Bryson DeChambeau’s Masters Turnaround, Scottie Scheffler Superlatives


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Bryson DeChambeau had missed the cut in each of the past two years at the Masters and looked bad doing so. Some of that could be attributed to injury. But going back to his infamous “par-67” comments prior to the 2020 Masters, the long-hitting Bryson had simply been flummoxed by Augusta National. In some ways, he still is and admits as much.

But the 2020 U.S. Open champion worked hard to figure the place out. He went on a two-day scouting mission in January. He returned the week prior to the Masters, armed with a new driver and different irons that were only approved for use by the USGA during Masters week. And he sought to better his record.

DeChambeau opened the tournament with a 65 but could never match that brilliance, letting things get away from him with a third-round 75. Still, his tie for sixth is his best, and while he was already exempt for the 2025 Masters via the U.S. Open win, the victory could be a boost for him in the upcoming majors.

“It made me feel like I could do it,” he said. “There was a couple of moments out there where I got the tingles. It’s a weird thing to say. It’s almost like goosebumps almost. It was early in the week too. I was like, whoa, I’ve got to calm that down. It was too quick, too early.

“I didn’t shoot under par the rest of the week, and that was kind of a disappointing fact, especially after shooting 7 under the first round. (Saturday) and the day before were very difficult rounds. I’ve never seen the greens that fast.

“So I’m going to make sure to go to a place where I can practice that coming into Augusta, if that does happen again, because I’ve got to have a better understanding of what the greens are doing at that speed and I just don’t. We don’t really play under those conditions.

“Other than that, I felt like it’s a lot to take in right now, but I’m excited for the future. I can definitely say that.”

It was an important week for a few other LIV Golf players. Tyrrell Hatton doesn’t have major exemptions, so his tie for ninth assures him a spot in next year’s field as the top 12 and ties are invited back. He also moved up to 16th in the OWGR.

Patrick Reed won the 2018 Masters so he is good for life but his tie for 12th was big as far as this year’s majors are concerned—he’s not exempt for any. He moved to 85th in the OWGR and thus should be good for an exemption from the PGA Championship, which typically invites the top 100 not otherwise eligible. If he can do anything there, both the U.S. Open (top 60) and British Open (top 50) have OWGR qualifications.

Cam Smith was a quiet T6 at the Masters after a final-round 70. Coming off a withdrawal due to illness the previous week in LIV’s event at Doral, he was never really in contention but hovering around the top 10. The 2022 Open champion has exemptions through 2027 at the other majors.

A couple of other LIV golfers saw some opportunities missed. Joaquin Niemann, who was given a special invitation, tied for 22nd. Adrian Meronk, who was 39th in the OWGR in January, has fallen to 67th thus hurting his chances for next year but is still in line for the PGA Championship and a possible U.S. Open spot.

The performances of defending champion Jon Rahm and runner-up Brooks Koepka were somewhat mystifying. Both tied for 45th at 9 over par—20 shots back of winner Scottie Scheffler.

And a few more things

This week’s RBC Heritage field is just 69 players, again pointing out the need for the PGA Tour to look at a way to fill out the signature events or add reserves. Eligible players Viktor Hovland and Hideki Matsuyama decided to skip. Justin Thomas hung onto the 30th spot in the OWGR to gain a spot in the field …

There’s numerous superlatives for Masters champ Scottie Scheffler. His nine victories across three seasons are the most for anyone on the PGA Tour since Thomas won that many in 2016-17. … He has not shot a round over par this year. … He’s the 18th player to win the Masters multiple times and the first since Bubba Watson won his second in 2014. … And he joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win the Players Championship and the Masters in the same year. (Woods did it in 2001 on his way to holding all four majors as well).

There were 11 rounds in the 60s on Sunday while there were just nine total at Augusta from Thursday through Saturday. … Rahm had eight three-putts for the week. … There were no Sunday eagles at the par-5 13th,  a first on that hole in 11 years. … The hardest hole on the course Sunday? The par-4 17th. … It’s just 30 days until the next major championship, the first round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

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