Bryson DeChambeau intends to make his competitive return at this week’s US PGA Championship but whatever about the uncertainty around his injured hand, it was a strange pre-tournament interview that had people talking prior to Thursday’s opening day.
Speaking about his time away from the game since undergoing hand surgery, DeChambeau went down a rabbit hole that sounded more like something Phil Mickelson would be found saying after his current exile as opposed to Bryson whose presumed lay-off has been put down to injury and that alone.
“It’s a great step in the right direction and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the fact that I’m here and I’m able to persevere through it,” DeChambeau said, before things took a turn.
“I’ve had a lot of stuff going on recently and just being out of the game is not fun. It’s not been a fun thing for me, so I’m excited to get back and give it another shot. I think everybody deserves a second chance.”
Exactly why DeChambeau needs a “second chance” raised many eyebrows in golf circles as speculation mounted as to the reasons behind his absence from the game of late.
Bryson think he’s Phil? pic.twitter.com/WWdBNeCJsq
— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) May 18, 2022
Injury aside, DeChambeau was among a number of players who publicly rejected the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational, but only after Phil Mickelson’s explosive comments created a public relations disaster for anyone considering a move.
Whether DeChambeau’s “second chance” comment alludes to the American suffering a suspension is one theory, possibly using the enforced time away from the game to go under the knife on his hand, but whatever about the actual backstory, Bryson is at Southern Hills fully intent on teeing up, though he accepts he won’t be at 100% fitness should he take his place in the field.
“If the hand doesn’t get any worse, or the palm doesn’t get any worse, and I don’t feel like it’s degrading over the course of time, and I’ve got the swing I’ve got now, then absolutely [can win],” DeChambeau added.
“I can’t even swing to a full 100 per cent. Today [Monday] I got close to like 188 ball speed and all that’s that I’m willing to go. I’ve got more in the tank and I can go 200 no problem, it’s just more that I don’t want to put the force into it because it doesn’t have the endurance or the strength yet.”