The kraken is not ready just yet. Bryson DeChambeau withdrew from The Players Championship on Sunday evening, marking the second straight week he’s been forced to withdraw from a big event. DeChambeau also missed last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, a tournament in which he was the defending champion.
Just last week, DeChambeau stated that he was 90% ready and attempting to get fully healthy to play at TPC Sawgrass this week.
“I’ve been working hard on my game and working hard on recovery,” DeChambeau said in the video. “Man, tough decision right now. I have a lot of work to do to get everything back into order for this week. I just feel like it’s too short a time for me to get back 100%, playing at 100% capacity. Right now, I’m like 90%. I just don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even more and not be 100% ready for the rest of the season. I don’t want to come back early and have to take more time off. It’s a hard decision I have to make right now, but I’m going to have to unfortunately not play this week.”
DeChambeau did not release a video this time around, but he did sound optimistic about … something.
“Almost ready. Getting ready for something big,” DeChambeau told Golfweek. “Many plans in the works.”
DeChambeau has been heavily linked to the Super Golf League, a Saudi Arabian-backed rival league to the PGA Tour that apparently fell through a few weeks ago when Phil Mickelson’s incendiary comments about the league, its funding and how it all started were disclosed. I don’t think this is what DeChambeau is referencing, even though I also don’t believe the SGL is completely dead. DeChambeau released a statement that didn’t exactly distance him from the SGL, and while that could still be in play for him down the road, I don’t think it is right now.
Instead, DeChambeau’s focus will be on the 2022 Masters, which begins in 31 days. His revamped game should crush at Augusta National, and he won’t want to miss the first major of the year, even at the expense of missing two places where he’s had immense success in Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass.
Interestingly, despite declaring it a par 67 at one point in his career, DeChambeau has never come close to conquering Augusta National. In five trips there, his best finish is a T21 back in 2016 when he was still an amateur. Last year he confessed that the course holds some powers that might be beyond his immense strength.
“I don’t think you can ever figure this place out,” he said. “There are so many things going on around here,”
Hopefully he figures his injury out because the entertainment value when DeChambeau is at least showing up to tournaments and teeing it up is off the charts. That’s been true throughout his entire career, and it was especially true this time last year when he won Bay Hill and nearly won The Players. Whether you root for him to win or hope he misses the cut, it’s nearly impossible to deny the reality that golf is a lot more exciting when he’s prominently involved.
Hayden Buckley will replace DeChambeau in The Players Championship field.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism