#Bryson DeChambeau resurfaces at Oak Hill and takes early lead – Press Enterprise  #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

#Bryson DeChambeau resurfaces at Oak Hill and takes early lead – Press Enterprise #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. — So much talk about this PGA Championship has been the restoration project of Oak Hill. Equally astonishing Thursday is the restoration of Bryson DeChambeau.

That incredible bulk who won the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2020? DeChambeau has shed some 40 pounds by cutting out food to which he was allergic.

“I took a Zoomer peptide test, which essentially tells you what inflames your blood when you eat it,” he said. “Pretty much everything I liked, I couldn’t eat.”

The guy who tried to smash it as far as he could and have wedges into the green? Now he’s happier finding fairways, and he was happy to share what led to the improved accuracy.

“It’s being more … how do I explain this easy? I’m just in a place where I’m more ulnar,” he said, leaving everyone to wonder what would have been the more complicated explanation.

The place that matters is his name high on the leaderboard. DeChambeau still lashed away with speed and strength, off the tee and out of the rough. That carried him to a 4-under 66 and the lead among those who finished an opening round that was delayed nearly two hours by frost.

Thirty players didn’t finish because of darkness and were to return Friday morning. That included Eric Cole, the 34-year-old PGA Tour rookie who was 5 under with four holes left.

DeChambeau matched his low score at the PGA Championship and led by one over Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson and Corey Conners.

“It’s a fantastic round of golf at Oak Hill,” DeChambeau said. “It’s a prestigious place, very difficult golf course. As I was looking at it throughout the week, I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know how shooting under par is even possible out here on some of the holes.’ But luckily, I was able to play some really good golf.”

So did Johnson, the two-time major champion who is coming off a playoff win last week in Oklahoma in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League. Johnson went from a fairway bunker to deep rough left of the 18th green and missed a putt just inside 15 feet for his only bogey.

Fairways covered with a thin layer of frost gave way to magnificent weather with little wind.

“Today was probably the easiest conditions we’ll see all week,” said Scheffler, who took advantage with his first bogey-free card in 51 rounds at a major.

Masters champion Jon Rahm failed to take advantage, making five bogeys in a six-hole stretch around the turn and finishing with a 76, his highest start at a major since the 2018 U.S. Open. Jason Day, coming off a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson, and U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick also were at 76.

Michael Block, who qualified for the tournament through the PGA Professional Championship, shot an even-par 70, tied for 20th. The longtime head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo played the last seven holes in 3-under to lead the group of 20 teaching pros who made the PGA field.

“When I’m even 1-over, whether it’s at a PGA Championship or at home playing against my kids, I’m just – I need to get back (to even par), it’s just how I am,” said the 46-year-old Block, who has yet to make the cut at a major in seven tries. “So I made sure that I got back to even par, and I did, and I don’t care if it’s at a major or in a skins game on Tuesday back at my home club, it’s just how I roll.”

Scheffler challenging for the lead was not a surprise. Last year’s Masters champion has six wins in the last 15 months, and he hasn’t finished worse than 12th this year. Johnson, who led the LIV points list last year, had a slow start to the year but is starting to hit his stride.

As for DeChambeau, he practically vanished from golf’s elite over the last year.

He injured his hip in early 2022, attributing it to slipping on marble tile while playing ping-pong in Saudi Arabia. He had surgery on his left wrist after the Masters last year. And then he joined LIV, where his tie for fifth last week in Oklahoma was his only top-10 finish in six events this year.

“The emotions have definitely fluctuated pretty high and pretty low, thinking I have something and it fails and going back and forth. It’s humbling,” DeChambeau said. “Golf, and life, always has a good way to kicking you on your you-know-what when you’re on your high horse.

“It’s nice to feel this today.”

His only big miss came on his approach to the 17th out of rough. It sailed to the right toward the 18th tee and plunked club pro Kenny Pigman, who shook it off and then shook hands with an apologetic DeChambeau.

