Bryson DeChambeau’s Masters challenge evaporates after bizarre lost ball

The 2020 US Open champion raised eyebrows in the pre-tournament buildup by suggesting that a five-under 67 would be his personal par on the famous course because his awesome length off the tee made the longer holes easier to reach for him.

But a slightly wayward tee shot proved his undoing early in his second round as he ran up a triple bogey seven on the par-4 third hole.

Looking poised to mount a challenge after picking up a birdie on the par-5 second to move to three under, disaster followed as his booming drive missed the fairway by about 10 meters and appeared to nestle in some testing rough.

Unable to find his ball, despite help from playing partners Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen, DeChambeau also asked officials to check the TV coverage, but to no avail as the permitted three minutes to find it passed.

There was no alternative than to make a journey by golf cart back to the tee to hit another drive, but he could not retrieve the damage after more sloppy play.

Two more bogeys followed in quick succession to leave his round in tatters and with real danger that he would miss the cut — projected to be a level par — maybe a shot lower– as he slipped to two-over-par.

However, his power play did achieve dividends at the long par-5 eighth and he stood one-over after 12 with an eagle chance looming on the 13th when he walked off the course when the fading light brought an end to the second day’s play. Forty-eight players must still complete the round.

Tiger Woods also has ground to make up after failing to progress from his first round four-under mark through the 10 holes he completed before play was halted.
Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the third green during the second round of the Masters.

Woods looked set to get close to the leaders when he birdied the second hole, nearly holing his bunker shot for an eagle, but he missed a short par putt on the next as his momentum stalled and a further dropped shot on the seventh took him back to three-under.

Woods is hoping he can take advantage of birdie opportunities on the back nine at Augusta when he resumes his second round on Saturday morning.

Earlier, world number one Dustin Johnson completed his first round in seven-under 65 before making a fast start around Amen Corner in his second, reaching 10-under at one point.

However, mistakes followed and he needed a timely birdie on the ninth, his final hole, to card a 70 and join Thomas, Abraham Ancer of Mexico and Cameron Smith of Australia in the clubhouse at 135 — nine-under-par.

Dustin Johnson watches his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament.

Thomas, the 2017 PGA champion, also had to finish strongly with two straight birdies for a 69 to revive his challenge, while Ancer and Smith carded 67 and 68, respectively, to be firmly in the mix at halfway.

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Trailing by just one is rising young South Korean star Sungjae Im, alongside Patrick Cantlay of the US, who shot a joint-best of the second round 66.

Rahm through 12 holes and Hideki Matsuyama after 15 were also on that mark ahead of completing their rounds.

Danny Willett, who has missed the cut at Augusta every time since his 2016 triumph, also shot 66 having started with a double bogey, racking up six birdies and an eagle to reach 137– seven-under-par.

Two other Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood, another player taking route 66, and Justin Rose completed the group at seven-under in the clubhouse.

Rory McIlroy bids to join golf's greats with career grand slam at Masters

Rory McIlroy, seeing his hopes of a career Grand Slam of majors derailed by a sorry opening round 75, gave himself an outside chance of mounting a challenge with a 66 for three-under-par 141.

“I’ve been playing so good coming in here, and then I go into the first round and I shoot 75,” McIlroy said.

“I’m like, ‘Where the hell did that come from?'”

He is on the same mark as 63-year-old Bernhard Langer, twice a Masters winner and a prolific winner on the Champions Tour for players over 50.

Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson has recently joined the Champions Tour, winning on his debut, and is also still in the hunt for another Green Jacket after a 70 for five-under, four off the clubhouse lead.