'Bryson Rule' will stop DeChambeau taking new route at TPC Sawgrass

Bryson DeChambeau’s decision about trying to use his power to open up an easier way of playing the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass has been taken out of his hands.

A general view of the 18th hole at The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Picture: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images.
A general view of the 18th hole at The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Picture: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images.

The American had talked about the possibility of taking on a 310-yard carry and blasting his drive on the hole during this week’s Players Championship across the water into the ninth fairway.

But that prospect is no longer on the cards after the PGA Tour announced on Tuesday that it had installed an internal out of bounds "in the interest of safety, volunteers and other personnel".

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A statement made no reference to DeChambeau, but the rule has been implemented on the back of talk about how the US Open champion might tackle the hole in the £15 million event.

"I have thought about sometimes on 18 going left into 9," he said after his victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Sunday.

"We'll see, with the stands and everything, if it's even worth it ... it just gives you a better shot into the green, personally, where you can just hit it a little long and you're always going to be OK.

"I just look at all the options and hopefully there's an advantage there. If not, I'll just hit a 4-iron down the fairway and hopefully an 8-iron or 7-iron into the green."

The closing hole at TPC Sawgrass is a 439-yard par-4 that doglegs around a lake, with no much room to find the fairway when cutting the corner.

It is pretty similar to the sixth hole at Bay Hill, where DeChambeau hit two drives of more than 370 yards as he took a brave line in the third and final rounds in last week’s PGA Tour event.

Internal out of bounds is rare but, at the same time, has been in play at some Open Championships over the years.

At Royal Portrush in 2019, the first and 18th holes had internal out of bounds area, as did the 18th at Royal Liverpool in 2014 and the ninth at Royal Birkdale in 2017.

Meanwhile, former Masters champion Danny Willett is out of this week’s event after testing positive for Covid-19.

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