PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Bryson DeChambeau owned the weekend at Arnie’s place in Orlando.
He’s in position for an encore of The DeChambeau Show at the place owned by PGA Tour.
The Big Man from Big D shot his second consecutive 3-under-par 69 in Friday’s sunlit second round at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass to prominently place his name on the marquee at The Players Championship, the Tour’s signature event.
In front of the largest galleries, DeChambeau thrilled his onlookers with his eye-popping power, precise iron play and gentle touch around the greens and looks every bit the player who could win a second Tour title in as many weeks.
“There’s a lot of support, which is great,” said DeChambeau, who was one shot out of the lead when he finished his round. “They always ask how many protein shakes I’ve had, which is funny, and I always reply back with however many I’ve had that day for the most part.”
So, how many have you had?
“I’ve had probably four,” he answered at 1 p.m. local time.
DeChambeau has been the Tour’s biggest hit this week since the curtain was drawn on Tuesday. While the limited number of fans flocked to watch him hit balls on the practice ground and then play a practice round, the Players Championship Rules Committee announced the creation of internal out of bounds left of the lake guarding the par-4, 462-yard 18th hole.
DeChambeau said he was considering driving across the lake to create a better angle back across the H2O to the green. The Tour cancelled that part of the show.
“Darn it,” he said.
But the Tour couldn’t keep DeChambeau from going all Arnold Schwarzenegger last week when he took an aggressive line to bash two drives over a lake at the par-5 6th at Bay Hill – each launch exceeding 375 yards – en route to making birdie each time. He went on to win his eighth PGA Tour title.
The reigning U.S. Open champ, in the absence of the injured Tiger Woods, has become golf’s biggest draw. And he soaks up the attention.
The fans didn’t flee when DeChambeau botched his opening act Friday when he made a double-bogey six on the 10th, his first hole.
“You don’t expect to do that the first hole out. Especially since I was hitting it pretty good this morning, and then you go out there, you hit one and you squeeze one right and it goes pretty far right. You don’t hit your second shot where you need it to be and mess up. So you just aren’t feeling comfortable,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling as comfortable as I should have been feeling, and unfortunately, that’s the way my day started.”
The day got better. His swing, however, is still giving him fits. He has spent the past two nights working on the range late into the darkness and likely will do so again Friday night and Saturday night. He ranks in the 70s in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and said he’s “too sensitive through the impact zone.”
“I’m a perfectionist, and I’ll continue to be so until the day I die and until the day I stop playing this game,” he said. “That’s just the way I am. I love it about me, that’s what makes me work hard and fight for every shot out there, but at the same time it makes me worry about stuff a lot.”
Thus, despite not have his “A” game so far this week, he’s on the first page of the leaderboard.
“I’m happy with the fact that I’ve still been able to keep myself in it and score well,” he said. “I’ve been pretty lucky, for the most part. I don’t think that’ll happen this weekend. I’ve got to make sure that my game is good off the tee, so I don’t have those issues occurring and I don’t have to rely on luck for the most part.”
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/03/12/bryson-dechambeau-show-hit-the-players-championship/