Written by
Mike McAllister
May 18 2023
- 8 min
Bryson PGA Day 1 AP Gallery

After a string of frustrating results to start the 2023 LIV Golf League season, Bryson DeChambeau finally experienced something positive last week at LIV Golf Tulsa.

His tie for fifth was his best individual result in his 12 regular season starts since becoming a member a year ago, and his second-round 7-under 63 was his lowest score.

That momentum carried over to Thursday’s first round of the PGA Championship, as the Crushers GC captain shot a 4-under 66, giving him the clubhouse lead by one stroke after his final putt.

“A fantastic round of golf at Oak Hill. It’s a prestigious place. Very difficult golf course,” DeChambeau said after his round. “As I was looking at it throughout the week, I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know how shooting under par is even possible out here on some of the golf holes.’ But luckily, I was able to play some really good golf, hit a lot of fairways, did my job and made some putts.”

DeChambeau carded six birdies against two bogeys in a round that was delayed, as tee times were pushed back two hours due to early-morning frost. When he finished, DeChambeau ranked first in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Tee to Green and was 11th in Strokes Gained: Putting. He hit 9 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation.

That’s not the kind of production that has been evident through the first six League tournaments this season. DeChambeau ranks T43 (out of 50 players) in driving accuracy and T38 in putting average.

As a result, he’s struggled to contend individually even as his Crushers team won the season opener in Mayakoba and placed third in Singapore. DeChambeau’s results this season have been inconsistent at best: T23 in Mayakoba, T44 in Tucson, T16 in Orlando, T26 in Adelaide and T19 in Singapore before going to Tulsa.

“The emotions have definitely fluctuated pretty high and pretty low, thinking I have something, and it fails and going back and forth,” DeChambeau said. “It's humbling. Golf, and life, always has a good way of kicking you on your you know what when you are on your high horse. It's nice to feel this today.”

Meanwhile, he’s spent endless hours on the range and practice green, hoping to re-discover the form that produced four wins in 2018 and eventually his first major victory at the 2020 U.S. Open.

“I've struggled with my driving,” DeChambeau said. “You see me out there on the range. That's something I don't want to do. I don't want to be out there all night, but I've had to figure out what I did so well in 2018 and what made me so successful then.

“I feel like I'm catching on and trending that direction. Figured out a couple things this week, and it certainly paid off today.”

Keegan Bradley, one of his playing partners in the first two rounds at Oak Hill, certainly was impressed.

“It looked like Bryson to me,” Bradley said. “He hit the ball great, putted great, drove it really nice. It was good to see him. He was smashing drives again, and he played pretty much flawless golf. Happy for him.”

Photo credit: AP/Seth Wenig