PGA Tour

Amateur Bryson DeChambeau grinds it out to make API cut

Amateur Bryson DeChambeau during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
Amateur Bryson DeChambeau during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge. ( Tracy Wilcox )

Friday, March 18, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. –– Bryson DeChambeau admitted he’s not in top form this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Part of the reason?

“I just switched irons last week,” DeChambeau said. “… That took a lot of time out of me practicing, so that was a little bit of a struggle.”

DeChambeau, whose unique Edel iron set is well documented, spent last week fixing the lie angles on his new irons, grinding off the bounce of each club, making everything perfect for his fourth career PGA Tour start, this week at Bay Hill.

Those irons will be put to use this weekend as the 22-year-old amateur made the cut on the number, shooting 72-72 to finish 36 holes at even par. Fellow amateur Maverick McNealy also made the cut and sits at T-25 after rounds of 69-71.

While McNealy, a junior at Stanford, has carded just two bogeys in 36 holes, DeChambeau has had to fight through a few more blemishes on his cards this week. On Friday, the defending U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual champion found himself at or below the projected cut line on a few occasions, including at the par-18th hole.

After missing a 6-footer for par at the par-3 17th, DeChambeau needed par on his final hole of the day to secure his spot in the weekend. He found the fairway and then nearly flied his approach shot into the hole before two-putting from 24 feet behind the hole.

“It was a fight all day today, and yesterday,” DeChambeau said. “I don’t have my A-game right now. … It was good to test myself under those conditions knowing that I don’t play my best but I can still make the cut. That was great to see out of me, I’m glad that I was able to push through, pursue and be determined to make that cut, and fight for every shot like I did.”

DeChambeau said he is feeling a little fatigued, mostly due to the amount of extra work he’s spent this week making up for that lost practice time. But hey, in his second-to-last pro event as an amateur (his finale will come in three weeks at Augusta National), DeChambeau will get a chance to play two more rounds at Arnie’s Place.

“I’m just excited that I made the weekend,” DeChambeau said, “and get to play on Sunday again.”

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