AUGUSTA, Ga. — Bryson DeChambeau, golf’s biggest story and the favorite to win the Masters this week, has flamed out at Augusta National the past two days.
He barely made the 36-hole cut on Saturday morning and afterward revealed he’s been feeling sick — ill enough that he went for a COVID-19 test Friday night, testing negative.
DeChambeau, 27, struggled through his opening round and was fortunate to finish with a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday. He wasn’t as fortunate in his second round, which began on Friday and was marred by a lost-ball triple-bogey 7 on the par-3 third hole.
Resuming his second round on the 13th hole Saturday morning, DeChambeau rallied with birdies on 13, 14 and 16 to get himself to 2-under-par and seemingly in a comfortable spot to make the cut, which ended up being even par.
But he created unnecessary stress for himself with bogeys Nos. 17 and 18, his final two holes, to finish with a second-round 74 and stand at even-par through 36 holes.
He then had to sweat out the final groups coming in hoping the cut, which was low 50 scores and ties, did not move to 1-under. It didn’t, and DeChambeau escaped the ignominy of missing the cut after speaking so boldly of his chances to win this week.
Complicating matters, DeChambeau, who seems to have drama follow his every move, said after his round that he wasn’t feeling well physically on Thursday and went for the COVID-19 test Friday night.
DeChambeau, asked how he felt about his play the past two days, said, “Not good, to say the least.’’
DeChambeau then revealed that he wasn’t feeling well physically.
“I was feeling something a little weird two nights ago and I came out (Friday) and was fine for the most part,’’ he said. “As I kept going through the round (Saturday), I started getting a little dizzy. I don’t know what was going on, a little something weird.
“I got checked for COVID (Friday) night and I was fine, nothing,’’ DeChambeau said. “But I had to do the right thing and make sure there was nothing more serious than that. So it wasn’t that. It’s no respiratory anything. It’s more of just very dizzy, and I’ve got a pain in my stomach, so I don’t know. Just some weird stuff going on. Every time I’d bend over and come back up, I’d like lose my stance a little bit.
“So, I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve got to go and do some blood work and get checked out and figure out what’s going on for this offseason.’’
Asked if he was still feeling ill after the round, DeChambeau said, “Yeah, I’m not good unfortunately. There’s like something in my stomach that’s just not doing well.’’
Still, after a short break, he went out to played his third round.
“I just felt kind of dull and numb out there, just not fully aware of everything and (was) making some silly, silly mistakes,’’ he said.
The worst thing to happen to DeChambeau was the jarring triple on No. 3 Friday.
After the allowed three minutes to search for his tee shot in the left rough, DeChambeau had to go back to the tee and re-load. As he was on the fourth hole, a marshal who found the ball while DeChambeau was putting out for his triple on the third green, gave him the ball.
Too little too late.
“I mean, definitely throws you for a loop when the guy goes and gives you the ball on the 4th tee box (and says), ‘Oh, I found it,’ ’’ DeChambeau said. “I struggle whenever we know it’s in that area and it’s all wet and it’s a plugged lie, guaranteed. And they don’t give you … they have to say it’s within a couple foot area.
“I’m like, ‘Well, I know it’s in this area that’s plugged, so I would think I would get some relief,’ but clearly not. The three minutes was up, so I took a penalty and went back to the tee box and proceeded to hit in the same spot and had a really bad lie after that.
“So, it just seems like there’s a lot of things going not the right way.’’ he went on. “I’ve certainly played worse golf than this and won golf tournaments. It’s golf. You can’t control everything as much as you try.’’
Louis Oosthuizen, one of DeChambeau’s paying partners the first two rounds, said he “could see he was off,’’ adding, “I could see he wasn’t on his game, and you get those things. You get those days. The few shots, the few drives that he really hit well was impressive, but I could see he was just struggling with getting the shots the way he wanted to.’’
What DeChambeau did have control over was not having to sweat out making the cut. But those bogeys on 17 and 18 added to his physical malaise.
“(I) hit a bad drive on 17, had a gap (in the trees), thought I could draw and it came out and went right and flew forever,’’ he said. “Same thing happened on 18 with my iron shot. It just flew forever (over the green). Man, I don’t know what it is. I hit a great little chip shot too, and I didn’t think it would break left and go down the hill.
“A couple of misjudgments with the wet ground and everything. Wet ground and water has always been my nemesis for some reason _ (I) just can’t figure it out, whereas some people have no problem with it. It’s something I’ve got to work on this offseason. I’ve got to figure out some golf ball stuff. I felt like I was swinging my irons pretty well. Driver was not well. I just, again, felt dull and numb out there. I don’t know what else to say.’’