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(Reuters) -Bryson DeChambeau has apologised for "very unprofessional" comments about his Cobra driver in the wake of his poor start to the British Open after the equipment manufacturer said the American was behaving like "an 8-year-old that gets mad at you".
DeChambeau, who has packed on roughly 30 pounds of muscle and become the longest hitter on the PGA Tour, said his driver "sucks" after he found just four of 14 fairways in his one-over-par start at Royal St. George's on Thursday.
Cobra's tour operations manager Ben Schomin, who caddied for DeChambeau two weeks ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, hit back, telling Golfweek: "It’s just really, really painful when he says something that stupid."
"I sucked today, not my equipment," DeChambeau said on Instagram late on Thursday. "My frustration and emotions over the way I drove the ball boiled over ... I deeply regret the words I used earlier."
He added that Cobra had "some of the hardest working people in golf industry" and that the team were like a "family" to him.
DeChambeau, who sits seven shots adrift of first-round leader Louis Oosthuizen, currently uses a Cobra Radspeed driver that is 46 inches long and has only 5 degrees of loft.
Most golfers on the PGA Tour opt for lofts of between nine and 10.5 degrees for their drivers.
Schomin told Golfweek that Cobra had been working tirelessly to accommodate DeChambeau's specifications and that the player has "never really been happy" when it came to his driver as he was constantly "looking for perfection".
"Now he's in a place where he's swinging a 5-degree driver with 200 mph of ball speed," said Schomin.
"Everybody is looking for a magic bullet. Well, the magic bullet becomes harder and harder to find the faster you swing and the lower your loft gets."
Schomin compared DeChambeau's frustrations to "an 8-year-old that gets mad at you".
"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," Schomin said.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)