As perhaps the longest hitter currently on the PGA Tour, Bryson DeChambeau had a plan on how he would attack Augusta National and score well at the 2020 Masters Tournament. DeChambeau convincingly won the U.S. Open in September and the Masters course is know to favor big hitters.
It was a disappointing week for DeChambeau where missed shots and a few disastrous holes in the early rounds almost caused him to miss the cut. DeChambeau was at even par after the first two rounds, the last score to qualify for the weekend rounds.
DeChambeau bounced back in the third round, shooting his best round of the tournament, a three-under par 69. He went on finish the tournament at two-under par and a tie for 34th place.
Despite several moments of brilliance, inaccuracy hurt DeChambeau in the end. He hit 70 percent of fairways overall – the tournament's average among all golfers – but hit just 61 percent of greens in regulation, including 50 percent in his final round.
DeChambeau felt unwell during most of the tournament, complaining of constant dizziness, and was even tested for COVID-19 after the first round. The result was negative.
Let's look at how DeChambeau planned to attack several holes at Augusta National and how he ultimately played.
Goal: Carry the Right Fairway Bunker on the Second Hole
The par-5 second hole is 575 yards long and DeChambeau wanted to carry a tricky fairway bunker to hit mid-to-short iron to the green.
Did He Accomplish His Goal: Yes
The second hole was DeChambeau's most successful of the tournament as he shot birdie all four days. He accomplished his goal of carrying the bunker every round (the first round was a little left of the bunker) and he hit his tee shot to the fairway each day. He was on in two every round except the final round where his second shot was just off the green.
Goal: Drive the Third Hole
The par-4 third hole at Augusta National is 358 yards long and DeChambeau certainly had the power to land his drive on the green.
Did He Accomplish His Goal: No – Except the Last Day
DeChambeau shot par here three of the four days, but the third hole will be remembered as the place where making the cut really looked to be in jeopardy. In the second round, DeChambeau hit his tee shot just off the fairway to the left. The ball was not found in the allotted search time, so he was forced to take the penalty and hit another tee shot which also traveled to the left rough. The next shot went over the green; a chip and two putts later and DeChambeau walked away with a triple-bogey seven on the hole.
The original tee shot was found just moments later, plugged in the wet rough. Had spectators been permitted at this year's tournament, someone would have easily spotted the ball.
DeChambeau had somewhat of a redemption on the final day when he drove the green (but then three putted).
Goal: Get Close to the Green on No. 7
The par-4 seventh hole is considered one of the toughest on the course, 450 yards to an elevated green. DeChambeau's goal was to get close enough on his tee shot for an easy pitch.
Did He Accomplish His Goal: No
DeChambeau really struggled on the seventh hole, recording bogey three of the four rounds. He missed the fairway on his tee shot every round except the third round (also the only day he shot par).
Goal: Carry the Bunker on the Eighth Hole
Most golfers will have to contend with a bunker at 320 yards on the par-5 eighth hole, but DeChambeau's goal was to carry the bunker and get onto the green in two.
Did He Accomplish His Goal: Yes
DeChambeau played the eighth hole very well, recording birdie the first three rounds and par on the last day. His drive was past the bunker each day and he was on the green in two all but the final round. He had a beautiful second shot during the second round that landed just four feet from the hole but he lipped out the eagle putt.
Goal: Hit Over the Trees on the Left on No. 13
DeChambeau wanted to hit high and over the trees on the 510-yard, par-5 thirteenth hole for a mid-iron shot to the green.
Did He Accomplish His Goal: Yes, Except the First Round
The 13th hole was the tale of two stories for DeChambeau, who ultimately shot one-under par here for the four rounds combined.
In the first round, the 13th hole is where DeChambeau's troubles began (his group played the back nine first). His tee shot went right of the fairway – not over the trees on the left – into a group of trees. Instead of punching out to the fairway, DeChambeau tried for the green but launched his shot into chest-high bushes to the left of the green. Disaster seemed certain when his provisional shot landed in a creek in front of the green. His first shot was found in the bushes but his next shot went over the green. DeChambeau chipped on and two putted for a double-bogey seven.
DeChambeau got the last laugh at No. 13 with an eagle in the final round.
While DeChambeau was disappointed with his play overall, he was able to meet several of his goals for this year's Masters Tournament.