Golf hulk’s epic mid-round meltdown

Bryson DeChambeau had the golf world fearing he was going to make a mockery of the famous Augusta course at the Masters.

The bulked-up American declared he was hitting the ball further than ever ahead of his opening round and proclaimed he was looking at the course, that has caught out some of the biggest names, “as a par-67 because I can reach all the par fives in two”.

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Despite his grandious declarations and putting the fear of god into the golfing world, Augusta had other ideas.

The course struck back as DeChambeau’s charge to claim the Masters quickly began to fall apart as the holes rolled along.

An opening round of two-under par was highlighted by a double-bogey on the 13th hole. On Saturday things reached diabolic levels.

After reaching three-under par after his opening two holes, DeChambeau triple-bogeyed the par four third. His shot off the team landed just off the fairway but became completely lost in the grass.

Without crowds in attendance to help spot it, DeChambeau, his caddie and an official could not find his ball, forcing DeChambeau to take a penalty stroke and ride back to the tee box for another drive. It landed back in the same area, though this time it stayed visible in the rough.

DeChambeau argued with the officials briefly over being able to lose the ball in casual water. The official informed him it was more “spotty” than casual.

Another day, another search for Bryson's ball at #themasters. pic.twitter.com/2GP1njb8xf

Bryson to rules official: "So you are saying if we can't find it, it's a lost ball?" Well….. 🙄😂

He followed up the nightmare with bogeys in three of his next four holes.

Sitting at one-over, DeChambeau is in serious danger of missing the cut for the final two rounds of the Masters which is expected to be one-under.

Before the day’s play was brought to a halt due to light, DeChambeau had pulled off the drive fans had been waiting to see when he drove over the trees on the 13th hole and required only a sand wedge to chip onto the green and set up an eagle putt.

The hulking American will finish his final six holes on Sunday morning and will need to reach at least one-under if he wants to make the cut and compete for the Masters jacket.

Bryson DeChambeau in danger of missing the cut but pulls off the shot we’ve been waiting for. Completely cuts the corner at #13 and has to have a wedge in to the par 5. pic.twitter.com/B4eloZLoZT

Aussie Cameron Smith didn’t have any of the issues DeChambeau was facing as he finished his second round like a steam train.

Smith finished round two by going five under par over his final four holes to enter the halfway point of the tournament with a share of the lead at nine under.

He closed out his round with an eagle and three birdies to record a round of 68.

“It was a very up and down round, a little bit scrappy,” Smith said. “But hung in there and at the end, it was brilliant.”

Australian Cameron Smith grabbed a share of the overnight lead by playing his last four holes in five under par. #themasters pic.twitter.com/T6E9mACtN6

World number one Dustin Johnson and third-ranked Justin Thomas shared the second-round clubhouse lead with two unexpected contenders, Smith and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer.

As rain-softened Augusta National surrendered unprecedented success, Thomas closed with back-to-back birdies to shoot a three-under 69 and US compatriot Johnson birdied his final hole to shoot 70 and join the lead pack on nine-under-par 135.

“I like my position going into the weekend,” Johnson said. “Conditions are going to stay relatively the same. You are going to have to stay aggressive. You have to keep shooting well.”

Ancer, trying to become the first debut Masters winner in 41 years, birdied two of his last four holes to fire 67.

Im Sung-jae, a 22-year-old South Korean also making his Masters debut, fired a 70 to share fifth with American Patrick Cantlay on 136.

“I really feel like I’m prepared this week,” Im said. “I did feel like this course suited my style. I just approached the tournament with confidence.”

Defending champion Tiger Woods, who matched his best-ever Masters start with a 68, was on level par for the second round after 10 holes, sharing 22nd place as he chases a 16th major title and sixth Masters victory.

with AFP

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