In fairness to Bryson DeChambeau, he was not the only golfer taken by surprise when the Wells Fargo Championship halfway cut fell at two-over par.
Among those also who ended their second round at two-over par was Open Champion Shane Lowry but then the Royal Portrush winning hero was out in the afternoon half of the draw in posting scores of 71 and 73 that saw the Irishman end his round then two shots shy of the projected cut of level par. Unlike DeChambeau, Lowry was not about to leave Charlotte in a hurry.
You see, DeChambeau had been out in the morning half of the second round in the $8.1m event and when he ended his round near lunch on Friday with scores of 70 and 74, also for a two-over par total to be well outside the projected cut, the World No. 5 was not about to spend the afternoon waiting around to learn what he thought would be a weekend off.
So, while Lowry was out on the Quail Hollow course, DeChambeau’s private jet was nearing Dallas located some 1,870 miles to the south-west of Charlotte.
DeChambeau explains: “I made triple-bogey on seven (16th hole) and then chipped in on eight for birdie and I thought I had to make birdie on the last and I didn’t, missed the putt, and I was like there’s no way I’m making it, it’s 90th place.
“So we just said, all right, let’s pack up, let’s go. Want to get ready for next week and go home. So we flew privately back to Dallas, and halfway through the flight my agent and he’s like, “Hey, you’re 68th now.” I was like, “What? No way. There’s no way I’m still ‑‑ I’m not going to make it, there’s no way.”
“Sure enough, conditions kept getting worse and by the time I landed I was in, 64 or 63rd or whatever. So I looked at my agent, “Well, whoops, that was a mistake.”
So, why not get the flight crew to turn the jet around and fly back to Charlotte? No, it’s not as simple as that even though you’re flying by private jet.
“We couldn’t turn around as the crew couldn’t, you know, refuel and their hours were out,” said DeChambeau. “So we had to get a new crew, if anything, and it just didn’t work out. So we’re like, “Well, let’s just go in the morning.” So I left at 2:45 on a flight and I got here at 6:20 a.m.”
In fact, when DeChambeau got home he had a workout, a shower and headed out to dinner before hitting the sack around 8pm local Dallas time meaning he got some five hours sleep at home and two hours on board the return flight to Charlotte.
Once back in North Carolina, it took DeChambeau 30-minutes to drive to Quail Hollow ahead of changing clothes and then heading straight to the practice putting green. And at 8.10am local time, he and Shane Lowry were announced on the first tee.
DeChambeau went out and posted five birdies in 14 holes only to double the last in a three-under par 68 to move to a tie for 23rd at a one-under par in total. The reigning US Open champion was asked also after his third round how he felt.
“Very tired, yeah and this morning was not easy,” he said. “But, you know, for whatever reason I just feel like the more weird things happen to me, the greater my resolve sometimes can be and today was a case of that. And got a little unlucky on 18, but other than that, you know, I played a great round of golf today. I’m very pleased”
Though as pleased as he was, it was also an expensive exercise for DeChambeau.
“It’s been very and way too expensive,” he said. “But the thing is, I have a chance to go make a good cheque this week and I think that would offset it. So if I was to not come back and withdraw, lose world ranking points and all that, I had to incur the cost. It’s my fault.”
As for Lowry? Well this journalist went to bed late Friday night Irish time writing he had missed the cut but then Lowry was not about to jet back to Palm Beach. He chose to stay with friends in Charlotte. Lowry posted a third round that included just three birdies but also three bogeys and a pair of double-bogeys in a disappointing 75 to drop to six-over heading to the final day.
As he walked off the 17th green he remarked: “It’s days like this you wish the wind didn’t blow yesterday afternoon.”