Illness, mistakes lead to disappointing Masters for Bryson DeChambeau
Pre-tournament favorite Bryson DeChambeau bemoaned a missed opportunity this week because of mistakes on the course – and an unexpected health problem – after closing out the 84th Masters Tournament with an over-par round on Sunday.
DeChambeau, who won the U.S. Open in September and was riding high coming into Augusta, closed with 1-over-par 73 and finished at 2-under 286 for the tournament.
It was so disappointing that DeChambeau said he felt like he shot “15 over for the week.”
The tour’s longest hitter, who led the field this week at 324.4 yards per drive, battled a mysterious illness that often left him dizzy on the course. The symptoms started Thursday night, he said, and didn’t go away the rest of the tournament. He even took a COVID-19 test during the tournament, which came back negative.
“I've got to fix whatever is going on up here,” he said, pointing to his head. “I have no idea. Just dizziness. It's only when I go from down to up, so I can't even like think and talk right now. But that's just what happens, I go down and up and my brain gets all disoriented. I've got to fix that, and once I fix it I'll be even better than now, and when something arising in the future, I'll just keep trying to fix it.”
He said dizziness was better than it was on Friday, when he shot 74, but it never totally went away.
“But still, it’s tough. I'm hydrated, everything is fine,” he said. “It's just about orientation. There was numerous times where I was over it and I just felt super uncomfortable. I couldn't see anything. I couldn't see the line. It was really weird. I missed a lot of putts (he had 29 putts) today.”
It left him feeling “60 percent” healthy and put a damper on chances of winning a second major in a row.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked about a missed chance to win the Masters, where his best finish had been a tie for 21st as an amateur in 2016.
“At the beginning of the week I felt like I could have a great chance to win the tournament if I just played my game,” he said. “Shoot, I made enough birdies this week and eagles to have a chance to win. There's no doubt about that. I made way too many mistakes that I've got to talk about with my caddie and go, hey, how do we not make these mistakes anymore, how can we work better as a team to have that not happen.”
There was a highlight on Sunday for DeChambeau. On the par-5 13th hole, his 9-iron second shot – which would have been for double eagle had it gone in – just slipped past the hole. He tapped him for eagle.
“I thought it was (going in),” DeChambeau said. “I was so excited to hopefully get some of that crystal, but I was just happy I made eagle because I missed a fivefooter on 8 the other day for eagle and that was a little frustrating, but at least I got something out of the week.”
DeChambeau said he won’t play again until the Tournament of Champions, which starts Jan. 7.