PGA Tour “Bryson-Proofs” the 18th Hole at THE PLAYERS

Bryson DeChambeau reacts to his shot off the sixth tee during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 7, 2021 in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

That didn’t take long.

Just two days after Bryson DeChambeau claimed golf courses could not be “Bryson-proofed,” the PGA Tour said, “Wanna bet?”

The Bryson Rule is now in effect.

The PGA Tour announced on Tuesday that it would set up internal out-of-bounds on the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass, thus preventing DeChambeau from attempting to drive it over the water on the difficult final hole at the Players.

On Tuesday, Tour Officials proclaimed the portion of the lake that runs down the left side of the famous finishing hole will be ruled OB after several players discussed the strategy of hitting tee shots across the lake, towards the ninth hole, leaving a short approach back across water.

“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 of hole 18,” said the Tour statement.

“Similar instances of internal out of bounds for safety purposes have occurred at The Open Championship (No. 9) in 2017, the 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii (Nos. 13, 18), and most recently, the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard (No. 6).”

That “No. 6” hole at Bay Hill was the site of DeChambeau’s viral tee shots, where he blasted his Bridgestone golf balls over the water, 370-plus yards, leaving himself with sub-100 yard second shots on the par-5 hole.

The 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass. (PGW Graphic/Getty Images)

When discussing the 18th hole on Tuesday, DeChambeau sounded doubtful, suggesting it didn’t offer any significant advantage.

“I’ll probably give it a try, but it’s most likely not going to happen. 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,” DeChambeau said.

“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.”

PGA Tour rules official Stephen Cox said the primary reason for the ruling were concerns about fan safety.

“It’s not the way the hole was designed to be played and when a player does choose that option it brings fairly significant safety concerns for us,” Cox said. “As we saw at Birkdale in 2017, players tend to take obscure lines and locations to gain a strategic advantage but if it is placing others at risk and danger the committee needs to act on it quickly.

“Just as we reintroduce fans the last thing we would want is to have someone walking back towards the tee at the ninth hole and get a ball in the face because someone hits it down there. Errant tee shots are errant tee shots but when someone deliberately takes it down there it is more of a Interesting
more of a concern for us.”


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