Tour introduces ‘Bryson Rule’ to deny DeChambeau

Bernie McGuire

View of the 18th tee toward the clubhouse and hospitality prior to THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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The PGA Tour has stepped-in and introduced a ‘Bryson Rule’ to deny Bryson DeChambeau any advantage in this week’s restart to last year’s cancelled Players Championship.

DeChambeau brought his rocket-like drives into sharp focus last week in tackling the famed par-5 sixth hole on route to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the new World No. 6 set a new driving distance record at Bay Hill’s sixth hole, first on Saturday with a monster 370-yard drive and then breaking that on Sunday with a 376-yard bomb.

DeChambeau was then quizzed during Sunday’s victory press conference if there was a hole at this week’s host TPC Sawgrass course he could ‘shorten.

He singled out the 462-yard 18th hole, the third longest of the par-4s and with water all down the left-hand side said: “Oh, man, that’s a great question. I have thought about sometimes on 18 going left into the ninth. But we’ll see, with the grandstands and everything, if it’s even worth it.

“It does give you a better shot into the green, I think, personally, where you can just hit it a little long and you’re always going to be okay.

“I mean, the carry is 310-yards, but we’ll see. I just, I look at all options and hopefully there’s an advantage there. But if not, I’ll just hit 4-iron down the fairway and hopefully an 8-iron or 7-iron into the green.

“So, that’s really the only one hole that I could see being unique and a little different as of right now. There’s really not another hole at TPC Sawgrass.”

The Players Championship Rules committee has now pulled the rug from under any such thoughts and advised that the area on the left side of the body of water at the 18th, and also to the right of the ninth fairway, is out-of-bounds for the week.

The statement highlighted concern ‘in the interest of safety, volunteers and other personnel’.

The ruling now sees TPC Sawgrass join a handful of other courses boasting internal OOB including the right side of the first at Royal Liverpool for the 2014 Open Championship, at the ninth hole at Royal Birkdale in 2017 while Rory McIlroy infamously drove OOB down the left side of the first hole at the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

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