MEMPHIS, Tenn. – For the second consecutive tournament, Bryson DeChambeau found himself in the middle of an odd Rules of Golf request, and for the second consecutive tournament, the outcome didn’t favor him.
DeChambeau was trying to close out a solid opening round Thursday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational when his drive at the par-4 seventh hole sailed left of the fairway and settled into an awful lie next to a tree. After a quick glance at his lie, DeChambeau’s busy mind started working.
“So, there was discolored dirt and I saw a couple red ants there and I was thinking, hmm, anthill, may get something or whatnot [relief],” said DeChambeau, who was 4 under for the day at the time. “I asked [PGA Tour rules official Ken Tackett] and he was like, well, it's got to be, you know, kind of endangering you. And I was, just an anthill.”
A lengthy conversation followed and Tackett eventually denied DeChambeau relief from the anthill. After punching just short of the green, DeChambeau failed to reach the putting surface with his next shot on his way to a double bogey-6.
“I'm always going to respect the officials and go, OK, no issue, that's fine,” he said. “It didn't help that I had a really, really bad lie, too, I had two twigs lodged in between my ball. Is what it is.”
DeChambeau was in a similar situation two weeks ago during the second round of the Memorial after making a mess of the 15th hole. After hitting two shots out of bounds, he asked if he could play one of his balls that was just outside the out-of-bounds boundary. When an official ruled that he was not allowed to play a ball that’s out-of-bounds, he requested a second opinion (Tackett) who also denied his request. DeChambeau made a 10 on the hole.