In his round as a major champion after winning the US Open by six shots at Winged Foot in September, the 27-year-old American had to settle for a two-under-par 70, leaving him five shots behind clubhouse leader Paul Casey when play was suspended for the day due to darkness.
Half the field, including world No 1 Dustin Johnson and career grand slam-chasing Rory McIlroy, are returning early on Friday morning to complete their rounds before the second circuit gets underway around 2.30pm UK time.
DeChambeau, who was the centre of attention heading into the rescheduled final men’s major of the season, finished birdie-birdie after earlier looking as though he could run up a big score at the par-5 13th.
His tee shot at a hole he’d expected to make birdie or eagle in all four rounds ended up on pine straw in the trees and, going for the green with a 7-iron, he pulled it into azalea bushes.
A provisional ball - his second in the space of three holes - found water on the right of the green, but, to his relief, the first one was found by his caddie.
He still ended up with a double-bogey 7, though, after having to take a penalty drop and then duffing the next one.
“I got greedy,” he admitted afterwards. “This golf course, as much as I'm trying to attack it, it can bite back. It's still Augusta National, and it's the Masters. It's an amazing test of golf no matter what way you play it.
“Probably should have laid up on that one, but, you know what, I like taking risks. It was unfortunate, but I should have been smarter and hit it out, took my medicine and hit it on the green.
“But hopefully tomorrow I'll hit it in the fairway and have a different opportunity for birdie, if not eagle.”
He’s now broken 70 just once in 13 rounds at the Georgia venue, but added: ”'m very happy with the patience I delivered to the course today.
“I tried to take on some risk today. It didn't work out as well as I thought it would have, but I'm proud of myself the way I handled myself and finished off. Birdieing 8 and 9 was a testament to my focus level, and wanting to contend here.”
DeChambeau decided against putting a 48-inch driver in his bagm saying of that decision: “I don't feel like I'm 100 per cent ready with that yet.
“To be honest, as we sat back, we were like, it's not going to be that much of a gain this week because I am pretty much already flying bunkers out there.”
“My ball striking was not top tier today, and I've got to go work on that. My driving was not great. Not my best.
“I wasn't comfortable with my golf swing. Normally when I'm really comfortable I can keep going faster and faster, and today I felt like I got a little tighter.”