChambeau struggled in the first round at The Open (Image: Greig Cowie/REX/Shutterstock)

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Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau has been compared to an "eight-year-old that gets mad" after claiming his driver was at fault for a one-over-par first round at the 149th Open Championship at Royal St George's.

The 2020 US Open champion may have acquired the nickname 'the scientist' for his analytical approach to the game but it was a case of a workman blaming his tools after hitting just four fairways on his way to a 71.

His fairways-hit percentage of 28.5 per cent was about half of the field average but DeChambeau said the fault was with the biggest club in the bag.

"If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that's great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks," said the American, who recovered from a two-over front nine with three successive birdies from the 12th only to let things slip with two more dropped shots after finding trouble off the tee again.

DeChambeau blamed his driver after shooting one over par
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Club manufacturers Cobra – who have designed the driver with a 46-inch shaft and only five degrees of loft specifically for DeChambeau – did not take kindly to the comments, however, and called them "stupid".

"Everybody is bending over backwards," Cobra's tour operations manager Ben Schomin, who caddied for the player at the Rocket Mortgage Classic a fortnight ago, told Golfweek.

"We've got multiple guys in R&D (research and development) who are CAD'ing (compute-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. (Bryson) knows it.

"It's just really, really painful when he says something that stupid. He has never really been happy, ever.

DeChambeau was branded "stupid"
(Image: David Blunsden/Action Plus/REX/Shutterstock)

"It's like an eight-year-old that gets mad at you. They might fly off the handle and say, 'I hate you', but then you go, 'Whoa, no you don't.'

"We know as adults that they really don't mean that and I know that if I got him cornered right now and said, 'What the hell did you say that for?' he would say that he was mad.

"He didn't really mean to say it that harshly. He knows how much everyone bends over backwards for him, but it's still not cool."

DeChambeau later apologised for his comments in a lengthy post on Instagram, saying he was "very unprofessional" and admitted "I sucked today, not my equipment".

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DeChambeau has developed a reputation for pushing the envelope in terms of the approach to golf and equipment – all his irons have the same length shaft – and being extremely precise, which is why he is not happy with his Cobra driver and has not been for some time.

"It's not a good face for me and we're still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mishits," he added.

"I've realised this for years now. It's literally the physics and the way that they build heads now.

"It's not the right design, unfortunately, and we've been trying to fix it.

"I'm living on the razor's edge. When I did get it outside of the fairway, like in the first cut, I catch jumpers out of there and I couldn't control my wedges."