This isn’t so much a transformation as a restoration. His goal is no longer to create a new way to approach the game, rather to find what brought him success when he won eight times in a span of three years, including a U.S. Open title at Winged Foot.

Gone are the days when he consumed some 5,000 calories a day in a bid to build a body – he was called the “Incredible Bulk” – that could tolerate him swinging as hard as he could to overpower golf courses.

He began a diet that reduces inflammation (he estimates his daily calorie intake at 2,900) and tried to find his way back to 2018, when he felt he was at his best.

“I want to be just stable now,” he said. “I’m tired of changing, trying different things. Yeah, could I hit it a little further, could I try and get a little stronger? Sure. But I’m not going to go full force.

“It was a fun experiment,” he said, “but definitely want to play some good golf now.”

Scheffler has been doing that all year, and the opening round of the PGA Championship was no exception. He made a stressful golf course look stress-free, except for a few holes.

One of them was the second hole, his 11th of the round, when he went over the green and faced a scary chip up a steep slope to a back pin. He pitched up to 7 feet and saved par. He also got out of position on the par-5 fifth hole, getting up and down from a bunker for par.

“It was a grind today,” Scheffler said. “No bogeys is pretty solid.”

For so many others, Oak Hill was the grind they expected. Jordan Spieth felt fit enough with an injured left wrist to pursue the final leg of the career Grand Slam, only to struggle with his putting. He shot a 73.

Rory McIlroy looked as though he might be headed to another early exit from a big event. He was 3 over after nine holes and in trouble at No. 2 when he was over the green in three, some 35 feet away with a steep slope between him and a back pin.

He holed it with his putter for a most unlikely par, made birdie on the next two holes and salvaged a 71.

“It was massive,” McIlroy said. “Depending on what happens over the next three days and what I go on to do, I may look back at that shot as being the sort of turning point of the week.”

The forecast was for warmer weather and a little more wind. The forecast for the PGA Championship also includes DeChambeau now.

“Golf is a weird animal. You can never fully have it,” DeChambeau said. “You always think you have it one day and then it just leaves the next. Just got to be careful.”


Tom Kim would do anything to save a golf stroke. Especially at a major. And he’s got the mud-caked pants and shirt to prove it.

Kim went all in – waist deep into the muck of a marshy area along Oak Hill’s Allens Creek – in a bid to retrieve his ball following an errant tee shot off No. 6 during the opening round on Thursday.

He emerged without the ball, his shirt and pants covered in mud, while also not realizing he had instantly become a viral sensation on social media with much of his ordeal broadcast on television.

“Are you kidding me?” Kim said, pulling down his white cap to hide his face upon leaving the scorer’s tent, where he was informed his dip into the mud went global. “Unbelievable. All for a ball.”

Kim then sunk to his knees and began to laugh upon being handed a cell phone to see the video for the first time.

Embarrassed as the 20-year-old from South Korea was, Kim was adamant he would do it again on a day he finished 3-over 73, to sit in a tie for 63rd during a first round that’s yet to be completed.

“It’s a major championship and every shot matters. It could be the difference of me having a chance to win on Sunday or making the cut or whatever it is,” said Kim, a two-time PGA Tour winner and competing in his seventh major.

“I was told it was in the mud. And if I’m able to hit a shot, I’m doing everything I can to do it. So I definitely tried. But it was very unfortunate,” he added. “I couldn’t even find the ball.”

Kim actually went in twice. The first time was in his attempt to retrieve the ball. Once he put his foot in, he said he sunk into the mud up to his waist and had difficulty getting out.

“As soon as I went in, I knew it was kind of sketchy,” Kim said. “I had to crawl, use every part of my body to get out.”

He then returned to Allens Creek again, this time to wash off. Back on the fairway, Kim removed his mud-spattered shirt and donned a pullover top he had in his bag.

