In Thursday’s rain-delayed first round of the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau made a mess of what was the easiest hole at Augusta National Golf Club last year.
After blasting his driver 324 yards through the right side of the fairway on the 510-yard, par-5 13th, the reigning U.S. Open winner faced a 194-yard shot off pine straw, through two pine trees and over the tributary that feeds Rae’s Creek. He was faced with laying up or trying a dicey shot over the water hazard.
The hole is known as a great risk-reward challenge, playing short as a modern par 5. But players face a slew of obstacles – trees, bushes, pine straw, rough and water, to name a few – and DeChambeau found all of those on his fourth hole of the day.
From the pine straw and trees, DeChambeau went with the risky shot for his approach, but he pull-hooked his attempt with a mid-iron, sending the ball well left of the green and into a non-flowering magnolia bush.
DeChambeau, whose prodigious length gains have stolen much of the attention in the lead-up to this year’s Masters, was forced to play a provisional ball. He block-cut that one into the water short right of the green.
Fortunately, he was able to find his first ball in the bushes, allowing him to abandon the provisional ball in the creek.
DeChambeau then took an unplayable lie from the bushes, meaning he was hitting his fourth shot from the rough left of the green. He duffed that shot after appearing to strike the bushes on the backswing of his pitch.
He then pitched onto the green with his fifth shot to within 12 feet of the hole. He missed that putt left, with the ball never on line, and tapped in for a double bogey.
That left DeChambeau at 2 over par through his first four holes. After starting on No. 10, he had struggled a bit but managed to make three pars before the double at 13.