Bryson DeChambeau, the 2021 champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, announced Monday that he will not defend his title at this week’s PGA Tour event at Bay Hill in Orlando.
Citing injury, DeChambeau said he is not back to 100 percent after hurting his wrist in January. He hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 26-29.
DeChambeau, who recently was rumored to have been interested in joining a rival Saudi-back tour but who pledged his support to the PGA Tour on Feb. 20, had said he hoped to play Bay Hill if healthy and had signed up for the event. On Twitter, he announced:
“Alright guys, well, I’ve been hitting a lot of balls on the simulator, I’ve been working on my game, working hard on recovery.
Man, tough decision right now. I have a lot of work to do to get everything back in order for this week. I just feel like it’s too short a time for me to get back 100 percent, playing at 100-percent capacity. Right now I’m like 90 percent. I just don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even more and not be 100-percent ready for the rest of the season. I don’t want to come back early and then have to take more time off. So it’s a hard decision I have to make right now but gonna have to unfortunately not play this week.
DeChambeau, who edged Lee Westwood by a shot in the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational for his eighth and most recent PGA Tour victory, also thanked the Palmer family for their “tremendous support” during his golf career before further explaining his decision to withdraw.
“At this current point in time, I’ve got to take another week off, and I’m going to try and get back and play for the Players (Championship), but as of right now I just I just can’t risk it, going out there and having it reaggravate,” DeChambeau said. “This has been one of the hardest moments of my life, like I said in the last post, because I’m not able to do much and yeah, although I can hit some golf balls, it’s not comfortable. It’s not fully comfortable. A bit frustrating, but again, I appreciate y’all’s support. I love you guys. I want to get back out there as soon as possible. It’s just not ready yet.”