He completed the round with his pants rolled up above his calves. After settling for a bogey-5 on the sixth, he closed with three consecutive pars, including lipping out a 22-foot birdie putt on No. 8.

“It’s pretty embarrassing. But like I said, I wouldn’t change it for the world because I don’t regret anything I did. I think I would have regretted it more not trying to go in there,” Kim said. “Every single shot matters so much to me, and I’m going to try everything I can.”

Kim then paused for a moment and broke into a smile, saying: “Later in my career, I’m going to be able to be proud of this moment for sure.”


Ryan Fox headed to Oak Hill at 5:30 a.m. to get breakfast before getting stretched in preparation for the opening round of the PGA Championship.

Just his bad luck, Fox was already at the course when he received a text that the start was delayed by frost, pushing his tee time back nearly two hours.

But that’s the way it has gone lately for the Kiwi.

He felt sick on the weekend at the Masters, tried to play at Hilton Head and withdrew after three holes to go home. Turns out he had pneumonia, which kept him home for two weeks trying to recover.

“As soon as I got over that, our daughter was born, which was just over two weeks ago now,” Fox said. “So I had a few sleepless nights and not a lot of practice.”

It doesn’t stop there.

One day he tried to practice, but Auckland, New Zealand was flooded for the third time this year. He was stuck for four hours in traffic.

“It wasn’t quite the ideal preparation for a major, but I was kind of hoping the fact I needed a break after a busy start to the year and being mentally fresh would have been important this week,” he said.

It seemed to work out OK. Fox, No. 41 in the world ranking, opened with a 68.


A little over a month after a final-round collapse cost him a shot at a green jacket at Augusta National, Brooks Koepka opened the PGA with a 2-over 72.

The two-time PGA champion’s score could have been a lot worse if not for some excellent scrambling, including pitching in from the rough to save par on the par-3 11th.

“That was the worst I’ve hit it in a long time,” Koepka said. “Scrambled really well. Missed a couple putts early but scrambled really well late. Yeah, that was the worst I’ve hit it in a really long time.”


Tony Finau’s hot streak appeared ready to come to a grinding halt when he opened with a 6-over 41 on the front nine. Finau, a two-time winner on tour this year, responded by putting together a 4-under 31 on the back to finish at 2-over 72.

Finau’s round marked just the third time in the last 30 years that a player shot plus-6 on one nine and responded by shooting minus-4 or better on the back nine, joining Ashley Hall at the 2012 British Open and Kevin Sutherland at the 2009 U.S. Open.

Xander Schauffele wasn’t far behind. He opened bogey, double-bogey, bogey before getting it together. The world’s fifth-ranked player fought his way back to finish at 2-over 72.

Other notables weren’t quite as resilient.

Rahm’s 6-over 76 was his worst opening round at a major in five years. Reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick failed to record a single birdie while joining Rahm at 76.

Jason Day, coming off his first win in five years at the Byron Nelson, also didn’t register a birdie while joining Rahm and Fitzpatrick at 76.

Only one player currently ranked in the Top 10 in the world finished better than even par: Scheffler.


Rounds took upwards of five hours or more. While not unusual for the opening day of a major – particularly one with a 156-player field – a bottleneck around the 14th hole didn’t help matters.

Many players on the tee box on the potentially driveable uphill 317-yard par-4 waited for the group ahead to give them the clearance to go for it. That led to an extended wait time of upwards of 10 minutes or so and a backlog that made for even slower going on the back nine.

“Yeah, it was a bit of a bottleneck on the course, which wasn’t ideal,” said Corey Conners, who birdied the 14th on his way to a 3-under 67. “I enjoy when things keep flowing and can play a little quicker, but it is what it is. Everybody has got the same challenge there.”

This is the second straight year the course layout led to a backup of sorts. Last May at Southern Hills the tee shot on the 13th hole required a carry over the 12th green, forcing players approaching the 12th to wait until the coast was clear.

AP sports writers John Wawrow and Will Graves contributed to this story.

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