Bryson DeChambeau aims to overcome physical and mental barriers at Masters

American is still recovering from hand and hip injuries as he prepares for Augusta

Bryson DeChambeau during the Texas Open in San Antonio. AFP
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Bryson DeChambeau revealed he is far from being fully fit and admitted he "can't go all-out" while recovering from hand and hip injuries ahead of this week's Masters.

The American fractured his left hand and injured his left hip when he slipped on freshly wiped marble floors while playing table tennis, forcing him to withdraw from February's Saudi International. His doctors even urged him to consider sitting out the first major of the year, to give himself more time to heal.

However, DeChambeau plans to push ahead regardless.

"Not paying attention, I Charlie Brown'd myself and went horizontal and then hit my left hip and my hand at the same time, and that really just took me out," he said.

"That's when it got to the point where I couldn't even grip the golf club. I tried to play that week, and it was impossible."

"[Doctors] recommended that I don't come back for a while," DeChambeau added. "They said if you go out and hit golf balls and you feel somewhat comfortable, you consider it, and they are like, you should really let it heal.

"And even [coach Chris Como] has told me, you probably shouldn't play, even though he wants me to play obviously, right. But he's really looking out for my best interests for the future. I'm like, man, this only comes around once a year, and I've got to give this a go."

DeChambeau took a break from the game to recover and said he was happy with his progress.

"Normally a bone fracture takes four months to probably fully heal and I'm back here in two," he said.

"Pleased with that. And hitting golf balls on the range today, I was able to sustain practice for a good amount of time. So, I'm happy."

DeChambeau is eager to get going, probably because has some unfinished business at Augusta National.

In 2020, when the Masters was shifted to November because of the pandemic, DeChambeau famously predicted that his massive bulk and swing would give him an edge over the rest of the field.

He raised plenty of eyebrows when he said one of golf’s most hallowed courses played like a par-67 for him.

However, DeChambeau fell flat on the course. He lost a ball at No 3 — the shortest par-4 on the course, and one of the holes where he considered par to be a birdie — and was out of contention before he even got to the weekend.

Last year, when the Masters returned to its usual spot, DeChambeau turned in another lukewarm performance. He posted a pair of 75s over the final two rounds to finish 5 over for the week, 15 strokes behind winner Hideki Matsuyama.

DeChambeau hit plenty of monstrous shots. He just didn’t know where it was going at times.

The injuries, it seems, have calmed DeChambeau down.

“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,” he said. “Yelling ‘Fore!’ off the tee every time is just not fun.”

DeChambeau only returned two weeks ago for the Match Play World Golf Championship, where he lost two matches and tied another to finish last in his group.

He teed up again last week at the Texas Open, failing to make the cut with rounds of 72 and 76.

Still, DeChambeau hopes to turn adversity into an advantage.

“Everybody has a tough stretch in their career,” he said. “Your lowest moments are your best. Your worst failures are your best teachers. So for me, my greatest failures have been my best moments of learning, and so this is just another one of those.”

Updated: April 05, 2022, 9:35 AM
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