Sunday, January 29, 2023

Bryson DeChambeau dominates tee shot as Justin Thomas scores emotional victory

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Bryson DeChambeau’s the incredible distance off the tee has been making headlines in recent months, nothing more remarkable than his efforts at Bay Hill last week.

But everything went terribly wrong on the last lap of the Players’ Championship, when the American shot his tee shot incredibly on the fourth hole.

Instead of his more usual distance of around 340 yards, his tee shot in the fourth only traveled 130 yards, barely leaving the ground before finding the water.

DeChambeau had the embarrassing option of taking a drop in front departures.

“I wonder when was the last time he played the women’s t-shirt?” David Feherty reflected on the NBC cover.

But that wasn’t the end of the madness, with DeChambeau’s third shot a rod going well.

“Oh my God, what’s going on?” said the American, watching his ball disappear into the trees.

DeChambeau had to play his fourth shot upside down to avoid the trees, but was only able to move the ball 15 yards. From there he played a brilliant 43-yard chip inside two yards to make a double bogey.

His playing partner, Lee Westwood, didn’t do much better. His tee shot went well and found the water, leading to a bogey for the tournament leader. This proved significant later in the round, with Westwood finishing a shot behind eventual winner Justin Thomas.

Thomas shot a final 68 round to climb to the top of the standings, winning his first Players’ Championship and the 14th victory of his career.

He joins Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller are the only players since 1960 to have won 14 tournaments before turning 28.

“I fought so hard today, I was very patient, (it’s) probably one of the best tee-to-green rounds of my life,” Thomas said immediately after the round.

“I had total control of the ball and was hitting a lot of good putts.”

Thomas held back tears when asked about his grandfather, Paul Thomas, who died last month at the age of 89. A golf pro himself, Paul Thomas played in the US PGA in 1960 and 1961, as well as at the 1962 US Open.

“I wish I could talk to him, but I know he’s watching,” Thomas said.

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