AUGUST, Ga. (AP) – It was a very reassuring day at Augusta National.
It turns out, the green jacket will not be worn over the bigger, stronger shoulders – not if they belong to a man who has no idea where this little white ball is going.
Bryson DeChambeau, the Incredible Hulk of Links, Reaches the Masters speaking boldly about overcoming one of the holiest golf courses.
Instead, it was reduced in size.
DeChambeau spent Friday spraying shots all the time, with his frustration threatening to boil at any moment, like the fantastic Hulk.
He even managed to lose a ball in a really weird way.
Then there was Abraham Anser, who checked in at 5-feet-7 and 160 pounds, about the size of one of DeChambeau’s forearms.
The 29-year-old Mexican ranks well below the list in driving distance, averaging 279.5 yards more than half the pitch behind DeChambeau’s moon shots.
But Ancer had a much better idea of where his ball would end up. And when he left the course at the end of the second round, he had a 9-under 135 on his card that gave him a share of the incomplete 36-hole lead.
“I did not hit it better than the T-shirt,” said Ancer. “But I managed to find out very well and made some birdie birds, something that kept me going. I played par 3s very well. “
Of course, these are the shortest holes, but they are usually the most diabolical. It’s all about touch, not power.
Ancer did three of them during the second round, a big reason the Masters champion left the lesson tied for the lead.
DeChambeau will simply try to make the cut when he returns Saturday morning to complete the last six holes of his second round. He played the first dozen in the top 3, leaving him with an impressive 10 hits behind Ancer and three more at the top of the leaderboard.
Almost what one would expect from a man who has transformed his body into something resembling an NFL midfielder, who dominated the US Open at Winged Foot to claim his first major title, which he bravely threw at Augusta 67 and not 72.
“I can get to all par 5s without a problem,” boasts DeChambeau, who has tried to streamline the idea of 400 yards and swing speeds that can hold their own against an Indy race car.
If Augusta’s four par 5s become par 4s on DeChambeau’s supposedly arrogant scorecard, it certainly means that the third hole – at 350 yards, by far the smallest par 4 on the court – marks the 3rd at Bryson’s Mammoth Tee Shot Emporium .
Well, you will not believe what happened in No. 3.
Exhaling loudly in front of his parachute club with terrifying speed, DeChambeau aimed with his driver on the left side of the boulevard, the green clearly in his sights.
But the ball reached more than he intended, touching a thick grass that is still raining from the heavy rain this week. It travels with such force that it is deeply connected to the ground.
DeChambeau and about 15 others – officials, employees, anyone else standing in the sparse gallery at this Masters without a protector – bent the lawn for three whole minutes, pushing and pushing on the ground.
“When you have Bryson hitting it as hard as he hits it, it’s a kind of hook with a lot of spin in a soft area … we were all sure it was quite buried and it would be hard to find,” said playing partner Jon Rahm. , who also participated in the search party.
Since there were also no direct reports of him appearing on the other side of the world, DeChambeau stayed to get the Ride of Shame. A basket brought him back to the T-shirt to hit him again. He finished making a triple bogey 7 in a hole that had an average yield of 3,966.
(FWIW, Golf.com reported the ball was found about 10 minutes later by a gallery guard, no more than 10 feet away from the treadmill, but only visible to someone just above it.)
When combining triple-bogey with another 7 on Thursday – when DeChambeau drove one behind a pine tree, caught the next shot on some azalea bushes, took out a temporary one at Rae’s Creek, found his first ball, took a penalty kick, cut a chip and finished double bamboo at three – easier hole in the field – it is easy to understand why it is in the state it is in.
It does not matter that he has nine birdie on his card and the first place in the whole field at a driving distance – 13 meters away from the next man.
While DeChambeau made a mess of things, 63-year-old Bernhard Langer was methodically on his way.
The little German is ranked 88th out of 91 players in driving distance, but is tied for third in driving accuracy, losing just three exposures in the first two laps.
The result: Langer is under 3 years old and is sure to become the oldest player in Masters history to make the cut.
“He drove the ball well and put it well enough, and that kept me there even if I hit a very long club,” Langer said. “I like this golf course. I think I know how to get over it, even though I have hit very far clubs. But it is certainly not easy. It’s a big part. It always was. “
Fortunately, there is more to Augusta than the farthest.
We have a reminder this Friday.
No attack for DeChambeau, but that was very reassuring.
Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry (at) ap.org or at https://twitter.com/pnewberry196 His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry