Despite struggling to find fairways, Bryson DeChambeau contending at 2021 Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Even a dialed-back driver isn’t cooperating this week for Bryson DeChambeau.

Through two rounds at TPC Sawgrass DeChambeau has hit only 12 of 28 fairways (42%) and currently ranks in the middle of the field in the strokes gained: off the tee category. This season, he’s the Tour leader in that statistic, gaining nearly 1.3 strokes on the field per round, and he once again paced the field last week while winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I’m not passing through impact as consistently as I’d like,” he said. “It’s one of those things that it’s going to be a battle this weekend if I don’t get it figured out, and if I do, hopefully it all adds up in a good way.”

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His errant driving hasn’t cost him so far at The Players, where DeChambeau has shot consecutive rounds of 69 and is among the early leaders on Day 2. He shook off a double bogey on his opening hole of the day by making five birdies the rest of the way.

“I’m happy with the fact that I’ve still been able to keep myself in it and score well,” he said. “I’ve been pretty lucky, for the most part. I don’t think that’ll happen this weekend. I’ve got to make sure that my game is good off the tee, so I don’t have those issues occurring and I don’t have to rely on luck. I have to get it in the fairway.”

And so after his media obligations were complete, DeChambeau headed – where else? – to the range to work on his swing. He said he’s swinging it only at about 80% speed this week, and yet he hasn’t needed more than a 7-iron into a par 4 or par 5 this week at claustrophobic TPC Sawgrass.

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