PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It was, in retrospect, a surreal 15 minutes that likely cost Bryson DeChambeau his second consecutive PGA Tour victory Sunday at The Players Championship.
Two strokes behind front-runner Lee Westwood, DeChambeau took a mighty swing with his hybrid on No. 4 but his golf ball flew only about 100 yards before dropping into a pond.
“I was trying to hit more of a low bullet and just kind of caught the heel, a little high on the thing. It wasn't really a top, it was more like a thin ball that just had no spin on it and just knuckled,” DeChambeau said. “I've never done that [in competition].”
The mistake was compounded when his next shot sailed about 100 yards right of the green into what ShotLink called a “landscaping area.” That, DeChambeau said, was the result of a crack in his 4-iron.
“I looked at the bottom of the thing. I couldn't use it all day,” he said. “It sounded really weird and just came off horrifically, and I'm like, oh, and there's a line in the bottom of the club.”
DeChambeau made a double-bogey 6 on the hole and drifted out of contention until he converted an eagle putt on the 16th hole that moved him back to within two shots of the lead held by Justin Thomas. Although he failed to convert lengthy birdie putts at Nos. 17 and 18 to close the gap he said his ability to contend at TPC Sawgrass was encouraging.
“I can play on golf courses that don't really suit me. That's a big lesson,” he said. “No matter what happens, no matter if I pop a shot, no matter if I thin, whatever it was, I'm still never out of it, for the most part.”