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Bryson DeChambeau Says His Health is at 80% Heading Into Masters

DeChambeau has struggled in his two events leading into the Masters, while his body continues to recover from a series of early-season injuries.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It wasn’t long ago that Bryson DeChambeau was the number one needle-mover on the PGA Tour, with his prodigious length that was awe-inspiring.

He won the 2020 U.S. Open by overpowering Winged Foot Golf Club, finishing six shots clear of Matthew Wolff put the then-27-year-old on a pedestal.

Yet, many believed his body -- in fact, no body -- could consistently sustain ball speed of over 200 mph. DeChambeau reached 219 mph at the 2021 World Long Drive Championship and consistently exceeded 200 mph on Tour.

After the victory in New York, DeChambeau won the Arnold Palmer Invitational the following year, again showcasing his extraordinary length while almost driving the par-5 6th hole that required a carry of over 300 yards over a lake that was meant to be played around, not over.

That drive was the single most popular shot of 2021, but that was then and just over a year since then DeChambeau has struggled with his health and his game. In 2022 he's made five appearances on the PGA Tour with no wins or top 10’s.

A reinjury of a partially torn left labrum in his hip that was originally partially torn two years ago and a left-hand injury that was aggravated in an over-competitive ping pong match against Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann in Saudi Arabia, has limited DeChambeau’s ability to win. He says he's at 80% going into the first major of the year.

“Did not expect it to be that prevalent, didn't think I would get to that place,” DeChambeau said of the injuries. “But one of the things I didn't do is take care of my hands and my hip like I should have, and I went pretty hard. Albeit I wouldn't do anything else to change what happened because it's made me a better person because of it. I've learned a little bit more about my body and how to respond and how to recover in a better manner.”

Even without the injuries, which has diminished capacity to win, DeChambeau has struggled around Augusta National as T21 from 2016, when he was low am, remains his best finish.

Yet, his length and speed should fit perfectly with a course that generally opens its arms to long hitters.

Instead DeChambeau’s success meter has gone in the wrong direction. His best finish as a professional is T29 in 2019 and his worst is T46 last year.

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Recently he flashed 190 mph ball speed during his comeback that started two weeks ago at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship, where he failed to get to the round of 16, and continued with a missed cut last week at the Valero Texas Open. DeChambeau feels his game is coming back together.

“It's been a bit of unravelling this knot that I've had in my game for the past four years,” DeChambeau said. “We're finally moving in a direction that I feel is positive for me being able to win again, hopefully, regularly like I did in 2018.”

Speed is a key to DeChambeau’s game, and he has struggled to not only get to the top speeds, but to sustain them and finally hit the ball straight with speed, which requires repeatability, the last part of the puzzle for the eight-time PGA Tour winner.

“I knew this was going to be a long process,” DeChambeau said. “But how am I going to win out here? It's going to be a lot of hitting fairways, hitting greens, and rolling the putter really well. You have to roll it well and read greens well.”

Even DeChambeau understands that he’s no longer 21 or 22 anymore and he not only has to be careful, but smarter.

“The past few weeks have been very, very difficult on me, not playing well and not hitting it anywhere near where I know I should be hitting it in regards to straight; yelling "Fore" off the tee every time is just not fun,” DeChambeau said. “It's very difficult on your mental psyche as well.”

In coming back against doctor’s orders, DeChambeau is risking reinjury, but he also is aware if he does start to feel something is not right, he plans to shut it down.

It seems like a lot to put on your shoulders when you are trying to win your second major.

DeChambeau admitted he has never put it all together for four rounds around Augusta National, with 10 of his 15 rounds over-par and only three in the 60s.

He’s had good days off the tee, and good days with the wedge and good putting days, but they have never synced up for a week.

Yet, DeChambeau knows if he can come out and get comfortable like he has at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot or Bay Hill, he can beat anyone, he just needs to find what seeming has alluded him at Augusta National, a consistent game.

“I know I've talked to Tiger about all that matters is that back nine,” DeChambeau said. “You have to get yourself to that back nine, close to the lead. That's all that matters. I haven't really done that recently. I have to work on getting back there with all facets of my game better than where they have been.”