AUGUSTA, Ga. — Before this week’s Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Bryson DeChambeau boasted that he planned to play the famed course in 5 under par because he was hitting the ball so far.
It turned out that he couldn’t even play the first 36 holes under par.
After a disappointing 2-under 70 in the first round, DeChambeau played the next 18 holes at 2-over 74.
DeChambeau was fortunate to finish among the top 50 (and ties) at even or better after 36 holes. Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa also finished even after two rounds and snuck in above the cut line.
After making a birdie on the par-3 16th hole to move to 2 under, which would have put him in a comfortable position to make the cut and stick around for the final 36 holes, DeChambeau bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18 to fall back to even.
After completing his second round, which was interrupted by darkness on Friday, DeChambeau said he wasn’t feeling well.
“Not good, to say the least,” DeChambeau said. “I was feeling something a little weird two nights ago, and I came out yesterday and was fine for the most part. As I kept going through the round, I started getting a little dizzy. I don’t know what was going on, a little something weird.”
DeChambeau, the reigning U.S. Open champion, said he had a COVID-19 test on Friday night, which came back negative.
“I was fine, nothing,” DeChambeau said. “But I had to do the right thing and make sure there was nothing more serious than that. I don’t know what it is or what happened, but these past couple days, I’ve felt really, really odd and just not at 100%. Some of that’s played into it. I just feel kind of dull and numb out there, just not fully aware of everything, and making some silly, silly mistakes for sure.”
DeChambeau’s second-round scorecard looked like the sandwich offerings at Augusta National — a little bit of everything. He had seven birdies, six bogeys, four pars and one triple bogey on the par-4 third hole on Friday, when his tee shot plugged in the rain-soaked rough.
After failing to find the ball in the allowed three minutes, DeChambeau returned to the tee and hit another drive.
“The three minutes [were] up, so I took a penalty and went back to the tee box and proceeded to hit in the same spot and had a really bad lie after that,” he said. “So it just seems like there’s a lot of things going not in the right way. I’ve certainly played worse golf than this and won golf tournaments. So, you know, it’s one of those things where it’s golf. You can’t control everything as much as you try.”
DeChambeau said a marshal handed him the lost ball on the tee box of the fourth hole.
“I mean, [it] definitely throws you for a loop when the guy goes and gives you the ball on the fourth tee box,” DeChambeau said. “‘Oh, I found it.’ You know, I struggle whenever we know it’s in that area and it’s all wet and it’s a plugged lie, guaranteed. And they don’t give you … they have to say it’s within a couple foot area. I’m like, ‘Well, I know it’s in this area that’s plugged,’ so I would think I would get some relief, but clearly not.”
He accomplished what he set out to do in terms of hitting the ball far. He led the field in driving distance through the first 36 holes at 328.3 yards, which was 10 yards farther than any other player.
Unfortunately for him, he hit only 17 of 28 fairways and only 61.1% of the greens in regulation.
“I’ve got to figure out some golf ball stuff,” DeChambeau said. “I felt like I was swinging my irons pretty well. Driver was not well. I just, again, felt dull and numb out there. I don’t know what else to say.”
He’ll have 36 more holes at Augusta National to try to figure it out.
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