Bryson DeChambeau has become a must-watch golfer.
Whether bombing 400-yard drives, berating cameramen or blowing up for a quintuple bogey, DeChambeau is not only good but thoroughly entertaining.
Friday at The Memorial saw bad Bryson. When he stepped into the tee box at the par 5 15th, DeChambeau was safely within the cut line of 3 over par at 1 over. When he stepped off the green, he was 6 over, with his weekend suddenly free and some new highlights for the blooper reel.
‘Oh my god, that’s out of bounds’
Things started poorly off the tee when DeChambeau’s ball bounced off a tree left of the fairway and landed in a creek. DeChambeau dropped in the rough, where he took an aggressive line with his 3-wood to attack the green from 289 yards.
His ball instead crossed over the right side of the fairway where it landed underneath a fence.
“Oh my god, that’s out of bounds,” DeChambeau said as soon as he made contact.
His assessment was correct. He took a provisional shot, again with his 3-wood. That ball crossed the same fence on the right side of the fairway. Also out of bounds. At this point, course designer Jack Nicklaus chimed in on the Golf Channel broadcast with Tin Cup jokes.
His third shot from out of the creek threatened to again cross the fence, but instead bounced off the cart path into the relative safety of some thick rough, feet away from a red hazard stake.
Some highlights of Bryson’s 10 here. We pick up the action after the drop from the burn and contemplating a rather ambitious third shot. His attempt to claim his ball under a fence was in bounds shows a level of creativity beyond the rules of the game! pic.twitter.com/H83AeOyVuM— UK Golf Guy (@ukgolfguy) July 17, 2020
When DeChambeau crossed the fairway to assess the damage, he pleaded his case for his first ball, which had landed just under a fence post, straddling the boundary line.
‘You’re kidding me’
He asked for a ruling. He did not like the answer. When the official told him he was out of bounds, DeChambeau not-so-politely asked for a second ruling.
“You’re kidding me,” DeChambeau said to the official when given the bad news. “I don’t believe it. Can I get a second ruling? Please?”
He then walked away mumbling something about a “proper ruling.”
Bryson: “You are kidding me? Can I get a second ruling please?”— Josh Berhow (@Josh_Berhow) July 17, 2020
*Rules official turns away and smirks*pic.twitter.com/ZnaNk175ca
The second official confirmed that it was indeed a proper ruling. DeChambeau was out of bounds.
“I don’t blame Bryson for asking for another ruling — he’s perfectly entitled to,” Nicklaus proclaimed in a generous assessment of DeChambeau’s protest.
DeChambeau finally found the green with his next shot, where he two-putted to card a quintuple-bogey 10. His birdie on 18 was for naught, as his 5 over after two days let him two strokes off the cut.
Eventful return to play for DeChambeau
The meltdown was the latest in a very eventful return to golf for DeChambeau since the PGA resumed play from its coronavirus hiatus.
He showed up on June 11 for the Charles Schwab Challenge noticeably larger, having packed on 20 pounds of what looks like mostly muscle during the break. It was part of a continued effort to gain strength and driver distance. The added mass has paid off with 400-yard drives.
It’s also paid off on the scorecard with a win at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
But when things haven’t gone well for DeChambeau, they’ve gone off the rails. He confronted a cameraman last Saturday and called for the PGA to “to start protecting our players” after the round.
The cameraman’s offense? Following him at a reasonable distance to film him for the TV broadcast — his job. Add Friday’s meltdown to the mix, and DeChambeau has provided more than his share of entertainment value to golf’s TV broadcasts.
We’ll certainly be watching the next time he takes course.
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