PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Bryson DeChambeau said he wanted to explore an alternate route to playing the 18th hole on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The PGA Tour said on Tuesday, that's not going to happen.
After his victory Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, DeChambeau teased the idea of going down the adjacent ninth hole instead of taking on the 18th hole as it’s designed, with the dogleg left around the pond. DeChambeau said that going left, down the ninth hole instead, would better open up the green for his approach shot.
“I’ll probably give it a try (going down the ninth hole in a practice round), but it’s most likely not going to happen,” DeChambeau told reporters Tuesday at The Players. “I haven’t seen it yet, but if there’s stands there there’s no reason to go for it, when I could just drive it 100 yards from the green if I get a good wind normally. It’s not really that big of an advantage, but taking the water out of play and having an easier second shot, it may be easier, I don’t know.”
It's definitely not going to happen now, as the Tour said Tuesday afternoon that it was establishing an internal O.B. left of the pond on No. 18.
The route to the left would not have been a slam-dunk option. After a 325-yard drive, there’s only a small, flat landing area to fit the tee shot. Any pushed drive on that line would again bring the pond into play. Anything left would likely wind up on a steep side slope and in thick rough right of the ninth fairway. Go farther left than that, and a large tree would obstruct his path to the green. The hospitality stands that DeChambeau mentioned are well ahead, beginning about 50 yards short of the green.