PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Call it the Bryson Rule.
Just days after Bryson DeChambeau said he would consider aiming left of the the water at the dogleg-left par-4, 462-yard 18th hole at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the Players Championship Rules Committee has installed an internal out of bounds left of the lake for play of hole 18.
On Sunday, after DeChambeau drove within 100 yards of the 550-yard par-5 sixth hole on both Saturday and Sunday and closed out his one-stroke victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he was asked if there were any unique angles at Pete Dye’s famed layout that he was dreaming up for this week.
“I have thought about sometimes on 18 going left into 9. But we’ll see, with the stands and everything, if it’s even worth it,” he said. “But that’s really the only one that I could see being unique and a little different as of right now. There’s really not another hole.”
That would require one of his tape-measure blasts across the lake running the length of 18 and potentially into a sliver of rough right of the ninth cart path and the water. Another option would be to hit all the way into the ninth fairway, but under that scenario he’d face a blind shot over hospitality tents.
“It just gives 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 OK,” he explained. “It’s probably not worth it. I mean, the cover’s like 310, 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.”
Asked on Tuesday during his pre-tournament press conference if he was serious about taking a circuitous route to the 18th green, DeChambeau was non-committal but still thinking outside the box.
“I’ll probably give it a try, but it’s most likely not going to happen,” he said. “I haven’t seen it yet, but if there’s stands there there’s really no reason to go for it, when I could just drive it 100 yards from the green if I get a good wind normally. It’s not really that big of an advantage, but taking the water out of play and having an easier second shot, it may be easier, I don’t know.”
Rules officials heard about DeChambeau’s latest gambit and nipped any thoughts of taking a unique route at 18 in the bud. Any shot coming to rest left of the white stakes on 18 will be determined to be out of bounds.
“In the interest of safety for spectators, volunteers and other personnel, the Players Championship Rules Committee has installed an internal out of bounds left of the lake for play on hole 18,” the Tour said in a statement.
The Tour noted that similar instances of internal out of bounds for safety purposes have occurred at The Open Championship (hole 9) in 2017, the 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii (hole 13 and hole 18), and most recently, the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational (hole 6).