DUBLIN, Ohio – A round that Bryson DeChambeau called a “Twilight Zone” included two drives over 400 yards, a steady diet of short-iron approach shots and, ultimately, not enough distance control on his way to his first over-par card on the PGA Tour since early February.
DeChambeau continued to impress off the tee with a 326-yard average on all holes (which ranked first out of the morning wave) and he added to his legend with a tee shot at No. 1 of 423 yards, not that DeChambeau seemed overly impressed with the effort.
“I hit it a little high on the face. It definitely came out with sub-2,000 [rpm] spin, I think. Just 191 [mph] ball speed I saw, and I hit a great drive and got a good kick,” said DeChambeau, whose 1-over 73 left him tied for 59th as the afternoon wave set out.
Still, DeChambeau’s newfound power remains the game’s hottest topic at the moment and the 26-year-old even conceded that he surprises himself at times.
“I sometimes can't believe it,” he said. “There were years where I hit 5-iron into [No. 1 where he was left with a 46-yard approach]. It's wild. I'm just blessed that I've been able to figure some stuff out with the driver. Got a lot more to work on with the wedging and iron play.”
DeChambeau left the course standing first in the tournament in strokes gained: off the tee, but outside the top 100 in both strokes gain: approach and strokes gained: around the green.