Golf hulk Bryson DeChambeau is in trouble.
The man famous as the biggest bomber in golf finds himself — and his monster drives – find himself an irrelevant also-ran after one day of action at Augusta National.
DeChambeau might have already become obsolete after one round at the 2021 Masters. And unless the 6-1 hopeful suddenly grows 11 inches overnight, and adds some speed to his already absurdly violent swing, he will likely fail to win the Masters much like he failed to win it in November.
DeChambeau finished the 2020 tournament 18 strokes behind winner Dustin Johnson and one stroke behind 63-year-old Bernhard Langer.
In Friday’s first round he finished 11 strokes behind leader Justin Rose and, yes, two strokes behind Langer.
Rory McIlroy shared DeChambeau’s pain, carding a five-over 77 after striking his own father with a wild approach shot early in his round.
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Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott both fell to Augusta’s tricks.Source:Getty Images
When you are losing ground to a 63-year-old at Augusta National, it is time to tweak something, anything, in your game.
“I personally didn’t swing it that bad,” DeChambeau said. “Just, it’s golf, man. I don’t know what else to say.”
He is just yet another casualty to the Augusta slaughterhouse — a fickle mistress that has near-unprecedented skills in humbling the biggest names in golf.
DeChambeau entered the tournament saying that he had learned a lot from his November performance, or lack thereof, and that he would focus this time around on hitting irons into the most favourable spots on the greens. Putting aside the expected birdie chances on the course’s par-5s, DeChambeau specifically targeted the par-4s as a necessary point of attack.
AFL: Tommy Fleetwood has hit the 23rd hole in one at the Masters with a perfect shot on the 16th….
AFL: Tommy Fleetwood has hit the 23rd hole in one at the Masters with a perfect shot on the 16th.
And then the reigning U.S. Open champ went out and failed to birdie any of Augusta’s 10 par-4s. In fact, DeChambeau also failed to birdie any of Augusta’s four par-3s. He scored par or worse on 17 holes, making his lone bird at the par-5 15th en route to shooting his 4-over 76, a few country miles out of contention.
His round hit a low when he crushed a massive drive over the green into bushes at the par-3 fourth, picking up a double bogey.
Among the culprits, DeChambeau said, were tricky winds, hard greens, and a few faulty swings.
“I need to understand how the ball flies off downhill slopes into uphill greens, and conversely, uphill slopes into downhill greens,” he said.
“And all of the above.
“I’m still going down numerous rabbit holes, and I will never stop, not only to win golf tournament but to definitely win this tournament.”
Aussies fall to Augusta’s traps
Marc Leishman was the only Aussie to tame the prickly Augusta undulation on a hard day for the Aussie contingent.
Leishman was the early leader during his opening round, but slipped from four-under to finish with an even-par 72, seven strokes behind leader Rose.
Only 12 players fared better than Leishman on a day when some of the biggest names in golf came unstuck.
That was also the case for Aussie champion Jason Day, whose tournament could already be over after a five-over 77.
Highly-fancied Aussie Cameron Smith looked in real trouble early at four-over but found his feat on the back nine with two late birdies.
He finished at two-over alongside Matt Jones and Adam Scott.
Masters 2021 leaderboard after round one
65 – Justin Rose (ENG)
69 – Brian Harman, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)
70 – Will Zalatoris, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA), Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed
71 – Kim Si-woo (KOR), Jason Kokrak, Shane Lowry (IRL), Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Jordan Spieth
72 – Michael Thompson, Kevin Kisner, Cameron Champ, Jon Rahm (ESP), Xander Schauffele, Mackenzie Hughes (CAN), Marc Leishman (AUS)
73 – Hudson Swafford, Henrik Stenson (SWE), Brendon Todd, Corey Conners (CAN), Viktor Hovland (NOR), Paul Casey (ENG), Gary Woodland, Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa
74 – Matt Jones (AUS), Stewart Cink, Sebastian Munoz (COL), Bernhard Langer (GER), Ian Poulter (ENG), Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Harris English, Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Martin Laird (SCO), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Robert MacIntyre (SCO), Matt Wallace (ENG), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Ryan Palmer, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Max Homa, Adam Scott (AUS), Tony Finau, Cameron Smith (AUS)
75 – Robert Streb, Joaquin Niemann (CHI), Daniel Berger, Jimmy Walker, Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP), Kevin Na, Phil Mickelson, Abraham Ancer (MEX)
76 – Dylan Frittelli (RSA), Jim Herman, Ian Woosnam (WAL), Danny Willett (ENG), Matthew Wolff, Sergio Garcia (ESP), Rory McIlroy (NIR), Lanto Griffin, a-Charles Osborne, Billy Horschel, Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)
77 – Jason Day (AUS), Zach Johnson, Im Sung-jae (KOR)
78 – Lee Westwood (ENG), Brian Gay, Mike Weir (CAN), Victor Perez (FRA), Matt Kuchar 79 – Vijay Singh (FIJ), C.T. Pan (TPE), Fred Couples, Patrick Cantlay
80 – a-Tyler Strafaci
81 – Sandy Lyle (SCO)
82 – a-Joe Long (AUS), Carlos Ortiz (MEX)
84 – Larry Mize
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