Bryson DeChambeau snapped the head off his driver on the seventh hole at TPC Harding Park during the PGA Championship on Thursday afternoon after hitting his tee shot and bending over to pick up his tee.
While he was leaning on the club, the head became detached, and the long-hitting golfer was left to walk down the fairway with the broken instrument.
DeChambeau, who has added more than 20 yards to his tee shots this year after an extensive weight-gaining and fitness program, swung violently at the drive seemingly without issues. He seemed surprised to see the club come apart.
Because it was an accident and DeChambeau did not alter the club in anger, he was allowed to replace the club or repair it. He summoned a rules official to get the matter resolved, but because the eighth hole is a par-3, he did not need the driver there.
It appeared officials then handed him a new driver shaft, which he was able to attach to the club head. DeChambeau finished with a 68 and trails leader Jason Day by three strokes.
DeChambeau said he didn’t hear the driver break, but knew something was amiss right away.
“Definitely the ball did not react proper. I hit it out to the right, felt like I drew it and the ball went to the right and spun up like crazy,” DeChambeau said. “I’m like, that’s not normal.
“So it was surprising, and then I just went over to pick up my tee, leaned on it a little, and the thing just, see ya later. [Adam] Scott and Rickie [Fowler] said that did not sound normal, and so I was fortunate to get some help on that and be able to switch out shafts and played decent coming in.”
DeChambeau said he’d been using the driver for more than a year before it broke, but said he always has a back-up shaft and driver with him at tournaments. DeChambeau said he practiced with his back-up shaft earlier in the week at Harding Park.
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