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How this costly double dented Bryson DeChambeau’s Masters hopes

Our Rules of Golf expert had a front row seat as the American’s Masters chances floundered at Augusta National’s final par 5. Here’s what happened…

 

How many Masters dreams have suffered at 15? Seve Ballesteros trips off the tongue for a start.

But few have seen the drama of Bryson DeChambeau’s visit to a watery grave during the third round at Augusta National.

The LIV Golf star suffered a double bogey 7 that involved a TV camera tower and an encounter with the pond.

I was on the scene as events unfolded at Firethorn so let’s break down what happened and why…

bryson dechambeau

TV cameras, penalty areas, and one complete duff: What happened to Bryson at 15?

After hitting his tee shot down the left side of the fairway, DeChambeau had 234 yards to the flag – over that perilous pond.

But he flared his second into the gallery on the right of the green (where I was standing) and that’s where the drama really began. Blocking his line of sight to the hole was a small TV camera tower.

That is a temporary immovable obstruction and Bryson was entitled to take relief under a Local Rule. A rules official on the scene told him he could take either side relief, allowing him to choose which side of the camera tower suited him best.

DeChambeau went left away from the hole. He had to find the nearest point of complete relief where both physical and line of sight interference from the camera no longer existed. Then he had another one club-length relief area in which to drop.

Having marked out the area with tees, the relief area was on a slight downslope and two attempts to drop failed to stay within it. DeChambeau then placed his ball.

With 65 yards to the hole, though, he hit his chip completely fat and it dropped into the penalty area.

Bryson appeared to briefly consider taking stroke-and-distance relief – or playing again from the same place. But, after a brief consultation with the official, he opted to take penalty area relief instead, dropping close to the water, and playing from there.

Chipping on, it took two putts to find the cup and write a double bogey on the scorecard. Another bogey on the 16th seemed to precipitate a plummet down the leaderboard.

But the Crushers star kept his green jacket hopes alive after incredibly holing his third shot at the final hole for a 75. He’s a little down, but certainly not out.

Now have your say

Can Bryson DeChambeau recover from his third round setback at the Masters? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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