Bryson DeChambeau is not the type of person to write himself off, so he feels winning the Masters is still in play after he carded a 5-under 67 in Friday’s second round.
That was a nine-stroke improvement from his miserable opening-round trip among the azaleas and dogwood trees at Augusta National.
DeChambeau’s 1-under 143 total through 36 holes is six behind leader Justin Rose of England.
“I’m thinking, ‘Hey, I can get after it on the weekend and have a chance to win,’ but I’ve got to shoot low,” DeChambeau said after a strong finish. “So I think that making that putt on 18, making the putt on 17, those were huge momentum plays for me where I feel like I can go out tomorrow and shoot a good number a little earlier than the leaders and put myself in a great spot for Sunday.”
DeChambeau had seven birdies on Friday with four of them coming over the last six holes. The birdies on Holes 17 and 18 elevated him into a tie for 17th place.
He had two bogeys during the round, which was a better showing than a first round in which he double-bogeyed No. 4 and had bogeys on three other holes. He made just one birdie.
In an odd way, the defending U.S. Open champion thinks the first-round struggles helped him play better Friday.
“You have to experience failure in order to understand what success is,” DeChambeau said. “If you have success all the time — it’s just not realistic to have success all the time. That’s what’s so great about this golf course.”
DeChambeau, 27, has never been in the hunt for a green jacket as his best finish in four previous Masters is a tie for 21st in 2016. He tied for 34th in 2020.
He has a lot of work to do over the weekend to be legitimately in the mix, but it didn’t hurt that Rose shot even-par 72 on Friday after his scintillating opening-round 65.
Now DeChambeau has two more opportunities to solve a course that often leaves him baffled.
“I don’t think you can ever figure this place out. There’s so many things going on around here,” DeChambeau said. “The wind makes it diabolical. It’s flying around through these trees and bouncing off the trees and making it feel into the wind when it should be downwind, and vice versa. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to figure it out, but I’ve just got to be more comfortable.
“Honestly for me it was just execution. There were times I didn’t execute again. For some reason every year I get here, I’m playing pretty well coming in and I don’t execute the way I want to. Today was nice to be able to get it back and shoot 5-under, get myself somewhat in contention.”
–Field Level Media