DeChambeau loses ball off tee, cards triple-bogey

  • Senior college football writer
  • Author of seven books on college football
  • Graduate of the University of Georgia

AUGUSTA, Ga. — If missing the fairway wasn’t enough reason for Bryson DeChambeau to dial it back on the tee at Augusta National, he found another one in Friday’s second round of the Masters.

After a birdie on the par-5 second hole moved him to 3 under for the tournament, DeChambeau took an aggressive angle off the tee on the par-4 third.

DeChambeau, who leads the tournament in driving distance, hit his tee shot so high and hard that it apparently plugged in the rain-soaked rough.

At one point, at least 15 people were searching for the ball — without any luck.

In 2019, the USGA and R&A reduced the time limit allowed for searching for a lost ball from five minutes to three. As time was winding down Friday, DeChambeau argued that his ball was lost because of casual water in the area.

“How about casual water?” he asked a rules official.

“But it’s not casual water here,” the rules official explained.

Then DeChambeau suggested that his ball might have landed in an area that was designated as ground under repair.

“So you’re saying that if we knew for sure that it’s in this area and it’s ground under repair, there’s nothing we can do,” DeChambeau said.

The rules officials explained to DeChambeau that he didn’t know for certain that was where his ball landed because he couldn’t find it.

DeChambeau jumped into a golf cart and drove back to the tee to hit another drive. He hit his second tee shot to nearly the same spot, then blasted his chip shot over the green, failed to get up and down, and made a triple-bogey 7.

He also bogeyed the par-3 fourth hole, dropping his score to 1 over for the tournament, which was one worse than the projected cut line.

It wasn’t the first time DeChambeau argued for relief under questionable circumstances. At the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, in July, he unsuccessfully argued that his ball was sitting near a hill of fire ants — or a burrowing animal hole.

At the Memorial two weeks earlier, DeChambeau found one of his lost balls under a metal fence and unsuccessfully argued that it was still in bounds. He asked for a second opinion, which was the same. He took a quintuple-bogey 10 on the hole and missed the cut.

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