PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — After his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, Bryson DeChambeau was asked if he had any plans to take a different approach with his length at this week’s Players Championship the way he did by hitting driver over the lake at the par-5 sixth hole at Bay Hill.
“I have thought about sometimes on 18 going left into 9,’’ DeChambeau said, referring to avoiding the lake that hugs the left side of the narrow 18th fairway. “It just gives you a better shot into the green where you can just hit it a little long and you’re always going to be OK. The cover (carry) is like 310 [yards], but we’ll see. I’ll look at all options if there is an advantage there. But if not, I’ll just hit 4-iron down the fairway and hopefully an 8-iron or 7-iron into the green.’’
On Tuesday morning, DeChambeau said he planned to “probably give it a try, but it’s most likely not going to happen.’’
By Tuesday afternoon, the PGA Tour issued a statement with a newly drawn-up local rule prohibiting players from hitting to the ninth hole off the 18th tee.
“In the interest of safety for spectators, volunteers and other personnel, The Players Championship Rules Committee has installed an internal out of bounds left of the lake for play of hole 18. Similar instances of internal out of bounds for safety purposes have occurred at The Open Championship (hole 9) in 2017, the 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii (hole 13 and hole 18), and most recently, the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard (hole 6).’’
With DeChambeau almost certain not to attempt that shot in competition, the entire exchange was rather humorous.
After his win on Sunday, when he was asked about tournaments attempting to alter courses for him the way they used to “Tiger-proof’’ them to combat Tiger Woods’s length, DeChambeau said, “I don’t think you can Bryson-proof a golf course.’’
There is, however, a Bryson Rule in place this week.